Carved (film)

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Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman 2005
Carved-poster.jpg
Film poster
Kuchisake-onna
Directed by Kōji Shiraishi
Produced by Saori Yabe
Shuntarô Kanai
Hirokazu Kokago
Takafumi Ôhashi
Kayako Hanamura
Nobumasa Miyazawa
Yoshimitsu Yoshitsuru
Written by Kôji Shiraishi
Naoyuki Yokota
Starring Eriko Sato
Miki Mizuno
Haruhiko Kato
Kaori Sakagami
Music by Gen Wano
Chika Fujino
Cinematography Shozo Morishita
Edited by Shûichi Kakesu
Production
  company
Twin Co. Ltd.
Tornado Film
Memory Tech
Earl Grey Film
Distributed by Tornado Film
Release date(s)
Running time 90 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Carved (口裂け女, Kuchisake-onna, Slit-Mouthed Woman) is a 2007 horror film written and directed by Kōji Shiraishi, and co-written by Naoyuki Yokota.

Plot[edit]

As stories about the Kuchisake-onna ("The Slit-Mouthed Woman") spread through a Japanese town, an earthquake causes a corpse matching the entity's description (a woman with long hair, a trench coat, scissors, and a white mask) to break out of a closet in an abandoned house. As that occurs, Noboru Matsuzaki (Haruhiko Kato), a teacher, hears a voice ask "Am I pretty?" At a playground, a boy who had gone looking for the Kuchisake-onna with his friends who are grabbed by the creature, which vanishes with him.

The boy's disappearance prompts the school where Noboru works to send the students home in groups, escorted by members of the staff. Mika is reluctant to go home, admitting to a teacher, Kyôko Yamashita (Eriko Sato), that her mother hits her. Kyôko (who has a troubled relationship with her own daughter, who lives with her ex-husband) is agitated when Mika Sasaki (Rie Kuwana) claims to hate her mother, causing Mika to run away, right into the arms of the Kuchisake-onna, whose appearance was again foreshadowed by Noboru hearing a voice query "Am I pretty?" As Kyôko (who is paralyzed with fear) watches, the Kuchisake-onna leaves with Mika, who knocks her mask off, revealing the dead woman's disfigured face.

At the school, Noboru approaches Kyôko, and shows her a photograph of a woman who looks like the Kuchisake-onna. Noboru hears the voice again, and as he heads toward it with Kyôko, he tells her that the picture is thirty years old. Noboru traces the voice to a house, and he and Kyôko save the boy inside from the Kuchisake-onna, who Kyôko kills with a knife. The Kuchisake-onna's body turns into that of a neighboring housewife, revealing the Kuchisake-onna acts by possessing other woman, whose infection is signified by them developing a cough.

Noboru tells Kyôko that the woman in the photo is Taeko Matsuzaki (Miki Mizuno), his dead mother, a sickly and unhinged woman who would constantly physically abuse him and his siblings. One day, Taeko "disappeared" after killing Noboru's siblings, and after that the rumors and sightings of the Kuchisake-onna began. Noboru hears the voice of the Kuchisake-onna, who has possessed the mother of Mika's friend, Natsuki Tamura (Sakina Kuwae). Natsuki is taken to the Kuchisake-onna's lair, where the Kuchisake-onna cuts her mouth, and murders the boy she had abducted from the playground. Mika cuts the ropes binding Natsuki, who escapes, but is too traumatized and injured to help with the search for Mika.

Kyôko looks through information on the Kuchisake-onna that the boy she saved had given her, and finds a note stating that the Kuchisake-onna's hideout is a deserted house with a red roof, a description which matches Noboru's childhood home. As he searches the building with Kyôko, Noboru remembers that his mother tried to have him mercy kill her, telling him that unless he decapitated her, she would come back. Instead, Noboru slit his mother's mouth and stabbed her, then dressed her body up in coat and mask, and hid it in the closet.

Kyôko and Noboru find Mika in the basement, and are attacked by the Kuchisake-onna. The Kuchisake-onna wounds Kyôko, then captures Noboru and Mika, takes them down to the basement, and brutalizes them. Finding a knife, Kyôko stabs the Kuchisake-onna in the neck with it, killing her, and leaving behind the body of Natsuki's mother. Mika's mother, who had gone off to look for her daughter on her own, arrives at the house, and becomes the new host of the Kuchisake-onna. To give Kyôko and Mika the chance to escape, Noboru sacrifices himself, fending off the Kuchisake-onna, and beheading her, convinced that doing so will finally vanquish her. The decapitation fails to stop the Kuchisake-onna, and an unknown amount of time later, the spirit takes over Kyôko while she is visiting her daughter.

Cast[edit]

  • Eriko Sato as Kyôko Yamashita
  • Haruhiko Kato as Noboru Matsuzaki
  • Chiharu Kawai as Mayumi Sasaki
  • Rie Kuwana as Mika Sasaki
  • Kazuyuki Matsuzawa as Hideo Tamura
  • Kaori Sakagami as Saori Tamura
  • Sakina Kuwae as Natsuki Tamura
  • Yûto Kawase as Masatoshi Kita
  • Ryoko Takizawa as Kazuko Yoshida
  • Saaya Irie as Shiho Nakajima
  • Mei Tanaka as Yukiko Yoshida
  • Aoi Shimoyama as Shingo Kuwabata
  • Yūrei Yanagi as Detective Kubo
  • Kôichirô Nishi as Kyôko's Ex-Husband
  • Hiroto Itô as Young Noboru Matsuzaki
  • Ayu Kanesaki as Ai Ôno
  • Miki Mizuno as Taeko Matsuzaki/Kuchisake-onna

Follow-ups[edit]

The Scissors Massacre was released as a prequel to Carved. It's also known as Carved 2, A Slit-Mouthed Woman 2, and Kuchisake-onna 2.

Reception[edit]

A three and a half out of five was awarded by Bloodtype Online, which called Carved "an excellent atmospheric movie" that was "shocking and very effective". [1] Arrow in the Head also responded well to Carved, giving it a three out of four, and stating that it was "risky, brutal and unsettling" and "a good film that is intense and scary". [2]

Variety had a mixed response, describing the film as a "low-budget chiller that is unlikely to join the international remake stampede" albeit one that "has an unsettling quality that transcends its cheap origins". [3] Slasherpool gave Carved a two out of five, writing that it was poorly acted, cheap looking, and was "yet another dull ghost story with a basic plot, little gore and surprisingly enough - not a single scare". [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shatzer, John. "Carved: The Slit Mouthed Woman (2005)". Bloodtype Online. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Manseau, Andre. "Carved". Arrow in the Head. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Edwards, Russell (12 March 2007). "Review: The Slit-Mouthed Woman". Variety. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Carved". Slasherpool. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 

External links[edit]