Drop Down Menu

Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Review Suicide Forest Village a.k.a. Jukai Mura (2021) and Ox-Head Village a.k.a. Ushikubi Village (2022)

genre: horror, thriller, mystery

Howling Village a.k.a. Inunaki mura was good, but already very flawed. You would expect that the sequels in this Village trilogy would build on what is established and improve wherever possible. However, it looks like that writer / director Takashi Shimizu went into the opposite direction and banked on the elements that were flawed.

On some level, I do understand his decision. I think he is trying to make the mystery elements a tad more grounded and realistic while at the same time still throw some supernatural elements at you. I am not entirely sure whether he is trying to scare the viewer. Because apart from a few moments, I didn't really feel a sense of dread and terror. Not even creepiness. Actually, let me put it bluntly. I was bored. The film kept hinting at a climax that never delivered. How is this possible? Just the existence of a forest where people go to commit suicide is an immensely compelling and unnerving idea. Surely with some scares and creepy folklore you could manage to terrify people. But the imagery that is presented doesn't scare nor creep you out.

In this world of remakes and reboots, they should redo this one with the same director. After they have reminded him of his early successes and some severe slapping of sense into him.

Unfortunately, Ox-Head Village is even worse. This third part in the trilogy feels even more like a direct to video affair than the two previous ones. 

To the credit of writer / director Takashi Shimizu, he has excelled by converting low budgets into top-notch creativity. However, in this production, he clearly dropped the ball. Honestly, I do understand that it might be incredible hard to come with something fresh and creative cinematically speaking. Especially horror. One of my biggest criticisms of films is the fact that they don't feel fresh and imaginative enough. But if a film is good at terrifying you with old tropes, I will be the first to commend a film for doing that. I personally can't get enough of long haired Asian women who walk creepy. They always get to me somehow. So I will never ever get tired of those. Bring them back, please! To be fair, there are some present here, but not to the extent I liked.

I do sense a theme that Takshi Shimizu is trying to convey to us. Like in the previous films, the main characters, have been lied to about their past. For their protection. However, by doing so, they actually have endangered them more. Since instead of having them deal with the real threats, they are preoccupied with the appearances and signs of supernatural elements that try to warn them about the true dangers that are ahead. 

As compelling this sounds, the fear and the dread simply is not there. Then why should I even bother? At least in Howling Village, there was a big payoff, entertainment wise. Both Suicide Forest Village and Ox-Head Village aren't worth your time. Stick with Howling Village and then forget it's part of a trilogy.

No comments:




Join us for free and get valuable content delivered right through your inbox.


Reviews Netflix Originals


Popular Posts