Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Rating: 8 Acupuncture Needles
A lonely widower using actress auditions as a cover for new-wife auditions, gets way more than he bargained for when he chooses a former ballerina with a lot of dark secrets.
This is one of those truly creepy movies because of the pace, and let’s face it, the plausibility. Yamakazi Asami is quite beautiful, and the scenes of what happened to her as a budding ballerina child are just terrible. Aoyama, the wife-hunter, does his best to woo the girl with all the awkward charm of a mature man who’s just very lonely, he even has a grown son who’s urging him to begin dating again. Of course, if the son knew what was going to happen, he might have encouraged Dad to remain a widower forever. We learn, in bits and pieces, while Asami is sitting there all demure and pleasant in a white shift, that the shadows and darkness in her past is claiming the future like a hungry ghost.
Ryo Ishibashi stars as Aoyama, he of such famed series as the Americanized Grudge and also of such movies as War with Jet Li. Eihi Shiina as Asami gives a performance that can literally take your breath away, and she doesn’t need the scary ghost makeup to do it either. Then again, those needles and piano wire combination would make a lot of people run screaming for the hills.
An astonishing exploration of the sick world of the mind and just how short the jaunt to the reality of revenge is, this movie is another Takashi Miike masterpiece. At times ponderous, always excitable and dramatic, Audition sees the dark heart of love turned to obsession, turned into torture that makes even Rob Zombie wince! I don’t want to give it away, but believe me if you’ve stuck around and paid attention, the ending makes it all worthwhile. That is one sick woman. Audition gets 8 acupuncture needles, for an Asian horror flick that gets a play on my DVD box every Halloween!