It’s been a while since I’ve watched a film so I thought of giving this one a try. It was recommended to me by my friend Lightning and, well, I give her my sincerest thanks for introducing me to this gem of a thriller.–>True to the tradition of Japanese horror such as The Ring and The Grudge, Noroi: The Curse attacks its viewers psychologically. It’s not horror in the Hollywood sense — protagonist/s gets stuck in a deserted town, demented, psycho killer appears and kills them one by one, one of them survives and escapes/kills serial killer, end of story. Noroi is more than that. It makes wise use of the camera to give us images which imprints into our brains and stays there. Top that off with minimalist background music and you’ve got yourself one hell of a movie.
Noroi: The Curse centers around Masafumi Kobayashi, a journalist who researches on paranormal activities throughout Japan. It starts with a prologue on how days after doing research on the demon Kagutaba, Kobayashi’s house burned down. His wife’s remains were found in the rubble but Kobayashi’s were not. A few days later, Kobayashi’s employers receive a package which contained the video tape of all his research about the Kagutaba. From here, a series of seemingly unconnected events unfold.
The movie was shot documentary-style which proved to be very effective and quite realistic since Kobayashi was, after all, a journalist. This being the case, there was a lot of camera-shaking and awkward camera angles. I don’t know about you but I think the camera-shaking technique is one of the most effective ways to give the viewer the feeling of impending doom. It’s like something’s going to jump out of the screen any minute. The movie also has very minimal sound effects — just the occasional sweeping sound and the other sounds that were recorded in the video (i.e. lots of panting and screaming). Watch this with headphones and even the slightest scratching sounds will give you the creeps.
The movie runs for almost two hours and may seem quite plodding to some viewers since the events shown seem like just random interviews. Personally, I didn’t find it the least bit boring. Each ‘random’ segment was interesting in its own right, with their respective amounts of psychological thrills. I think the only reasons one wouldn’t be able to stick around until the end are 1.) possible extreme paranoia, 2.) neuroses and 3.) you pissed yourself.
Watch it. It’s way, waaay better than Paranormal Activity. The movie’s available in YouTube so don’t give me any excuses.