Friday, November 7, 2008

Audition (2000)

This movie was seriously twisted. I watched it at home by myself -- in a way, I was scared to be alone viewing this, but on the other hand, I was glad I was alone so that no one thinks I am as batshit crazy as this movie.
Takashi Miike has a great gift of wrapping you in a crazy and demented story (even in Japanese) and although you are disgusted and appalled, it's in your mind for days. And you have a crazy desire to watch it again (as I did with Imprint)

Audition became infamous after it premiered at a few film festivals and created a ton of contraversy. It had a huge walk-out rate, some people became ill and/or fainted, and one person was even taken to the hospital. It prompted one woman to scream "you're evil!" at Director Miike. So, of course, all of this controversy only piqued my interest in the film.
The film begins with a man, Aoyama, losing his wife to illness. Fast forward to seven years later, and his teenage son remarks that he should find a new wife. He speaks to a friend about this prospect, and the friend suggests that they hold an "audition", with a potential film as a cover. Aoyama agrees and his friend sends him dozens of resumes and photos, from which he must choose 30 for the audition. He's immediately taken by one woman, Asami, and looks forward to seeing her at the audition.
After the audition takes place, he realizes that Asami is the only woman he is interested in. He sees her several times, even though his friend warns against it. Apparently he checked her references and they all lead to dead ends. And the bar she claims to work at doesn't appear to exist. Aoyama remains unfazed by these revelations and continues to see Asami. He even takes her away on a weekend trip, where he plans to propose.
However, she checks out suddenly from the hotel, and afterwards, Aoyama is unable to contact her. He begins hunting her down and what he uncovers is a grisly and shocking past. Asami has withstood a lifetime of abuse, and has now turned the abuse on others. After the majority of the movie being sort of a slow suspense build (mostly because you're expecting something), the story takes a sudden sick and twisted turn. I'll leave the details to your own viewing, but it is definitely some messed up shit. Asami has turned her past suffering into a life of inflicting pain and torture on others, and the results are horrific.
This film was very shocking and disturbing, and stays with you long after you're done watching. I've seen others compare this to Hostel, but I don't agree. The violence on screen was actually short, but potent and it was really the buildup, story and cinemotography that made it such a shocker.
Grade: A (Last House on the Left - shocking and disturbing, but you just can't look away. A real study in the horror genre)


Emshaw said...

I finally watched this movie after reading your review forever ago. I thought it was fantastic. I loved the storyline and big build-up to the final climax. I was literally yelling at my TV and covering my eyes at the same time.