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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent nerve-shredder
If you read all the blurb written about this film, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a Japanese ultra-violent "Fatal Attraction" clone. After all the plot is deceptively simple - middle-aged widower looks for new love, holds fake audition, meets girl, girl becomes mysterious, girl gets nasty...
However, "Audition" is a dark masterpiece, drifting effortlessly from...
Published on 9 Sep 2002 by P. Sanders

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing or something?
I was surprised to read a review of this film that looked upon its structure as `a lot of 'nothing finished of by a disgusting, disjointed ending'. Having seen the film I understand how you could draw such a conclusion but I feel the point of the film has been missed if you simplify such a daring structure into those basic terms. I thought the films strongest point was...
Published on 21 Jun 2007 by J. M. Ashe


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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent nerve-shredder, 9 Sep 2002
By 
P. Sanders "prhsuk" (Belfast) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
If you read all the blurb written about this film, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a Japanese ultra-violent "Fatal Attraction" clone. After all the plot is deceptively simple - middle-aged widower looks for new love, holds fake audition, meets girl, girl becomes mysterious, girl gets nasty...
However, "Audition" is a dark masterpiece, drifting effortlessly from romantic melodrama into dizzying dreamscapes and finally skin-crawling horror. What's more, the viewer is left with nothing but sympathy for both the menacing Asami and her hapless suitor.
Okay, the violence. Well, while the last hour or so does become gruelling, a lot of it is actually suggested rather than shown explicitly. What's more there are no sudden shocks and brutal slayings, as in most American horror films. Instead, the viewer is forced to watch, as helpless as Asami's victim, as she explains the result of a childhood of abuse. "Words can create lies," she says. "Only pain can be trusted".
The same is true of the film's depiction of sex. Asami undresses, but refreshingly we see little nudity - maintaining the feeling of shy innocence that surrounds her. Nothing in this astonishing movie has been designed to tittilate. The performances are all top-notch, especially the two leads. The film's protagonist is seen looking for an "obedient" wife, but ultimately he is a lonely man looking for affection, not a sexist brute. And as for Asami herself... well, when her murderous nature is revealed she thankfully does not turn into a hammy, eye-rolling maniac. Rather, she is controlled, almost as demure as before, carefully explaining her plans in her childlike, sing-song voice. As she murmurs "Kiri kiri kiri" (Japanese for "Deeper, deeper..."), it's enough to freeze the blood.
Ultimately, there is no denying that "Audition" is a harrowing descent into real darkness, but if you think you can make the journey it is a stunning and highly rewarding film. Rather than revulsion I was left feeling pity for the main characters. And having seen it several times I find parts of the dream sequences far more disturbing than the much-discussed climax (especially the scene with the sack... you'll see).
Good luck.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting, Excellent and Upsetting, 17 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Audition is typical of modern Japanese horror - the film starts off deceptively slowly, the viewer being given a long time to get used to and empathise with the main characters, then everything changes and a fast descent into hell begins.
For Audition, the theme is summarised in an early scene - the female protagonist declaring that 'life is but another way of reaching death'. The final scenes of the film are truly distressing and difficult to watch - torture sequences that are downright horrific.
An excellent study into human nature and its often darker extremes, Audition is aimed at mature audiences, a million miles from the 'popcorn slasher' flicks of teen US horror films such as Scream. Watch it, immerse yourself and be afraid!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lasting Impression, 5 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The thing that struck me most about Audition was the way I felt after the film had finished. Maybe it was just because I watched it alone, in the dark, isolated from everything else through a big ass pair of headphones....but when I turned it off, I felt like I'd woken up from a nightmare. Thats the kind of impression it leaves on you...
The film actually starts off reasonably slowly, but not in a boring way...more intriguing. The acting is very realistic and the relationship between The father, his son, and Asami, when she comes into the picture, is very convincing. As Aoyama and Asami spend more time together, its easy for the viewer to see that Aoyama's vison is blurred and he can't see what he's getting himself into, its no surprise when Asami disappears.
The remaining part of the film leaves you wanting it to end, but your wanting to see the conclusion which puts you in a situation where you can't get out of watching the horror.
Granted...there is no REAL conclusion to the film, but I was satisfied with the ending...even slightly upset. A terrific horror movie, absolutely nothing like anything from the Western world!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing or something?, 21 Jun 2007
By 
J. M. Ashe "Jo3" (sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Audition (Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I was surprised to read a review of this film that looked upon its structure as `a lot of 'nothing finished of by a disgusting, disjointed ending'. Having seen the film I understand how you could draw such a conclusion but I feel the point of the film has been missed if you simplify such a daring structure into those basic terms. I thought the films strongest point was its brave sense of patience. The audience is not treated to a conventionally timed, sequence of frequent scare tactics, but more lulled into a state of dark anticipation. The story of a lonely man courting a woman he meets through a staged audition is initially devoid of solid horror elements, but there is an underlying menace to the chosen auditioned women that develops into a state of dread as the audience learn more about her. You the viewer, a long with the main character, are slowly lowered into a nightmare as the auditioned females dark side becomes more apparent, the slowly building tension and dread eventually culminating in an unsettling, extremely horrific climax. Yes the ending is disgusting, but I think it is important that the film goes as far as it does to finalize the metamorphosis of the female characters from odd, silent, shy girl into an almost inhuman monster capable of unspeakable cruelty.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Horror, 30 Sep 2001
