12 January 2008 | kmevy
Definitely more than J-Horror parody/homage!
I have to say that i had to laugh when i first read a brief summary, which only focused on the hair-horror part. "Killing hair?! what the .. ?!", i thought. But after seeing "Suicide Circle" and "Strange Circus" i knew that there has to be way more than this ridiculous story.
"Exte" is obviously a parody! But there seems to be an awful lot of people who expected something like the grudge or the ring and are now pretty disappointed. Well, the scenario is pretty cliché and the ending was pretty gruff; nothing has been really explained at that point. Well, there are a lot of indicators which show directly towards parody! ;) At the very beginning for example: all these ultra-cliché dialog which was narrated in an obscure way in third person; the hair-salon which was named after a french serial killer (had to look that up); etc ...
BUT!! This film is still pretty scary ... and i don't mean only the hair, which .. was also scary (yeah, i was kinda scared ;) Human were the most scary/pitiful part here: The girl who was abducted and then used as a source for organs; The mother who abuses her child incessantly; then the child itself, of course; the hair-otaku, a real pitiful psycho; the main character (kuriyama) who carries a heavy burden of the past; all these people who don't care at all where this hair is coming from; just focusing on their beauty .. and all these other side-characters who might also have some sort of a problem.
Well, why then the hair-horror-part? Isn't abuse horror enough? ... you might ask. Well, i was wondering myself a bit ;) I mean .. from my perspective it worked out pretty well! .. anxiety, fear, panic, anger, frustration and in the end some sort of relief. It was there! Maybe because the hair-horror part made it easier to grasp the part about abuse etc. In my opinion "Exte" is some sort of an homage and at the same time a critique, that most horror flicks tend to be very superficial and are not trying to imply more than pure scare; some thought-provoking stuff; for example abuse .. ? ;)
Anyway: Cast was great!! Especially Osugi was really amazing! Art/direction was also a real feat! The Soundtrack wasn't that impressive but however the sound-design was stunningly good!
All in all an amazing film! Especially for J-horror fans with a little bit of humor and for those who have an interest in social relevant topics.
Too bad that so many people have been irritated by it .. ;)