24 July 2010 | Cujo108
Kobayashi is a documentary filmmaker who is fascinated by the paranormal. Always looking for new cases to document, he and his cameraman begin investigating a series of freakish events that are seemingly unrelated. To say that he finds more than he bargained for would be an understatement.
Rather than Blair Witch, this one reminded me of The Last Broadcast due to all the different footage involved. There's a sinister atmosphere from the start, but the film manages to be quite funny at times through it's use of stupid variety show footage. If you're familiar with these shows, you know how ripe for lampooning they really are. The storyline itself is quite complex, particularly for the hand-held sub-genre. There are multiple strands and a deep mythology to interpret. It also isn't your typical Asian horror with long-haired ghosts, thank goodness. Instead, we get some legitimate scares through mood and build-up. When we see the flier that says a key character has gone missing, it's enough to give you a chill all on it's own thanks to what we've seen beforehand. There are also a few choice scenes that will stay with you. The two scenes that got the biggest reaction out of me both revolved around Marika, a likable actress who gets caught up in the occurrences through an on location TV shoot. The first involves going back to the tapes and catching something in the frame with her, the second has her losing control in Kobayashi's house as pigeons smash into the window.
The mystery at the film's core is intriguing to watch unfold. At 115 minutes, the film is never boring and it doesn't feel too long. Big compliment, as hand-held horror typically works better when it's short and to the point.