JapaneseYukijiro Hotaru
Medium: film
Year: 2009
Director: Koji Shiraishi
Writer: Takeki Akimoto
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Keywords: horror
Actor: Yuko Oshima, Mami Yamasaki, Mai Nishida, Yamamoto Kazuyoshi, Kaoru Mizuki, Michiko Sawayanagi, Shinmei Tsuji, Shinnosuke Abe, Kazuki Nanase, Fumine Yakumo, Jota Sato, Ayumi Kitaoka, Tomohiro Toyokawa, Mayuko Irie, Kinue Mori, Masao Kayano, Madoka Takahashi, Yukiko Kojima, Ayano Totani, Minami Nakatsugawa, Arisa Arai, Ayumi Kimura, Keiji Hirata, Rei Inoue, Sana Mizuno, Tomohiro Watanabe, Shuhei Hara, Yuka Arai, Kanako Kojima, Yukijiro Hotaru, Yoko Chosokabe
Format: 70 minutes
Url: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1395146/
Website category: J-horror
Review date: 25 May 2022
It's a live-action J-horror film about an urban legend called Teketeke. She's an onryou (i.e. murderous ghost) with no lower body. She fell on a train track and got cut in half. Now, she travels around on her hands or elbows, with a scratching "teke teke" sound, and chases living people in order to bisect them too.
Simple premise, simple film. You'll have noticed the short running time. Girls get in trouble with Teketeke, so can they save themselves? Naturally, they'll have to research the original person who died to become Teketeke and put right something that upset her. That's about it, although surprisingly the film got a sequel the same year.
The acting's mostly passable. The main cast tend to be idols, bikini models and/or boy band members. Mai Nishida (Ayaka) is both the film's worst actress and completely unconvincing as a schoolgirl. Yuko Oshima (the heroine, Kana) and Mami Yamasaki (her older cousin, Rie) are okay. The boy Ayaka has a crush on is so vanilla that he could have been the main character in every scene and you'd have still struggled to remember him. Similarly, the character work is sort of okay. It's functional, but the awkward not-a-love-triangle between Ayaka and Kana isn't engaging and then doesn't go anywhere as the handsome boy who can't act quietly drifts offstage.
The horror content is the only reason you're watching, obviously. Teketeke herself looks impressive, but she occasionally made me laugh when she moved. She's the J-horror equivalent of Leaping Yoda in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. She's obviously a CGI creation and she can run so fast that she can catch up with vehicles. She only comes up to your waist. (Your first thought when you half-see her scurrying might be "gremlin".) She bounces around. This can be comedic, although I'll admit that Teketeke slamming into the side of that car was quite a good moment.
Her backstory's decent. Not particularly original, but it does the job. Possibly the most interesting thing about her is her obsessive-compulsive nature about the colour red, which is a pleasingly simple idea that can give rise to all sorts of scary visual ideas.
This film definitely isn't good, but it's not particularly bad either. It's just an utterly unremarkable low-budget J-horror, with a minimal storyline and quite a good CGI monster. I'll watch the sequel tomorrow.