By 
The Cyclops Jesus (Belfast, N. Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Having recently got into japanese movies i though it only right to buy this title and was i in for surprise . The movie starts of slowly not really give away anything to what will happen, but i felt an air of tension thru out , in the vein of a comedy then it starts to get creepy . The main female character is one of beauty and as i saw it some what like jekel and hyde . As the movie progress it gets very weird in a freaky way and had enough scenes making me up outta my seat . I wont give nothing away but watching the final scene was like listening to someone scrape their finger nails down a blackboard..
A very chilling movie in all , made more scary because it could happen to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art!, 17 Aug 2003
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is truly a work of art. Forget traditional notions of genre (it has none), narrative (it's unpredictable) and character (they're not 2 dimensional), this is a truly groundbreaking piece.
I would agree with other reveiwers that it's not going to be to everybodys liking or taste, but i think that those people who like a film that really demands attention (rather than handing you the standard 'equilibrium/disequilibrium/resolution' fare on a silver platter) will understand the vast originality and depth that this film eschews.
At times in the first half I found it heart warming through the excellent, multi layered acting and smart dialogue but also through those thoughts that remain unsaid but are instead conveyed through intricate camerawork and framing (something Japanese filmakers have an incredible talent for). Later in the film the feelings of paranoia and distress are conveyed so well that I began to feel them myself. Any film that moves the viewer between emotions in such an effortless and nonchalant manner demands praise.
A major factor for me when deciding what films to add to my collection is whether i would actually watch it again (and again and again). 'Audition' does not disappoint in this respect, i've already watched it three times and each time my appreciation and respect for it has grown.
It's also an interesting one to discuss with friends as everyone seems to have a different interpretation of what happens throughout the film, conversations can seem to go on forever and no one seems to come out any the wiser, in fact, hearing somebody elses opinion often leaves you more confused than before.
If you have any appreciation for slow burning yet ultimately rewarding films that don't rely on regular doses of action and violence, but instead constantly involving dialogue and editing (in a similar vein to 'Ring') then i can't recommend this enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't think of this as a horror film at all....., 30 Jan 2004
By 
KalteStern (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
...because you will almost certainly be disappointed, largely through going into it with false expectations. It would be more helpful I suspect to think of it as a mystery, although it is not a murder or crime mystery in the conventional sense- it's a bit like one of those Barbara Vine novels, where you don't know what's going on, and thus have no idea what is going to happen next, but are aware that there is something going on under the surface, and that it will probably be something nasty.
Because of this, and the Japanese sensibilities on show, and the non-western narrative tradition, you do find yourself wrong-footed in a way that doesn't happen very often in western films, which Tarantino notwithstanding tend to be so referential you could write the script yourself in many cases.
This film's mighty reputation amongst horror fans is based mainly on the last reel, which while it is very strong stuff by conventional standards is certainly no video nasty - like the shower scene in Psycho it relies on the viewer's horrified anticipation of what they might be about to see, and their abilty to visually and mentally fill in the gaps. You don't really see very much, for which you will be profoundly grateful....
All in all a very much more sophisticated movie than most 'horror' genre pictures, so if you are a fan of George Romero look elsewhere. But a treat for fans of those deeply uneasy films the Japanese do so well....
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An antidote to Hollywood horror films, 26 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Audition is one of the few horror films I have seen that is genuinely shocking and very creepy. Oddly enough it starts out as a slightly black romantic comedy. The relationship between the producer and the girl he chooses is tenderly and acutely observed. However about halfway through the film it changes from a romantic comedy to a deeply unsettling horror story. The first half allows you to identify with the main characters, which makes the second half far more disturbing.
In comparison to other recent horror films like Scream, the film eschews post modern self-referential humor, monsters and the other tacky elements that Hollywood horror films rely on. Instead it emphases the psychological and as a result is one of the scariest horror flicks I've seen.
However a word of warning; the climactic scenes of the film are deeply unpleasant; the violence is realistic and quite creative. Do not watch this film if you are easily shocked. I went with a friend of mine to see it in the cinema, and upon leaving he looked a rather unattractive shade of green.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innate fears brought to the surface., 3 Jan 2007
This review is from: Audition (Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I've been a big fan of extreme Asian cinema ever since I first watched Ringu around 6 or 7 years ago, Audition was my second foray into the genre and my first experience of Takashi Miike and I've never looked back. Having been largely uninfluenced by any media hype at this point in time it was much easier to watch the film and take more away from it. Now unfortunately it's very easy to be cynical about the blatant similarities in Asian extreme cinema, particularly 'J-Horror' although for me I still love to see film conventions done well even if the ideas are not always original. But don't misunderstand me, Audition is by no means a horror film in the traditional sense, it is however a brilliantly dark thriller which in many ways makes it all the more terrifying since we are not dealing with anything supernatural, but rather 'real' people capable of mortifying things.

