|Mind Control is not without merit when you're a monster.|
Dir. Hideo Nakata
Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Takayuki Yamada, Satomi Ishihara, Tomorowo Taguchi, Motoki Ochiai
Review By Greg Klymkiw
A young boy discovers he can telepathically control the minds of others. This comes in mighty handy when he manages to force his abusive father to snap his own neck. When the child reaches adulthood, he has the power to control anyone's mind and can even force large swaths of people in his purview to enter a state of suspended animation. This comes in especially handy when he wants to rob banks - mostly for fun. When he meets another young man with similar powers, all hell breaks loose.
Hideo Nakata (Ringu, Dark Water) is one of Japan's finest directors of horror and here he chooses to remake Haunters, a 2010 Korean film and even manages to trump the original. That the original is not especially good, is wherein the fault lies.
Nakata certainly creates a few creepy and fun set pieces and cannot be denied his natural virtuosity. That said, the film feels like a J-Horror version of such teen-oriented American franchise items like the Twilight and Hunger Games series. When the young man is wreaking havoc, all's well, but as it becomes more mano a mano rivalry gymnastics, not even Nakata's great style can breathe much life into this hoary horror of ponderous been-there-done-that.
THE FILM CORNER Rating **½
Monsterz had its Canadian Premiere at FantAsia2014 in Montreal.