It is a 2005 film directed by Koji Shiraishi who later made a film based on the Japanese urban legend of the "Slit Mouth Woman" (Carved), and gained further notoriety by actually having his last film completely banned in the UK (Grotesque)! The BBFC stated that the film featured sexual sadism for it's own sake, and had the possibility of "harming" viewers.
"Noroi" is made in a documentary style, being completely filmed using digital camcorders. This adds a certain realism to the film and makes some of the scares even creepier.
"Noroi" is about a paranormal researcher, named Masafumi Kobayashi, who has made several books and documentaries about the stranger things that happen in Japan. We are told in a brief voice over that while making his new documentary, "The Curse", Kobayashi's home had been burned down and only the remains of his wife were found, and he had dissappeared. We are then shown his new documentary.
The first half of the film shows Kobayashi investigating seemingly unrelated incidents. A mother and daughter complain that they can hear baby's crying from somewhere. When he goes next door to interview the neighbour, she acts very hostile towards him. A strange sound is later fount to be on the tape of several baby's crying, so he goes back to speak to the residents. They say that the day after he talked to the hostile neighbour, they moved out. He goes next door to find that there are several dead pigeons lying at one of the windows. Shortly after, the mother and daughter die in a freak car accident.
After a while the incidents, while still seeming unrelated, start to form a pattern. A television clip showing a child psychic who dissappears, a tv actress having a fit in a cemetary then finding that she's drawing strange symbols and looping complex loops of string in her sleep, another psychic who wears tin foil to protect himself from "ectoplasmic worms" (and also has a link to the child psychic and the actress), and finally, the discovery of a mass suicide where the victims are all hanged from rope with the same complex loops in them! All this and a lot of other bizarre events happen.
All very confusing, but as the film progresses the events and characters begin to intertwine and Kobayashi realises that they are all part of a related chain of mysterious events.
I don't like to give stories away and spoil the films I write about, so give this film the chance it deserves as I really believe that this is one of the best J-Horrors out there (that I've seen anyway). Plus it has a really great, unforgettable scene right at the very end!
It is quite long and complex for a film of this type. It runs at around the 2 hour mark, and has various storylines running through it at the same time. There are a lot of characters in the film (who usually end up dead), but in the end there are only a handful of characters that you need to concentrate on.
I'm surprised this film hasn't reached a bigger audience. With so many inferior horrors from Japan being distributed to the UK and the US, I'm at a loss as to why this has slipped through the net.
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