Dir: Shinya Tsukamoto
Cast: Shinya Tsukamoto, Hitomi
Shinya Tsukamoto's (Tetsuo) 2006 entry into the weird, surreal universe of J-horror is a frustratingly uneven one. It borrows from all across the genre - most heavily from A Nightmare on Elm Street (the original - still terrifying, dark, and sadly diluted by weak sequels), but also from Ringu, One Missed Call, Silent Hill, Suicide Club, and even the director's own work (particularly A Snake of June);
hell, there are even elements of Romeo and Juliet in there - but never
While the film does contain some original, frightening imagery,
and a couple of cool ideas, overall it comes across as an empty
pastiche, detached from its precursors, and ultimately, its genre.
There were a couple of playful jabs (that I quite enjoyed) at the whole
long-haired female ghost thing that's been done to death in J-horror,
but overall, the film left me cold. Too bad, as Tsukamoto has been one
of THE directors to watch in Japanese genre cinema for awhile now. Nightmare Detective is worth a watch, but doesn't bear lengthy dream analysis.