This is my Halloween Challenge film #15. My selection of horror films to watch this month has been rather random, but this is a film that I knew had to be in my selection. I consider it to be the scariest film ever made. The director Hideo Nakata is best known for making "The Ring", but I consider this to be his masterpiece.
The young mother Yoshimi Matsubara is in the middle of a difficult divorce battle. Her husband wants custody of her six-year-old daughter Ikuko. Normally the mother would have the advantage in custody battles, but in this case the husband claims the wife is unsuitable due to her mental instability. Yoshimi and Ikuko move into a drab apartment block in a large city. There are problems from the start. There's a leak in the roof, and the wet patch gets bigger from day to day. There are repeated sightings of a girl in a yellow raincoat who died five years earlier. Yoshimi finds it increasingly difficult to hold herself together under the strain.
Why is the film so scary? It's a masterpiece of suspense. The constant rainy weather sets the tone for the film. However peaceful a scene is the eerie music suggests something bad will happen, but when it happens it's still unexpected. This is brilliant film making. Why can't all horror films be this good?
One of my few criticisms of the film is that the picture is too fuzzy and indistinct. Even for a DVD the picture quality is substandard. I just found out that the film has finally been remastered on Blu-ray and was released four days ago. That's tempting. This is a film worth owning in high definition.
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