24 June 2002 | hushicho
After I played the original Famicom game recently, dubbed the 'father of survival horror', and after being suitably impressed by the game itself I began my long and difficult search for this movie title. Although it remains unknown to anyone that I've consulted whether the movie was based on the game or vice-versa, either way both are excellent.
I was impressed most of all by the consistently-excellent acting of Miyamoto Nobuko, whose appearances in film almost always guarantee at least one enjoyable character. However, all the acting in this was exceptional, especially NOKKO's, whom I had not seen in any film before this one. I am still unsure as to who played Kazuo, the main male lead, but he was of course excellent, although it was of course Akiko (Miyamoto) who demonstrated her personal strength throughout.
How this film manages to convey a touching message about the bond between a mother and her child in the midst of terror and horrific special effects is beyond me, but it somehow manages to do it quite well, and it also stays very faithful in many ways to the game, which impressed me; it shows how well a story can be translated into both game and movie medium. Especially since this also seems to point out the weakness of similar Hollywood efforts, which almost always are disastrous.
All in all, this movie was very well-paced, terrifying, and tense, but somehow remained touching as well. The scares weren't too graphic or obvious, but by the time the 'big guns' were pulled out on the effects, you were fully drawn in. A true classic and a great film.