Kuchisake-Onna / Carved: A Slit-Mouthed Woman (2007) - Half slasher and half drama - 7/10 (19/05/13)
This is the first relevant "Kuchisake-Onna" movie. It's a dark slasher vaguely inspired by true events that hit Japan back in the seventies. Several pupils are kidnapped on their way home. Soon rumours are spread about a possessed woman with a long trench coat that wears a mask to cover its mutilated face that kidnaps the children to cut their mouths up to the ears as that evil woman has lived the same torture in the past. The police doesn't find any relevant trace but several pupils seem to know more about that mysterious woman. A young and sometimes unstable female teacher who has been through a difficult divorce and who has a troubled relationship with her daughter joins a shy and young male teacher who seems to have telepathic powers and who hears the voice of that mysterious woman but always arrives a little bit too late at the scene of the crime. Together, they try to find the hideout of that evil woman. They soon realize that the evil woman is more some sort of a spirit that can easily possess anybody if her head isn't definitely cut off. As more and more innocent people die or get kidnapped, the young male teacher understands that he has a very special connection to the killer and that the final showdown will lead to unnameable sacrifices for both teachers.
I really found this first movie very intriguing. It convinces with a very dark atmosphere and a good balance between gripping slasher scenes and a surprisingly well done character development. The two young teachers incarnated by Eriko Sato and Haruhiko Kato play quite convincing roles and both characters have to face their own inner demons before they confront that evil woman. The movie doesn't only belong to the horror genre but has also a few dramatic and emotional moments. I really liked the unconventional attitude of this movie. One could think that a soft love story would develop between the two young teachers but this isn't the case and one doesn't get distracted from the solid main story line. The film also includes some minor twists and some tension filled and unexpected moments. I also like the polarizing ending of the movie that really send shivers down my spine. I guess that this ending wants to make sure that you won't forget this movie all too soon.
All in all, this is a very atmospheric and well played dark slasher movie that also focuses on some dramatic scenes and a very well done character development. This mixture of two distinctive genres is very well done and makes this flick more accessible to a larger crowd in my opinion. It's nothing revolutionary after all but surely a quite gripping and entertaining movie. Fans of Asian horror cinema should surely grab this solid movie and will have quite some fun.« Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) - A convincing revamp with outstanding actors - 7/10 (18/05/13)Kuchisake-Onna 2 / Carved: A Slit-Mouthed Woman 2 (2008) - Fairly better and different from the first part - 9/10 (20/05/13) »
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