Sunday, February 21, 2010

Japanese horror you can take or leave

Misa the Dark Angel (1997)
Starring: Hinako Saeki and Ayaka Nanami
Director: Katesuhito Ueno
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

"Misa the Dark Angel" is about a young witch who insiutates herself into a boarding school for girls when she and her crusty mentor decide a magical curse rests over the place. Misa, however, being a lonely teenager with no friends, become enamoured with the 'normal' life led by the students at the school and looses sight of why she is there. And that's when the terror begins.

There is nothing particularly bad about this film. The acting is solid, the camera work, lighting, and sets are all used to full effectiveness to underscore the horror and mystery of the events that unfold, and the cast members die in appropriately ironic ways. (That said, "Misa the Dark Angel" is *not* a teenage slasher flick, even if the above sentence might imply that; it's a far more low-key horror film, with patches of horrific gore. Actually, if there is something wrong with the film, it's that it's almost too low-key. The film is almost entirely event free in the second act.)

On the other hand, there's nothing that really stands out, either. It's a solid effort, nothing more. It's worth seeing if you enjoy Japanese horror flicks, but I don't think it would be worth going out of your way for.

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