“A chilly tale of rape, revenge and household appliances.”
Five years after a vicious gang-rape, Chihiro has somewhat recovered, with a new apartment, job and boyfriend. But one of the attackers turns up on her doorstep, with a video of the assault, and threatens to destroy her new life. He moves in. Worse yet, his colleagues are on their way. What’s a girl to do? If you answered “kill the bastard, stuff him in her freezer, then wait for the other two rapists”… you’ve clearly seen this before.
This film is often difficult to watch, on several levels. On the down side, Chihiro is such a passive victim, it’s hard to feel much initial sympathy for her – letting the guy who raped you stay in your flat with barely a whimper of protest, is so damn… wussy as possibly to turn you off her character. It might have made more plot sense to have her kill the first one, then she’d have good reason not to seek help when the second moved in. Though when you see the attack, it’s so brutal, nasty and vicious (exactly how rape should be depicted), that her post-traumatic shock is more explicable.
The change that comes over her as a result makes for intriguing viewing – the title is entirely apt, since she gradually transforms into something every bit as cold as her enemies, and is finally so blase as to order another fridge while the intended occupant is playing video-games in the same room. By the end, it’s hard to say who is more dangerous to know; at least the rapists know they’re doing wrong. Credit to Inoue – better known as a model in Japan – for a creepy performance, and to Ishii for pulling no punches, an approach which rescues the film after a wobbly start.
Dir: Takashi Ishii
Star: Harumi Inoue, Shingo Tsurumi, Shunsuke Matsuoka, Kazuki Kitamura