Directed by Takashi Shimizu
Written by Chiaki Konaka
Cinematography by Tsukasa Tanabe
Music by Toshiyuki Takine
Cast: Shinya Tsukamoto, Tomomi Miyashita, Kasuhiro Nakahara & Shun Sugata

2004/92 mins/Color/DTS
1.78:1 anamorphic/Japanese/Japan/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Tartan DVD

Takuyoshi Masuoka (Shinya Tsukamoto) is a cameraman obsessed with fear and death. He's always taking his video camera everywhere to film tragic everyday events. One day, he film the suicide of man in a subway. The poor man pluges a knife right through his eye as if he's had seen something terrifying.

After watching that suicide on tape numerous time, Masuoka wonders what exactly did the man see. There is only one way to truely find out... going back to the suicide scene. Upon arriving in the subway tunnel, he finds another tunnel which takes him far underneath Tokyo. There he discover a bizarre underground world. More surprisingly he finds a mute young woman (Tomomi Miyashita), chained to a wall. Masuoka takes her to his place and name her "F" (for fear maybe?). He finds out that she's not your average human being... she's may be not even human at all. As he soon discover the terrible secret that she holds, he falls deeper into the fear he onced wished for.

After remaking JU-ON so many times, director Takashi Shimizu finally decided to make something different. After watching this twice, I seriously don't understand all the buzz around this film. Its by no means bad, but by no strech as great as most have claimed. Actor and director Shinya Tsukamoto feels righ at home in this project since this is much more remiscent of his own work, especially SNAKE OF JUNE, then Takashi Shimizu's body of work.

Shot only in 8 days, MAREBITO is based on Richard Stark's Hollow Earth Theory. Writer Chiaki Konaka worked on many anime but none of this is felt here. In the end, we get an interesting "experimental" movie from Takashi Shimizu which is much more welcome then yet another JU-ON movie.

Tartan have unleashed MAREBITO on DVD. The film is presented in its 1.78:1 aspect ratio and it is anamorphic. The image isn't spectacular but this is still a nice transfer for this low budget flick. We get the choice of either a DTS, 5.1 Dolby Digital or 2.0 Dolby Stereo Japanese audio tracks. All of them sounds good with the DTS being the clearer and louder of the three. Optional English and Spanish subtitles are available.

We get a bunch of extras, the first one being a 23 minutes interview with director Takashi Shimizu. He talks about his love of the genre, his influences, how the movie itself came to be, Shinya Tsukamoto and Tomomi Miyashita. We also get an interview with Shinya Tsukamoto (12 mins.) and another one with producer Hiroshi Takahashi (16 mins.). Both are interesting but with the camera moving all the time, it gets a little annoying.

Finally we get the nicely put together trailer for MAREBITO and other Tartan Video releases such as SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, SPIDER FOREST, R-POINT, UNBORN BUT FORGOTTEN and A SNAKE OF JUNE. The disc features nice animated menus with audio, 20 chapters stop, a four pages booklet and comes in a keep case. This is another good release from Tartan Video.





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Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©

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