Chakushin ari (One Missed Call)


Rating 3¼

Directed by Takashi Miike

Written by Minako Daira, based on a novel by Yasushi Akimoto

Starring Kou Shibasaki (Yumi Nakamura), Shinichi Tsutsumi (Hiroshi Yamashita), Kazue Fukiishi (Natsumi Konishi), Atsushi Ida (Kenji Kawai), Anna Nagata (Yoko Okazaki), Renji Ishibashi (Motomiya), Goro Kishitani (Oka), Mariko Tsutsui (Marie Mizunuma) and Karen Oshima (Mimiko Mizunuma)

A group of friends receive recorded messages, sent from their own mobile phones and seemingly from a future time and date, in which they hear themselves in the moments before death. In each case the call proves to be a true omen of events to come. Yumi Nakamura, one of group, encounters Hiroshi Yamashita, whose sister had died in similar circumstances months earlier, and together they race against the clock to try to solve the mystery in the face of police indifference.


‘Chakushin ari’ (One Missed Call) was released in Japan in 2004. It follows a similar pattern to earlier J-horror films like ‘Ringu’, ‘Ju-on: The Grudge’ and ‘Dark Water’ and is not particularly typical of the usual style of its celebrated and controversial director Takashi Miike, who is perhaps best known outside of Japan for the films ‘Audition’ and ‘Ichi the Killer’, released in 1999 and 2001 respectively. The film spawned two sequels and an eleven-episode television series in Japan, as well as a 2008 American remake.

The film does feel very familiar, especially during its first half, but increasingly seemingly random editing of clashing scenes and a sense of surrealism starts to take over and it begins to move outside of the influence of the earlier films I’ve mentioned. As a result, the film becomes much more interesting, as well as engagingly perplexing and confounding. Even though it generally conforms to a tried and tested formula, one that is perhaps rather too over-familiar now, it still possesses a freewheeling inventiveness that is completely lacking in the decidedly flat American remake.

‘Chakushin ari’ has a 48% rotten rating at Rotten Tomatoes from 25 reviews.

Review posted 20 June 2009


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