Having triggered a wave of Japanese horror films with 1998's Ringu
it seems like director Nakata Hideo needed a change. You can't blame him, really. After that initial success and later - and, in my opinion, superior - effort Dark Water
, Nakata had pretty much done what he wanted to do with hair-ghosts and freaky children and went in search of greener pastures. The problem, however, is that the past decade has not been particularly kind to Nakata and while he has certainly kept working steadily he has never again even remotely approached the sort of critical acclaim that his key works received on their release and fans have been left to wonder if he's simply lost the spark.
Well, Nakata is about to premiere his latest effort - The Complex
- at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and long time fans will find in the first teaser what appears to be a welcome return to form.
Nursing student Asuka (Atsuko Maeda) has just moved into an apartment
complex with her parents and younger brother. On the first night in her
new room, she is awoken by a strange scratching sound coming from the
apartment of her neighbor, a reclusive old man who has refused all
attempts at communication. Concerned over his well being, Asuka enters
his home only to find him dead from malnutrition. Worse, it looks as if
he had been trying to claw his way into her room.
Asuka learns that
there have been a number of strange deaths in the complex over the years
from Shinobu (Hiroki Narimiya), the handyman cleaning up the old man's
apartment. Even the girls at school whisper rumors of it being haunted.
When the late night scratching returns, Asuka ventures back into her
neighbor's home and comes face to face with an apparition of the old
Panicked by the discovery of her apartment emptied and her
family gone, Asuka seeks help from Shinobu, who brings in a spiritualist
to exorcise Asuka of the evil surrounding her. However, as she delves
into the girl's predicament, the spiritualist discovers that signs
points not to the old man but to a small boy living in the complex with a
past as tragic as the one Asuka herself lives in denial of.
Take a look at the teaser below.
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