Audition (1999)

The best Japanese horror film of the modern era: Eli Roth, Rob Zombie and John Landis have all confessed to being freaked out by Audition. Encouraged by his teenage son and best friend, a film producer stages a fake casting session, interviewing beautiful young woman for the imaginary role of his new wife. Smitten with the modest, mysterious Asami (Eihi Shiina), he later discovers that she is a disturbed victim of childhood abuse, with some serious trust issues. The textured relationships are subtly convincing, as the film builds inexorably towards its unbearably painful climax, which involves skilfully deployed acupuncture needles (‘Kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri’) and a limb-sawing wire. An astonishing achievement, particularly as it succeeds in preserving a degree of empathy for its beautiful but sadistic femme fatale. NF
Dir Takashi Miike (Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Jun Kunimura)

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