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|Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman|
Japanese release poster
|Directed by||Kōji Shiraishi|
|Produced by||Saori Yabe
|Written by||Kôji Shiraishi
|Music by||Gen Wano
|Edited by||Shûichi Kakesu|
Twin Co. Ltd.
Earl Grey Film
|Distributed by||Tornado Film
Ace Deuce Entertainment
Tartan Video USA
|Box office||$45,999,000|
Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (口裂け女, Kuchisake-onna) is a 2007 Japanese horror film written and directed by Kōji Shiraishi, and co-written by Naoyuki Yokota. The film is based on the Japanese urban legend of Kuchisake-onna or Slit-Mouthed Woman.
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 is 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 Sasaki is reluctant to go home, admitting to a teacher, Kyôko Yamashita (Eriko Sato), that her mother hits her. Kyôko (she has a troubled relationship with her own daughter, who lives with her ex-husband) becomes agitated when Mika says she hates 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 ask "Am I pretty?" As the Kuchisake-onna leaves with Mika, Mika knocks her mask off, revealing the woman's disfigured face.
At school, Noboru shows Kyôko a photograph of a woman who looks like the Kuchisake-onna. Noboru hears the voice again; 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 women, 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 physically abuse him and his siblings. One day, Taeko "disappeared" after killing Noboru's siblings, and after that, rumors and sightings of the Kuchisake-onna began. Noboru again hears the voice of the Kuchisake-onna, who has possessed the mother of Mika's friend, Natsuki Tamura. 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 house 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 and haunt others. 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 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 fends off the Kuchisake-onna but is fatally wounded. Before dying, he beheads her, convinced that doing so will finally vanquish her. The decapitation fails to stop the Kuchisake-onna, and some time later, the spirit takes over Kyôko while she is visiting her daughter.
- 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
The film was released on DVD by Tartan Video on Aug 14, 2007. Tartan later re-released the film as a part of a 3-disk combo pack with Sheitan, and Slaughter Night on Oct 13, 2009. It was last released on DVD by E1 Entertainment on Oct 11, 2011.
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Critical reception for Carved has been mixed to positive. Arrow in the Head awarded the film a score of 3/4, and calling it, "risky, brutal and unsettling" and "a good film that is intense and scary".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". Adam Hakari from ReelTalkReviews.com gave the film 2 1/2 out of a possible 4 stars, stating,"For the most part, Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman does a passable job of touching upon some heavy issues while not forgetting to sate the appetite of gorehound fans. Still, the film so often comes close to greatness that viewers may find themselves disappointed when their expectations are -- pardon the pun -- cut short."
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.
- "Carved (2007) - Shiraishi Koji". AllMovie.com. Allmovie. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- Manseau, Andre. "Carved". Arrow in the Head. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- Edwards, Russell (12 March 2007). "Review: The Slit-Mouthed Woman". Variety. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- Hakari, Adam. "Say'AHHH!' - ReelTalk Movie Reviews". Reel Talk Reviews.com. Adam Hakari. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- "The Scissors Massacre (Kuchisake-onna 2) (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 20 March 2017.