The Drudgeon reviews Rasen – Spiral

Rasen - Spiralaka Rasen
97 min., 1998
Written by Jôji Iida
Directed by Jôji Iida
Language: Japanese
My rating: ★★★★

An interesting sequel that turns the supernatural into science.

* * *

The movie starts with Mitsuo Andō (Kôichi Satô) remembering the past and preparing to kill himself.  It seems that his son drowned and he wasn’t able to save him.  He then gets a call that he is to perform an autopsy on Ryūji Takayama (Hiroyuki Sanada), if you forgot he was the father from Ringu, also it turns out he used to be classmates with Mitsuo.  During the autopsy everything seems fine and normal until they find a piece of paper in his stomach that has a series of numbers.  A little later it is revealed that Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima) and Yōichi Asakawa are both killed in a car accident.  Causing Reiko’s diary about the events to get into Mitsuo’s hands.  As the movie progresses he meets Mai Takano (Miki Nakatani) who was the girlfriend of Ryūji and they start to bond.  He ends up watching the video and starts down this path to end the curse once and for all, with him being the last victim.

The acting is all over the map in this one.  Kôichi Satô comes off most of the time as stiff as they come and seems to have a hard time expressing emotions.  This really brings down the movie because he is the lead and you get kinda bored with his acting style and wish they had picked someone else to play his role.  On the other hand we have Miki Nakatani who goes from quiet and torn (over the loss of her boyfriend) to seductive and manipulative after–SPOILER–Sadako is reborn and takes on her likeness.  She is really top notch.  Then we have Hiroyuki Sanada who does an okay job with his role, being the accomplice of Sadako but appearing to help Mitsuo at the same time is done pretty well, but nothing to praise him about either. SPOILER over.

The effects are also a mishmash from great to terrible.  You have great make up usage that is very subtle, especially on the victims that have the tumor in their necks.  Then we have some scenes that are just bad, especially (as short as it may be) when Mitsuo falls down the well towards the end.  So the effects tend to fall towards the bad side and it does hurt the movie.  Then again there aren’t a ton of effects to hurt it too much.

For a sequel that seems to have been forgotten, it’s actually not bad at all.  It takes the story in a very interesting direction, using science (well kinda) instead of supernatural means to have the “virus” spread, but it makes sense as much as it sounds crazy.  The more I think about it, this girl, Sadako, is very angry and wants the world to feel her pain and anger, but with just one tape circulating it won’t hit that many people.  It was a lot of luck and a little bit of brain power that helped Reiko realize how to save her son (which by the way she doesn’t), and I don’t think most would be able to come up with that conclusion like she did, remember she also had a psychic on her side, unlike most people in the world.  So the spread would end very quickly or just affect very few people.  But by making it an actual “virus” that infects people and turns them into Sadako (being infected with her DNA and being on her side) the world could actually feel her suffering instead of just a few people.  Then toss in the novelazation of the story, which also spreads the virus and even more are going to be infected, that’s how you get people to really feel the anger.  I think the problem that most people had with this one is that Ringu is very much a supernatural movie and this one tosses in a lot of science which causes a lot of people to clash heads with it.  They were probably expecting more supernatural elements and weren’t happy with what they got.  I felt the same way initially, but as I watched it, I realized that it was just logical (those crazy Japanese and their logic) where it was heading and decided to not hate it based on the direction it was going.  The more I go over it in my head; I come to the realization that I really did enjoy this movie!  It has an ending that really wasn’t expected and I’m always bitching about how predictable or cookie cutter endings are, and this one isn’t even close to that.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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One Response to The Drudgeon reviews Rasen – Spiral

  1. Kwik says:

    This reminds me very much of the korean version of “One missed call” …. which I actually enjoyed a lot lol

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