Audition ★★★★

Audition was my introduction into J-horror films and by god have my horizons been expanded. This film leaves me with very few words (which is a serious problem, as I have to write half an essay about it) as my mind simply didn't and still doesn't know how to react to it.

Initially, you'd think that the shocking events of the final act were such a dramatic shift in tone and pace that it offsets the first two acts but upon further thought and some time to mull over this film, I'd say that isn't the case at all. The truth in the third act has been under the surface of the first two acts all along. It's always been there and there is a consistent chilling atmosphere right from the very start. 

I don't get scared easily by any horrors these days, usually my natural reaction is to laugh- especially at cheap jump-scares. Admittedly, my laughter might be a fairly normal reaction of nervous-laughter but nothing sticks with me when I leave western horror films. Audition had me genuinely frozen in fear at times just at the creepiness and eeriness of certain scenes- one in particular (whilst trying not to spoil anything) that involves a creepy girl sat in a room, head hanging low with her hair covering her face and nothing in there but a rotary phone and a mysterious laundry sack. Nothing happens but the way the scene is set up sent shivers down my spine, helped along by some fantastic sound design throughout the whole film.

Another fantastic element about Audition that's fresh and free of Hollywood tropes is the lack of gore. If you've seen the film you might question that statement but if you think back to those scenes, the gore is mostly in your own mind. The carefully crafted camera angles and sound design leave your imagination running wild and what gore is shown is just enough to make it feel real.

I am definitely watching more J-horror films after the standard set by Audition. I may need a few more days though. Just a few.