Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Film Review: THE BOOTH (2005)

Studio 6 has been empty ever since a radio DJ took his own life on the air.  Years later Shogo (Ryuta Sato) is forced to do his romantic talk show from Studio 6 when the building is under construction.  This is the premise behind the Japanese ghost story The Booth (2005).  Shogo is an arrogant and condescending man whose is used to getting his way but when he is forced to do his show from Studio 6 his dark secrets come to light when he is forced to confront his own demons instead of those of his call-in guests. 

Written and directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura this film is more concerned with atmosphere and character than your typical jump scare and at times may try the patience of most viewers as very little happens in the film until the final act.  Sato anchors the film as he is in every scene but he is supported by a capable cast including Maiko Asano, Makoto Ashikawa, Mansaku Ikeuchi, Msaki Miura, and Hijiti Kojima, to name a few.  This is a good thing as the film hinges on him since it is mostly character driven.  For those looking for the typical ghost story this isn’t it as very little in the ghostly realm is seen in this film unless it is absolutely necessary.

Unfortunately, this is not just the problem of this film but many other Asian ghost story films that have cluttered the market.  There is little here that will entertain the fan that has seen one too many of these films and there is even less for those looking for the jump scares that made Ju-On and Ringu such popular films.  This is a film that lies somewhere in the middle which means that it’s for a very small group of horror fans.

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