KAIRO is a truly dark, brooding and atmospheric masterpiece.
Blending hair-standing chills and a deeply profound and depressing story.
A Japanese cult classic.
Michi and Ryosuke find their colleagues and friends being attracted by a strange website. The monitor shows a dark room, although the image is not clear.
Then a message appears: “Do you want to meet a ghost?”
All the people in the town seem to be addicted to the website.
They behave abnormally and eventually commit suicide, leaving behind a strange black cloud-like shadow where their body had laid.
Michi and Ryosuke try to escape from town…
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, KAIRO is a baffling and downright whimper-inducing scare fest, that stands proud and tall as one of the greatest Japanese Horror films ever.
Honestly, KAIRO rivals (may also be equalled to) the chills and scares of A TALE OF TWO SISTERS and that’s saying a lot!
Looking at the DVD case, KAIRO looks a low budget cheesy horror movie but thank god for the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” because KAIRO is awesome!
It has such a subtlety about it that draws you in and doesn’t let you go.
KAIRO takes your average ghost story to an apocalyptic level which goes far and beyond the constant flood of “paint by numbers” ghost stories that follow the same old RING formula.
The ghosts in KAIRO are particularly scary. It takes a big step back to what the older clichéd ghosts were like and then modernises them into what we are more used to while still retaining originality. The ghosts may not wear white sheets or clank chains, but they moan and groan and go “oooOOO” (I know on paper it sounds lame, but it is actually very chilling), and if there’s one thing the ghosts in KAIRO have taught me, it’s never EVER EVER go into a room sealed of with red masking tape.
Below the surface of being “just a scary movie”, KAIRO is deeply effecting and forces the viewers into considering its deeper philosophies whether they like it or not.
The film creates a dark world of isolation and loneliness. A completely cold and dirty world where everybody is alone and no matter how close they are with others will never be able to connect with them. The philosophies of KAIRO are very depressing, that everybody lives alone and dies alone. No bright futures. No happy endings, just a cold life of isolation.
Visually, KAIRO is a treat.
It’s dark and gritty picture enhance the viewing pleasure by sucking the audience into its dark world.
The visuals lack a lot of polish which is a good thing, the lower picture quality aids the story and themes and has a stronger impact than it would have if it looked like an over polished Hollywood movie.
The Aural experience is also one of this film’s strong points.
Watching this movie with surround sound is the only way to go! The chilling violins and eerie moans come at you from all directions leaving you vulnerable for one hell of a fright.
Writing this review has been one of the hardest movies I’ve had to review.
It’s just so hard to put down in words how excellent this is, but now I think I can sum it up:
“KAIRO is near perfection”.
It is so dark and brooding and accomplishes everything it sets out to do, the pace may be a little slow but in the end it’s just such an affecting film that you’ll be glad you’ve spent your 2 hours wisely (unless you’re impatient or not into movies of this nature of course ^^).
Other recomended products in this genre: ONE MISSED CALL, THE EYE, TOMIE FORBIDDEN FRUIT, DARK WATER
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