Friday, October 07, 2005


A couple of days ago I watched One Missed Call, Takashi Miike's foray into J-horror, on DVD. Like the movie that touched off the J-horror boom, the original Japanese Ring (or Ringu as it's known here), One Missed Call features a curse scheduled to take effect at a specific time, setting up a race against the clock. In One Missed Call, it's a cell phone message (hence the title) that announces the victim's death in two days.

One Missed Call isn't Miike's first mainstream project directed at a teen audience (all the prospective victims are college students); earlier there were Andromedia, Tennen Shoujo Mann, and Tennen Shoujo Mann Next, all of which starred teen "idols." But none of those attracted the international notice that One Missed Call has. (There are even plans for a Hollywood remake.) I found the film to be a fairly standard horror film, with little to mark it as a Miike film aside from the ending. And the ending just didn't work for me: Miike's intentions, as stated in the interview included on the disc of extras, were simply not present enough in what's actually on the screen, so the ending comes out simply cryptic. But it was a well-crafted and effective horror film (though I'm not a horror aficianado, so I may not be the best judge).

The film comes in a two-disc set, with plenty of extras. Among these, the highlight is the interview with Miike I mentioned above. In addition to explaining the ending, Miike discusses his general philosphy of movie-making, and hints at creative differences between himself and the production team, though these aren't spelled out. There's also a "alternate ending," which doesn't really shed much light on the actual film, but still shouldn't be missed.

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