Starring: Kuriyama Chiaki and Natsukawa Yui
Ventura International
RRP: 15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 24 January 2005

A girl leaves her hometown of Shikoku for Tokyo. Fifteen years later she returns to sell off her family home. During her return, she learns that her best friend drowned at the age of 16. She also discovers that her friend resentment her for moving away. It's around about this time that strange things start happening on the island and the spirit of her dead friend is seen walking around the island...

Yet again, it would appear that people are desperate to make a Japanese horror. Now don't get me wrong, I am a fan of Japanese horror films, but now they are just getting a bit tired and pedestrian, and films like this doesn't help.

This is essentially a dull love story, with a dead spirit thrown into the mix. Skikoku fails to deliver any chills whatsoever. In fact, when the film does make an effort to scare you, it just seems to fall flat on its face with poor execution. In other words, this is horror for 12-year-olds - not adults.

The only thing that saves this film is the location. The ancient province is captured with style and realism. The sets are very realistic, as are the costumes.

The picture and sound quality however is rather good, with a nice dullness to the image and good clarity on the sound. Extras include some trailers, a behind the scenes documentary and an interview with the director.

All I can say is that this is a sad waste. If you struggle to sleep at night then this is definitely the film for you.

Simon Lee

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