Japanese horror is a super spooky genre with many unsettling films that are atmospheric and portray haunting imagery. Although there is still so much to explore, the one film that really blew me away upon my first watch was NOROI: The Curse (2005). Combining possession, ghosts, and found footage, NOROI: The Curse is severely scary and underrated. In February 2020, Jess and I were invited to speak about its scary brilliance in the article for Daily Dead for ‘Let’s Scare Bryan to Death’ where Bryan is forced to watch a brand new horror movie and chat about it with those who recommend it.
NOROI: The Curse is directed and co-written by Kōji Shiraishi (A Record of Sweet Murder, Sadako vs Kayako) and stars Jin Muraki as Masafumi Kobayashi who is a paranormal researcher/journalist investigating a series of mysterious, possibly interrelated, events for a documentary. As he journeys into the unknown world of demons, ghostly apparitions, ESP, missing children and more, the viewers, along with Kobayashi, piece together the puzzle that comes to a terrifying end. It’s incredibly well-acted, well-paced, and at times quite disturbing/unsettling.
In general, I am not a massive paranormal horror film fan, but NOROI: The Curse blends the best of many subgenres into one horrifying tale. Some people might find it slow-paced, or too long for them with its 115-minute runtime, however, I find it to be an engaging film from the moment it begins to the finale. Instead of having sporadic moments of horror or ‘jump scares’, it holds the grim atmosphere all the way through, which could be “blamed” on the mockumentary style. It’s not a film I revisit easily as I find it quite effective in its ability to frighten the pants off of me!
During our Japanese horror month, please do yourself a favour and watch NOROI: The Curse. It is available on Amazon Prime and Shudder. Then afterwards, I dare you to sleep with the lights off!