Starring: Ryuta Sato

Directed by: Yoshihiro Nakamura

Story: Shogo is an arrogant and condescending star of a popular call-in
radio show. While his new studio is being remodeled, he must temporarily
broadcast out of Studio 6, a creepy and dilapidated booth abandoned since
its last DJ committed suicide. Suddenly, he begins receiving disturbing calls,
the voices on the line whisper "liar" over and over. Has someone discovered
the truth about his sinister past, or has the curse of Studio 6 been
unleashed again?


I love it when movies suck you into the story. Where you follow a small cast
of characters in a very simple setting, using dialog to create drama and
suspense. Not only does it help keep your focus but if done right you could
make a really good story with it. You notice how a lot of the popular horror
releases from Japan involve ghosts or curses? Most of the Asian horror
movies sold here in the US have supernatural elements whether it would be
about a ghost haunting people or a deadly family secret that ends with a
curse passed down through the generations. The movie I am proudly
reviewing falls into this category. The Booth is a realistic dramatic thriller from
Japan that relies heavily on characters and speech to tell the story. It's a
good dialog driven 74 minute film that has a familiar setting. The Booth is
also a supernatural story told in a completely different way. Instead of your
typical “spooky” movie, this one takes place in one setting and the mystery
unfolds in the flashbacks and dialog. It has a believable story which plays on
paranoia, tension and lies. Proving that our mouths are powerful weapons
and that the words we say to each other can have a dramatic effect. You can
use words to heal or hurt another human being and that's just one of the
topics exploited in this movie.

In the Booth we follow Shogo, a young radio DJ who hosts a popular call-in
radio show called Love Lines. Love Lines is a Tokyo based program dedicated
to helping listeners with their relationship problems and things of that nature.
Shogo takes phone calls and gives listeners friendly advice. While the new
studio is being remodeled, Shogo has to temporarily broadcast out of Studio
6. A creepy and dilapidated old studio that has a dark past. Unknown to
Shogo, Studio 6 was an abandoned booth ever since its last DJ committed
suicide, hanging himself by exposed cables on the ceiling. As Shogo goes on
with the show he starts to receive disturbing messages. A voice cuts into the
phone conversations and whispers the word “liar” over and over. The sound
of rusty metal hits the background as this unknown voice cuts into the radio
line. It would appear that somebody has discovered the truth about Shogo
and his past. Is it a prank caller trying to run Shogo's career or is the booth
haunted by the very same DJ who committed suicide all those years ago?
That my friends, is something you have to find out.

As I mentioned early on in my review the Booth is a dialog driven film. About
ninety five percent of it takes place in one area, which is Studio number 6.
The same exact room where the DJ hung himself many years previous. The
Booth is a supernatural story not told in the usual curse of ghost tradition.
Instead they turn it into a mystery with very little spooks and cheap scares.
The movie relies heavily on story and that's what drives it forward. Once
you're introduced to the main character you stick with him all the way
through. All the events and mystery that takes place is displayed from the
main characters perspective. Right from the beginning you figure out that
Shogo is not a likeable character. Shogo is the host of love lines and as the
movie opens we figure out that he is a liar. Giving away false information to
viewers just to make them feel better. The movie is loaded with flashbacks
which is the essential key to telling this story. Since the movie takes place in
one setting all the important juicy information is told in flashbacks which not
only gives you a better understand of the characters, but to also give away
the mystery. The flashbacks are the most important part of the film and it
was done very well, the same goes for the dialog.

This movie isn't your typical ghost story and it sure as hell doesn't play out
as one. I was amazed at how original and thoughtful the movie was. I haven't
seen a movie like this before where you have a familiar story told in an almost
completely different way. In between scenes with Shogo the radio broadcast
is interrupted to what is thought of at first as crossed connection. Where
you hear the sound of rusty metal and a woman who is uttering the words
'Liar' on the air, which is directed right at our main character. This happens
quite a few times in the movie and those only are some of the supernatural
events that take place. The rest is hidden and the main focus is on Shogo
who starts to see things he hadn't noticed before. Paranoia has a huge part
of the mystery and we experience what Shogo goes through as he is having
a rough time at work. Having to deal with his own problems and trying to put
up with annoying callers. You don't feel too much sympathy for him knowing
that he's a fake anyway. Once you get to know him more you realize that
he's just a bullshitting troubled young man.

What surprises me the most about Booth is that it's not graphic and
features very little blood. You won't find any gore in this picture. The real
horror elements are in the actual story which I can't explain because it's
something you have to see. If I were to explain it then I would be giving away
a piece of the mystery. Trust me when I say that the best way to enjoy
Booth is if you stay seated, pay attention and stay focused. Let the story
unfold and you'll be happy with the end result, that's the best advice I could
give to any of you out there interested in seeing this movie. By all means
check this movie out, I enjoyed every single second of it. I liked the story and
I loved how it played out, even though you will guess early on as to how it's
going to end. I would really love to see more movies like this, dialog driven
movies focus more on story than anything else. The Booth is a smart
mystery that will have you guessing every ten minutes. The story changes on
you a lot and that's the real treat. This is one of the best ghost stories I've
ever seen and it's a movie I really recommend watching.

Overall: 8/10
Genre: Drama, Horror,

Rated: Not Rated

Country: Japan

Year: 2005

Runtime: 74 minutes

Studio: Tartan


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Online since: February 20th, 2006
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Review done by: Nightmare Child
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