The film takes quite a lot of dedication, the first half is intentionally 'boring' according to Takashi Miike (I wasn't bored but I understand what he means), lulling us into a false sense of security so that the ultimate outcome is so unexpected. I don't want to give too much of the plot away although by now it is probably very well documented, but our 'villain' is a terrifying person indeed.

The underlying terror in the film is obviously castration fears culminating most noticeably in the torture scene without ever being so blatant as to go for actual member castration but another body part instead. Also the fear of being unable to control a situation, being powerless to stop terrible things from happening to you (for both central characters in her past and his drug induced state), this is heightened by the brilliant sense of disorientation and dislocation Miike pulses throughout. Any fans of Takashi Miike can expect to see some iconic visceral offerings which you may already be accustomed to, but in a much more understated and thus more effective way. I often feel with his films that he pushes boundaries for the sake of it, daring you to enjoy sordid scenes of violence and sexual depravity, but with Audition there seems more intelligence and thought. I'm not saying it's a subtle film in itself, but it is comparatively with say Visitor Q!

Something else interesting about this film is it ignores the tradition of the victim being an innocent, I don't feel that we aren't meant to feel mild distaste for him. His process of auditioning future partners through a faux television series is presented superficially as quite humorous, but there is definitely a very dark undercurrent of chauvenism there.

Sometimes comedy, sometimes melodrama, sometimes romance, ultimately very dark thriller exploring obsession and abuse. Unforgettable. Miike Takashi's finest hour.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best served cold, 2 Nov 2006
By 
E. Leagas "Leagas" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Audition (Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I bought Audition on a whim with no prior conceptions other than the blurb on the back and its cover, and it will always be one of my personal favourites - however, if you watch this film with preconceptions of how it should be, if you sit down expecting to be disgusted and scared, it won't shine with full brilliance. A deeply unsettling film if you let it work its way under your skin, this one if best watched stone cold. I'm tired of hearing people say they're dissappointed with the outcome, bored with the acting or let down by the plot; the characters are normal, their lives are mundane, and the plot relies on rising unease rather than outright scare-tactics. That's not poor film-making - that's how it's MEANT to be here.
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Audition (Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2001]
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