Marebito (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Marebito (2005)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The scares are lacking in this J-horror flick, and the plot soon turns half-baked.

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Movie Info

Terror takes on both human and mechanical form in this independent horror film from Japanese director Takashi Shimizu. Masuoka (Shinya Tsukamoto) is a freelance photographer who has become malignly obsessed with fear. Masuoka believes there is a physical component to terror, and he is determined to find it. While his rattrap apartment has become a shrine to documents of fear, he's particularly fascinated with a videotape of Furoki (Kazuhiro Nakahara), a disturbed man committing suicide in a Tokyo subway tunnel by stabbing himself in the face. Masuoka think if he can recreate Furoki's experience, he might be able to find out what he saw at the edge of panic, and after throwing away his antidepressants he makes his way down to the place where the suicide was recorded. Masuoka finds a mysterious passageway in the tunnel, and discovers Furoki is alive and unwell underground. Masuoka also learns of a strange breed of robots who terrify people both beneath the Earth and on the surface; he also finds a strange feral woman and attempts to rescue her, but someone else has already claimed her, and wants her back immediately. Marebito (aka The Stranger From Afar) stars Shinya Tsukamoto, himself a noted Japanese horror filmmaker, best known for his experimental feature Tetsuo (aka Ironman). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Rating:
R (for strong bloody violence and some nudity)
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Kazuhiro Nakahara
as Arei Furoki
Miho Ninagawa
as Aya Fukumoto
Shun Sugata
as Mysterious Man

Critic Reviews for Marebito

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (11)

The gloppy sound effects are so over-the-top, they invite laughter, and the bloodsucking scenes are allowed to become absurdly repetitious.

February 3, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

It's actually a pretty lousy thriller.

Full Review… | February 3, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Marebito is a disturbing supernatural drama that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

December 30, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Marebito is no conventional vampire movie but a speculation into the notion that ancient people could sense alien beings in their midst.

Full Review… | December 9, 2005
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

And if the trip doesn't have the clear-cut directions of a Hollywood film, it has all the ideas -- and cold, unsettling flights of fantasy -- of a nightmare, where faceless people look and look and look, but never see.

December 9, 2005
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

For Japanese horror aficionados only, and even they are likely to be underwhelmed by this stew of half-baked ideas and creepy sensations.

December 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Marebito

½

A slow but eerie and interesting bit of urban horror as a man enters a subterrainian hell via the metro system and finds a naked, animal-like woman who he brings to the surface in an attempt to tame her. There's more going on than meets the eye and it's down to the viewers patience to stay with it and get what you will from the plot, which isn't explained in great detail in some cases. I thought it was watchable and intriguing enough to see it through. It lacks the usual thrills that I look for in horror films, despite the occassional bloody moment. It's a decent effort overall, especially as it was made in just 8 days. But not my favourite from Shimizu, miles better than Shock Labyrinth though!

Lee ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

½

Cryptic, self-important pabulum, Marebito is just a cheap side project between the Grudge movies, as admitted by Takashi Shimizu himself. There's nothing like hiding a low budget and a total lack of ideas behind smoke, mirrors and psychobabble; J-horror in general does this, but it seems particularly fatuous here, as the film flirts with some concepts that would make it seem deep but really are complete dead ends. It name-drops Madame Blavatsky, Kaspar Hauser AND M.C. Escher in a span of about five minutes, but the climactic action is a schoolgirl getting stabbed on video camera, so there's a clear conflict of interest here. It's as if the movie thinks it's hot shit for flashing its intellectual feathers and then turning around and SHOCKING YOU with left-field violence, but seriously, zzzzz. This isn't to discredit Marebito completely, though. Maybe it's my long-standing bias for the genre, but it does achieve a basic sense of intrigue. There are some pretty sharp visual representations of voyeurism and the unknown, and the horror imagery sometimes works (but sometimes doesn't, such as the ridiculous-looking man in sunglasses). The performances are a mixed bag. Shinya Tsukamoto is bad as the insulated, unhinged loner, unable to rein in his inherent ridiculousness. Tomomi Miyashita fares better as F, although the part's degrading and not particularly wide expressively. They don't really seem to have much chemistry, which really causes the ending to fall flat, much like Marebito's other attempts to shock. It's a little bit more brutal than most of its compatriots, but also a lot dumber and a lot cheaper, and its attempts to depict madness really just make it risible. I can't recommend this to much of anyone, unless you're a total J-horror completist.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

½

There is something that?s always a litte different about Asian Horror, thou this one isn't one to send a chill up or down your spine, it does have its moments, like near the end of the film when our free lance camera man puts a box cutter in his mouth and slashes away. Story is about this cameraman and his dwell into the netherworld or sub world in which he finds a girl chained up in a cave, he rescues her to try and save her, only to find out she lives off Human Blood, ahh so now we have a serious problem. Worth 3 1/2 stars

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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