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on 22 July 2017
Audition was made in a world of creativity, brilliant ideas and bizarre visions, in a way I already created a resumee of my opinion in the headline.
Imagine a universe of extreme violence and poetry at the same time, a film that starts as a sweet kind of family tale of a man who is searching for a new wife in his life and his kids actually accept his desires and plans.
But then..., suddenly she comes:
Her name is Asami, she is a quite sensitive young lady, who finds herself in the hard times of missing her destiny as a goddess, when it comes to the art of dancing, that she has to say goodbye to - on the other hand it was the main place of her suffering.
Her personal past is full of pain, difficult situations and death - and that is exactly what she will bring to us, please take a look at this masterpiece, without a doubt Takashi's best picture and another excellent example for japanese pearls of horror and "harmony"!
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on 13 March 2016
I was expecting more from this film, thought it was mildly disturbing and not very entertaining... Worth a watch if horror is your favourite genre, otherwise I wouldnt bother.
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on 12 April 2016
Very very pleased
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on 4 May 2016
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on 17 October 2001
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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on 12 May 2016
Didn't create any shock value on repeated viewing even after many years
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on 21 June 2007
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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on 13 October 2003
This is an explosive film of suspense, atmosphere and sheer psychological insight. The "kiri-kiri" scene belongs to the kind that stays with you for ever. The dreamy, ambiguous, almost double ending was the perfect cap of a most brilliant cinematic achievement, a master stroke that has widened the film's horizons indefinitely. "Audition" takes the themes of exploitation, manipulation and psychological trauma, of which nobody in the film is innocent and by which nobody is unscathed, to new heights of genius.
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on 3 January 2007
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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VINE VOICEon 9 September 2002
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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