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Audition – A Japanese Shock?

female killers Asami (Eihi Shiina) getting ready to engage in some torture in Takashi Miike's Audition.

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Audition is a film that’s always in the “most disturbing” category, but yet, I really do not feel it deserves this honor. It’s one of those films which would get a much lower ratings if it was in English. Because it’s Japanese, its ‘dark’, ‘challenging’, ‘disturbing’ and ‘meaningful’ like many reviewers say. I don’t personally think it is any of these things.

The film starts out well, with good ideas and the acting is very well done b u t – i t- j u s t – d r a g s – o n.

Shigeharu, played by Ryo Ishibashi (The Grudge), is a widower who starts to think of love again thanks to his son. Through the help of a friend he meets the soft spoken, shy and intriguing Asami (Eihi Shiina- Tokyo Gore Police), which you soon realize has had a very difficult life and is a bit of odd one due to this, despite her quiet manner trying to fool you.

Half way through the film you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s a romantic drama. I do like the subtle clues the film gives as it moves towards what you expect to be a disturbing finale. Well, I was disappointed. When things finally start to happen, it’s over.

The constant repetition of Kiri Kiri Kiri Kiri Kiri Kiri is annoying and Audition really isn’t as hardcore as I had been led to believe. My favorite part of the film is the bag man and seeing the after effects of Asami’s work.

Besides a couple of good short lived scenes, there’s nothing that has really stayed with me as something new.

At best, Audition is a good psychological thriller for me, but if Japanese horror films are your thing, it’s definitely worth checking out.

WICKED RATING: 5.5/10  [usr 5.5]

Title: Audition


Director: Takashi Mike
Writer(s): Ryu Murakami, Daisuke Tengan
Stars: Ryo Isibashi, Ehi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
Year: 1999
Studio / Production Co: Basara Pictures, Creators Company Connection, Omega Project
Budget: Unknown
Language: Japanese
Length: 115mins
Sub-Genre: Torture, Japanese Horror

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Written by Nicola Odeku
Nicola Odeku is the co-founder of Wicked Horror. After managing a fashion and lifestyle magazine, in addition to writing her own published relationship articles, Nicola set up team with Arturo and followed her genuine love for horror. Also known as Miss Horror, Nicola is a big fan of hardcore gore, anything demonic, and disturbing cinema. Also cats. She looooves cats. Nicola enjoys traveling, sitting on a beach and eating cake.
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