Posted by: kfugrip | November 10, 2007

One hundred nine: Audition

Audition, directed by Takashi Miike, is a film I’ve seen before.  Kelly had never seen it and we saw a clip from Audition during a Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments (or something like that).  She was so freaked out by the clip that I knew I had to get the film for her to see.  She refused to watch it without me for fear of being so scared that she would have bad dreams.  So, we watched it as my one hundred and ninth movie of 2007.

Audition is the story of a widower, Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) living with his son, that decides to “get back out there”.  His friend concocts a plan to use an audition as a way for  Shigeharu to meet women, as well as learn a lot about them, to date.  Shigeharu finds a beautiful, ex ballerina, Asamai Yamazaki (Eihi Sawaki) whom he begins courting.  It turns out that Asamai is very troubled and is exacting some sort of horrible revenge on men and Shigeharu happens to be the new victim.

What I liked: The film is structured in a way that lulls you into a sense of security that this is a domestic drama about a man trying to find love, but then there are bizarre shots cut into the otherwise normal story that foreshadows later events.  This creates a sinister layer to the story that pays off huge, in a very disturbing scene.  The final scene is a predecessor to the current trend of torture-as-horror-film happening now.  You squirm but you can’t take your eyes away.

Miike spends such a long time developing Shigeharu that we care about him more than in a typical horror movie where one, or two scenes constitute a first act introduction and then the scary stuff begins.   Audition keeps us in a state of tension throughout because we’ve seen the images that are on the horizon and we are worried about the Shigeharu because we like him.

What I didn’t like:  Seeing this film a second time dispelled some of the fantastic moments.  I used to recommend this movie to fans of horror movies because it is more of a thinking-mans-horror movie.  Upon a second viewing the film was a bit disjointed and confusing.  This confusion came off as creepy initially but this time I was wondering why they were giving us the strongest horror images in small clips during the domestic storyline, and how did these images fit?  Were they flashbacks, fantasies, am I supposed to think that the girl is waiting for the phone to ring?  It was distracting, which is a problem.  Still the film was very creepy and effective.

4 stars.

audition.jpg

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Responses

  1. You know how I feel about this movie.

    The disjointed feel adds to the tension. I like the idea that we are not sure what we are seeing. Is it a flashback? A dream? Did it happen at all? That is what makes this film so rewatchable.


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