The Curse (2005 film)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (August 2016)|
|Directed by||Kôji Shiraishi|
|Produced by||Takashige Ichise|
|Screenplay by||Kôji Shiraishi
|Edited by||Nobuyuki Takahashi|
The Curse (ノロイ Noroi) is a 2005 Japanese found footage horror film in the form of a documentary. The movie was directed by Kôji Shiraishi, and is unusually long and complex for the J-Horror genre, being just under two hours in length, and having a main cast of well over twenty-five characters.
The film focuses on Masafumi Kobayashi, a paranormal expert who produced a series of books and documentaries on supernatural activity around Japan. He disappeared in the process of making his most disturbing documentary, The Curse. His house burnt down and his wife Keiko was found dead in the ruins. The aforementioned movie begins to play, shown mostly through the recordings of Kobayashi's cameraman Miyajima.
Kobayashi investigates a woman named Junko Ishii and her son after her neighbor hears strange noises coming from her house. Kobayashi learns Ishii has moved out and finds dead pigeons surrounding her house. Ishii's neighbor and her daughter die in a mysterious car crash a week later. Kana Yano, a girl who exhibits psychic powers on a variety television program, disappears shortly after. Speaking to her parents, Kobayashi learns a man named Mitsuo Hori visited Kana. Hori, a strange, psychic man who wears a tin foil hat and coat, claims Kana was taken by "ectoplasmic worms", drawing an obscure map of a blue building and asking Kobayashi what "Kagutaba" is. Kobayashi and Miyajima track the blue building to a nearby apartment block where they witness a man, Osawa, taking pigeons into his house. He is later reported to have gone missing.
Actress Marika Matsumoto is haunted by a malevolent spirit whilst filming at a shrine and unknowingly sleepwalks and fashions looped nooses from wires. Kobayashi records her, discovering a deep voice on the tape that says Kagutaba, which Marika identifies as a voice she heard at the shrine. Kobayashi learns that Kagutaba is a demon summoned by a religious village called Shimokage, but they imprisoned it underground for disobeying them. An annual ritual was performed to appease Kagutaba, but the village was demolished in 1978 to make way for a dam. Kobayashi is shown the recorded final ritual by a historian, where the daughter of the ritual priest is possessed by Kagutaba. Kobayashi tracks the daughter down, discovering she is Junko Ishii. Kobayashi learns Ishii worked at a nursing school where she helped with illegal abortions and stole the embryos.
Marika visits Kobayashi, revealing her neighbor hanged herself using similar nooses. Six other people died too, including Osawa. She feels extremely guilty over their deaths, and Kobayashi decides to let her stay at his house with his wife. Kobayashi learns Ishii likely influenced Osawa to worship Kagutaba. Marika exhibits demonic possession and pigeons fly into a window beside her and die; she, Kobayashi and Hori go to the Shimokage dam to perform the ritual so Marika can be free of Kagutaba. They perform the ritual, only for Hori to run off in panic, claiming to see Kana. Marika exhibits demonic possession again. Kobayashi and Hori find a secluded shrine, finding the villagers' ritual dogs slaughtered. Kobayashi sees a vision of Kana with undead fetuses crawling around her feet and on her body. Marika comes out of the possession trance, and both she and Hori are taken to a hospital.
Kobayashi and Miyajima find Ishii has hanged herself. They find Kana's body and Ishii's young son alive; Kobayashi adopts the boy, who is discovered to not be Ishii's biological son. The historian shows Kobayashi a scroll describing how Kagutaba was first summoned. Baby monkeys were fed to a medium; Ishii tried replicating this by feeding the stolen embryos to Kana. Marika recovers, whilst Hori is placed in a mental institution, only to escape and be found dead a day later.
After Kobayashi's disappearance, Miyajima receives his video camera, which shows events that led to the destruction of Kobayashi's house: a crazed Hori attacks Ishii's son, and Kobayashi sees through the camera that the bloodied boy has taken on the appearance of Kagutaba while Kana's ghost stands in a corner. It is implied Ishii also used her son as a medium. Keiko suddenly becomes possessed and sets herself alight, while Hori leaves with the boy. The film ends noting Kobayashi and the boy are still missing.
- Jin Muraki as Masafumi Kobayashi
- Marika Matsumoto as herself
- Rio Kanno as Kana Yano
- Tomono Kuga as Junko Ishii
- Maria Takagi as herself
- Ai Iijima as a TV program guest
- Satoru Jitsunashi as Mitsuo Hori
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The movie received generally high reviews, though some critics were displeased by its unusually long and complicated plotline.[who?] However, this departure from the typical J-Horror template found favor with most critics, particularly those who specialize in the horror genre.[who?]
- Occult (2009), another found footage mockumentary by the same director
- Shirome (2010), another found footage mockumentary by the same director
- Chō Akunin (2011), another found footage mockumentary by the same director
- Bachiatari bouryuku ningen (2011), another found footage mockumentary from the same director.