Thursday, March 31, 2011

In short: A Chain Of Cursed Murders (2006)

Original title: Chain: Rensa jusatsu

A quartet of vapid schoolgirls comes in contact with a cursed chain text message. If the receiver of the message doesn't forward it to nine people during the next twelve hours, she dies a (kinda) horrible and sorta (the budget only suffices for one Japanese Blood Fountain, one ripped-off rubber face and various rubber limbs) gory death; if she does, she just might die too.

Soon enough, there's only one of our intrepid heroines left. Obviously (see: vapid)  she's totally out of her league, so she asks her lecherous (are there any other ones?) teacher for help finding the sender of the cursed message. He agrees, if she is willing to sleep with him afterwards, that is. Well, it could be worse, right?

Anyway, that teacher is a multi-talented guy: he only needs to plug a handy into his laptop and can pinpoint the exact location - even the floor inside a building - from where a call or a text message has been sent. The guy's probably moonlighting as a super spy.

Turns out the messages have been sent from a hospital. Girlie and her new partner travel there, and learn the truth in an exciting double twist ending; there's a third twist, too, but that one is only for the film's long-suffering audience.

Given that A Chain of Cursed Murders was written by Sakichi Sato, the same guy who wrote Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer and Gozu, as well as the pretty funny Tokyo Zombie, I'd love to pretend that this horrible mess (directed by Ryuichi Honda) is an attempt at parodying the Japanese version of the horror genre. Unfortunately, there's nothing to find on screen that could support that theory - the whole film is just one badly thought out character doing some stupid thing after the other. If elements of the film are supposed to be funny - and really, can something like the high-tech-leach-teacher be meant seriously? - they never actually are. The plot makes less sense the longer the film goes on, while the characterization just doesn't work at all, not even in the genre short-hand version of characterization I'd be totally willing to accept; it would also have been nice if anyone's motivations had made any sense. And that's the quality of the script before the twist endings hit and destroy the last, sad bits of logic and character, as if they were a giant meteorite and logic and character the dinosaurs.

There's no escape from the film's frightening odour of crapness to be found in the acting: the young actresses couldn't emote believably if it would save their lives, and the two grown-ups are working at about the same level, just without having the excuse of inexperience.

I'd say something about Honda's direction, but that would already be giving it more credit than it deserves.

On the positive side, A Chain of Cursed Murders is at least short.


Technorati-Markierungen: ,,

No comments: