Japanese director Takashi Shimizu (JU-ON) presents another slice of atmospheric J-horror with his gory frightfest MAREBITO. In an inspired bit of casting, real-life director Shinya Tsukamoto (TETSUO: THE IRON MAN) stars as Masuoka, a filmmaker obsessed with capturing the essence of fear via his ever-present digital-video camera. When Masuoka accidentally films a grisly suicide in the Tokyo subway, he begins to explore the system's subterranean depths and finds a ghostly pale, mute girl (Tomomi Miyashita) chained naked to a rock. Bringing her back to his apartment, Masuoka soon learns that his new companion drinks only blood, which he compliantly feeds her--in increasingly disturbing ways. Shot on a tight schedule over an eight-day break between JU-ON and its American remake, THE GRUDGE, MAREBITO makes effective use of its claustrophobic, underworld locales and grainy, hand-held cinematography for a ghoulishly queasy and self-reflexive treatise on the nexus between art and reality, and media and violence.
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