Starring: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura, Renji

Directed by: Takashi Miike

Story: Seven years after the death of his wife, company executive
Aoyama is invited to sit in on Auditions for an actress. Leafing through
the resumes in advance, his eye is caught by Yamazaki Asami, a striking
young woman with ballet training. On the day of the Audition, she's the
last person they see. Aoyama is hooked. He notes her number from her
file, calls her and takes her to dinner. He hesitates to call again, worried
that he'll seem too eager. When he does, Asami knowingly lets the
phone ring for some time before answering. She's alone in her darkened
room alone, that is, apart from the writhing victim she has tied up in a
sack on the floor...


Takashi Miike is recognized as being one of the masters in the horror
genre today. With such great films like Dead or Alive, Visitor Q, Ichi The
Killer, Gozu etc. Miike's name is known all over to fans and its no surprise
that hes even working on the episode 'Imprint' for the Showtime horror
anthology series Masters of Horror. 1999 was pretty much the breakout
year for Takashi, one of the films which he released was Audition. The
romantic horror/thriller which shocked many audiences all over the world.
Thankfully Lions Gate was able to bring us another DVD edition for the
movie. The Audition Uncut Special Edition DVD which is just enough to
please any fan of Asian cinema.

Based on the novel by Ryu Murakami, Audition tells the story of a
widower who is in search for love once more. After losing his wife many
years, the mans son gives him an idea to look for a new companion. The
lonely widower then gets together with a friend and his friend suggests
that they hold a fake Audition so that he can meet new women. Once
planned the two men hold an Audition for a TV movie with lots of women
trying out for the lead role. Fascinated by one particular young woman,
he then proceeds to ask her out on date. Sadly what the man doesn't
know is that the woman is more mysterious then she looks.

Being a fan of foreign films I actually had a good time watching this
movie. Ive reads tons of positive reviews in the past and when I got to
see it for the first time I was pretty impressed. Honestly I just wanted to
see what all the fuss was about and I can really see why a lot of people
dig this movie. The film is even mentioned on Bravo's 100 Scariest movie
moments countdown. Audition is a film which you really need a lot of
patience for. Most of the film is more of a romance and the horror
doesn't really kick in until the last 15 minutes. So if you plan to see this
film I highly suggest that you don't watch it for the horror aspect of it.
Take the time to watch it and enjoy the characters and story.

It starts off somewhat tragic and runs as a romance film. If you're a
viewer who actually enjoys interesting realistic characters and plot then
you wont be bored. But honestly if you have very little patience or a
short attention span then you really wont enjoy this movie. There's tons
of dialog and a lot of slow moments in the film. Miike's intention of the
film is best explained in the bonus features. The film was made this way
on purpose and its no surprise if you get bored after awhile. It was made
to give you a sense of comfort for an hour or more and slap the horror
in your face near the end.

Most of the film is just a build up to the last few scenes and its Miike's
way of shocking an audience. I think thats one of the main reasons why
people love this movie so much. Sure its not as gory or disturbing as
Miike's later films, but Audition isn't the kind of movie to watch for the
blood and gore, just more for the psychological aspect and nightmarish
turn near the end. With this latest DVD edition there really isn't much of
a difference if you compare it to the other uncut DVD which came out
before. It features the same length running at 115 minutes, which is two
minutes more then the R rated cut of the film.

Not only does the film look better in this edition but there are also some
really neat special features. There's a new DVD introduction by Takashi
Miike himself, select scene commentary, a sit down interview with Miike, a
photo gallery, the Bravos 100 Scariest Movie Moments segment and even
an interview with the original author Ryu Murakami. If you're a fan of
Miike and his work then you wont be disappointed with this Uncut Special
Edition. Audition is a good movie which you need a lot of patience to be
able to enjoy.

Overall: 7/10
Genres: Drama, Horror,
Romance, Thriller

Rated: Unrated

Country: Japan

Year: 1999

Runtime: 115 minutes

Studio: Lions Gate


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