Jisatsu CIRCLE: Are you connected?

I don't often write about things that have nothing to do with Hello!Project, but here I am, documenting my latest foray into the world of Japanese cinema. Suicide Circle (known in the US as Suicide Club) is a japanese horror/gore movie which seems comparable with several other japanese cult classics and yet at the same time is unlike anything I've ever seen before.

After 54 people all with no apparent connection to one another commit suicide at Shinjuku Station, Tokyo, the police start to take an interest when two bags turn up after suicide incidents both containing an unlikely items - two identical rolls of human skin. Police Investigator Kuroda insists that there is a case to be solved, despite scepticism from some of the other officers. He and two other detectives (Murata and Shibusuwa) still continue to investigate the mystery.

What I found interesting about this film is not just the dark and controversial themes which make the film not very dissimiliar to cult classic Battle Royale, or the extreme and fairly over-exxagerated gore which is typical of Japanese cult hits, but the way the whole thing was put together. The movie is incredibly surreal, and during the first watch I often found myself a little confused as to what was really happening. The story starts out simply, but around midway through the movie things start to get very odd. Some veterans of films like the animated movie Perfect Blue might find this incredibly easy to follow in comparison, but it does force you to take a step back and actually think about what had just happened.

One thing I found a little odd and all-together wonderful was the young idol group "Dessert". The movie opens on a clip featuring Dessert performing the song "Mail Me" (see above), which I have no doubt was included as a tool of bewildering the viewer (in fact, the group served this purpose continously throughout the movie) because of the sheer contrast of these young girls singing such a happy, catchy song and what soon follows. And believe me, this music is catchy! It is a shame that the group is entirely fictional and was created for the movie, because had they been real I would have definately been a Dessert wota. (I hear that they bear some similarity to the group SweetS though, I'll have to check them out!) The song Mail Me is actually a cover of the same song by Haruko Momoi, but to be honest, her version wasn't half as good as these kids.

The film, even though labeled as a horror film, wasn't very scary. There is one subplot which is shown a couple times through the movie which follows a hospital security guard at night where one nurse commited suicide, according to the Trivia on wikipedia though, some of this had to be cut due to time constraints, which is a waste because this subplot was actually scarier than the main story... at least, that's what I thought.

I do reccomend this movie to you all, but I'd probably skip this one out if you are easily offended/disturbed. Even if the film itself isn't as terrifying as it could be, it's still incredibly disturbing. This probably shouldn't be shown to younger viewers either. I know this would probably give me nightmares if I were 10 years old, so don't show it to your kids unless you've already seen it and think they're mature enough to handle the themes and the gore. The film has been made into a series, with one sequel already out and a third movie planned, I haven't seen the 2nd yet, but I do plan to. I do hope it will answer some of the questions I have and fill in some of those damned plotholes.

Anyway, the film ends much the same way it starts - with a performance from the group dessert which plays while the credits are running. So I'll share that one with you now. Don't worry about spoilers, it's really just a music video with no real spoilers as to the plot. And unlike the two other songs they perform for the movie (Mail Me, and Jigsaw Puzzle), this one is actually the full song and not just a clip.

Is it just me, or does the girl with her hair up look like a young Kumai Yurina? Look at around 2:11. Don't you agree?


Alita said...

Don't bother with Noriko's Dinner Table. It's an ok movie but has nothing to do with Suicide club. They basically took what was an obscure movie that takes a few times watching before the last scene with the children finally clicks, and gave it an even weirder spin that is included in the imdb description of "pretend family". But overall it has almost nothing to do with Suicide Club.

As for the horror movie subplot if you watch the previews on the dvd you'll notice one trailer that includes a really eerie clip of hair coming out of the fax machine. Which was probably meant to be inserted where you hear the fax machine go off in the nurses quarters.

But I think it's better without the horror plot as it really isn't horror just psychological mess with your mind fun.

I watched it back in 9th grade (almost 8 years ago) and still love it. My favorite is the Rolly subplot ^^

Dran said...

Really? That's a shame. I was very much looking forward to watching the sequel. But I guess if it's that far removed I'll give it a miss.

I liked the horror subplot. And I'm dissapointed that they didn't keep those deleted scenes from it in. They were easier to follow than the main plot and kind of gave you some feeling of reality you could cling to before the actual movie just shakes you off entirely.

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