Kansen * Masayuki Ochiai * 2004


Japanese horror is getting more and more popular. Each and every film is compared to the first and most famous films in the genre that came to the west, “The Ring” (“Ringu”) and “The Grudge” (“Ju-On”). Unfortunately, quite a few of the films are actually nothing much more than copies of these films. Dark and gloomy films without the American horror effects, but a ‘story’ about a curse or some supernatural entity. Of course the same happens with this film and especially when I saw the cover I thought of yet another Jap-film in a popular fashion. But… things are not always what they seem! Actually “Kansen” is quite a relief in the flow of Japanese horror films. Not that it is completely original or totally unlike the popular predecessors, but at least it is somewhat different.
The film begins wonderfully with some kind of “Riget”/”Kingdom” style and story. Weird things happen in a hospital. There are only a few docters, just a handfull of patients and just six rooms. The patients are strange, the docters overworked and on top of all, some strange decease comes creeping in. This results in some gory scenes that we are not used to from Japanese horror, but still “Kansen” didn’t become an American slasher-horror with fright-effects. The atmosphere is built up nicely, (still compare it to Lars von Trier’s “Riget”) and at the end comes a total outburst of crazyness. A bit too much for me, because the end is a bit too typical, but the film in total is an entertaining Japanese horror that is not entirely like other films in the genre.

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