“She always gets a part.” ~Audition (1999)
This is the 18th of 31 posts in a row on horror movies. Yup, it’s October, baby.
IMDB Summary: A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 79%
Why I love it: A hot murderer chick in a butcher’s apron? What’s not to like?
I’ve only seen a few Japanese horror movies. This was the first. Most of the action comes toward the end, which makes for a long, tense build up. And because it’s Japanese, it’s kind of unpredicatable because you’re unfamiliar with the way they make movies and what devices they’ll use to scare you. A movie like Saw is just pure shock and gore. “So American,” as my Australian husband would say. I don’t know what the hell this is. It’s minimalist approach is especially unsettling. It’s like a leisurely, two hour lunch with a friend who you know is a murderer who murders you at the end.
Shigeharu Aoyama, a sad widower whose wife died seven years earlier, gets talked into holding a fake audition for a new wife by his film producer friend. They put out a call for actresses on a radio program called “Tomorrow’s Heroine:”
I’m just wondering where you are now. Sometimes unbelievable things do happen. All you need to do is gather your courage. Every star has her defining moment, even Hepburn and Julia Roberts. They lived normal lives before they became stars. Tomorrow’s heroines are living just like you. Tomorrow’s heroine could be you.
So who’s the girl in the plaid skirt listening to this?
Shigeharu flips through a bunch of headshots and comes across Asami Yamasaki. The tender music starts. She’s probably the most beautiful woman you’ll ever see. She studied piano and classical ballet for 12 years, until she damaged her hip and she had to let go of her dream of studying ballet in London. She says it was like a death, which gets him right in the heart.
They see the girls for the fake audition, who are all dumb twats compared to Asami. She’s dressed in all white. If you were paying attention in Fatal Attraction, you may recall Glenn Close wore all white. Very institutional. He instantly falls for her, even though none of her story checks out and no one knows her. She makes up some sob story about the scars on her legs which end up being from an old wheelchair-bound guy who lives in the abandoned ballet studio. There’s a suspicious trail of missing people in her life and everything is obviously a lie. People get tortured and forced to eat her throw up and beheaded by wire that easily cuts through flesh and bone. By the time she gets around to Shigeharu, she’s got the wire and a butcher’s apron on and gloves like a proper sawer-off of limbs. She looks prettier than ever. The son comes home and kicks her down the stairs, ending her tirade. Poor girl. She just wanted to be understood.
There’s plenty of sinister cackling and glee accompanying the gory parts. And it’s kind of disgusting in parts. I’m pretty sure they had fun making this, which is how you should feel watching it. I’m just wondering about how the hell that girl gets her body in that contorted position when she sits.
Next: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane