I Just Watched One Of the Scariest Found Footage Movies I’ve Ever Seen
Kōji Shiraishi’s found-footage classic Noroi: The Curse is a movie I’ve been meaning to see for a long time now. I love found footage (yeah, I’m THAT guy) and Shiraishi’s film has been on the top of many must-see found footage movies for years now. Actually, since 2005 when it was originally released. But it has been hard (as hell) to find a copy. The film has not received a DVD or Blu-ray release in the U.S.
Noroi: The Curse was released in Japan in 2005, and had limited distribution. Luckily, Shudder started streaming it last year. And I finally had the chance to sit down and experience the terror first-hand for the first time. What did I think? Let’s find out!
I’m going to try not to get into spoilers – at the moment. That will come down at the end. But for those of you out there that have never seen – or heard of the film – let’s take a moment and get all the ins and outs out of the way.
Kōji Shiraishi directed and co-wrote the 2005 Japanese horror film. Jin Muraki stars as Masafumi Kobayashi, a paranormal researcher investigating a series of mysterious events for a documentary. Actress Marika Matsumoto plays a fictionalized version of herself. Rio Kanno, Tomono Kuga, and Satoru Jitsunashi round out the killer cast.
Also Read: Open Letter: I Miss Found Footage Flicks
To say much more might be too much. But I’ll skate that line anyhow. The film tells the rather simple tale of a man investigating some strange noises from a woman’s neighboring house. She says she hears babies crying – but the woman next door doesn’t have a baby. Let alone the sound played back seems to suggest at least five babies crying at once. At the least. Brr… It only gets much, much worse from there.
So if you’re a fan of found-footage and – like me – have missed every other chance to see the film until now, make sure to head on over to Shudder tonight and stream Kōji Shiraishi’s found-footage classic Noroi: The Curse. It just might be the best of its kind. Now… let’s get into the specifics…
Warning: Here There Be Spoilers
There now that everyone who hasn’t seen the movie has averted their eyes, let’s get into some spoiler-y specifics about what makes the movie so motherf*cking scary!
Some of the best moments are found in the quiet bits of creeping dread, rather than all-out horror. Which is where the bloody bread and butter of all found-footage lies. What’s happening off-camera. And this movie has that in spades. For instance, I was super freaked out as the heroes drove through the village on the way to the dam – and see all the dogs are gone. Oh, shit. I’m not saying that the reveal of all the massacred dogs deep in the woods, later on, wasn’t mentally scarring – I’m just saying the slow reveal that all the dogs were gone freaked me out on a deeper level.
And that brings up a point about this movie. Usually, it’s the build-up in a horror movie – found-footage or otherwise – that wins me over. The eventual reveal of horror and gore USUALLY doesn’t match up to the fear of the unknown. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love a good gore-filled showdown as much as the next chump on the block. But it’s usually a letdown. Not in this film. The all-out horror finale is debatably scarier than the scary-ass hour and 30 minutes leading up to it. I mean, making a little girl eat old dead baby fetuses? What’s more fucking horrifying than THAT?! Maybe if they shipped over from the set of A Serbian Film… Eww. Sorry for that visual.
Anyhow, all jokes aside, I’ll tell you what’s actually scarier than making a little girl eat old dead baby fetuses (off-screen). Seeing them crawling all over her (on-screen). Like that scene from Family Guy where Peter uses cologne that attracts sick stray cats. It’s going to take a lot of CocoMelon to wipe THAT image out of my head.
And that’s not even getting into the film’s final moments! You know the ones. After a brilliant set of fake-out credits, it’s revealed that the documentary is over – but there is still more footage to fear. Months later, someone sends the hero’s final tape to a newspaper and we get to see it all. This includes bashing a little kid’s head in with a rock, the little boy standing up after getting all Irreversable‘d, and our hero’s wife setting herself on fire. Which is probably a better fate than to have to live with the images of what she’s just seen in her head one minute longer. I don’t blame her.
Kōji Shiraishi’s found-footage classic Noroi: The Curse is now available for streaming over on Shudder. You can go ahead a nd stream it uncut and ad-free right over HERE.
Are you a fan of Kōji Shiraishi’s found-footage classic Noroi: The Curse?