21 January 2016



This Japanese horror film is a right little cracker, though that's not to say that it's not as confusing as hell at times. I'll try to condense it into tasty bite-sized morsels for your personal edification. To put it as simply as I can, a bunch of people are getting calls on their mobile phones that are basically predictions of their own impending horrible deaths. The calls have their own special 'death' ringtone and you know your number's up (so to speak) when your phone rings and it's your own number that's calling you. Shortly afterwards, you die. Horribly. Capiche...?

Condensing the slightly convoluted plot still further, the calls seem to be originating from an abandoned coal mining town in Taiwan where a psychic little girl was once brutally murdered by the townspeople. Why did the townspeople commit such an atrocity?

Well, because the child either cursed and killed a load of people in the town or she simply predicted their awful deaths from a plague because she's psychic. One or the other. Either way, the angry mob won't be happy until they've put the nipper to death. They stitch her mouth closed so she can't go around making anymore of those nasty predictions. They then leave her to die in the mine, a death so grim and lonely it's hard to imagine her pain and fear. No wonder she's pissed off and out for revenge.

Anyway, it's left to a kindergarten teacher, her waiter boyfriend and a glamorous lady detective to go down the mine and see if they can find Li Li, the murdered little girl. The motley crew make every bloody mistake in the horror movie book as they blunder about, getting split up and getting lost and finding themselves left in the dark only a few feet away from a g-g-g-g-ghost...!!! Seriously though, it's their own fault. Did they not read the manual? HOW TO MAKE IT TO THE END OF A HORROR MOVIE IN ONE PIECE...? If they didn't, then they only have themselves to blame. Humph...

This is almost a film of two halves. The first half bamboozled me big-time, it's so confusing. The second half, when The Three Stooges go down the mine, is top-notch Japanese horror. The location is stunning, for one thing. The abandoned mining town and the mine itself are deliciously creepy, so full marks straightaway to the film-makers for that.

You know what the mine reminds me of? One of those brilliant Facebook posts where they show you full-colour pictures of twenty (or whatever number) Really Scary Abandoned Places, like derelict shopping malls, ruined mental asylums and destroyed churches. I love that stuff. It really turns me on, haha. Actually, I'm being serious. I get a real charge from looking at photos of abandoned places. What would you call that? Abandoned Places Porn...? Isn't it great the way that there's a porn for everything now? Book porn, shoe porn, state-of-the-art kitchen porn. It's the age we live in. What a time to be alive!

The film reminds me very much of both THE RING and THE GRUDGE, with long-dead girls down mines (or wells) that need to be found and made to rest in peace, and other long-dead girls slithering bonelessly down the stairs on their way to perpetrate grave mischief with malice aforethought.

There probably aren't many Japanese horror films made after THE RING and THE GRUDGE that don't contain similar elements, though, and I'm certainly not saying that that's a bad thing. These two films were ground-breaking and imitation, as we know, is the sincerest form of flattery.

This film is well worth your time. It's got a few good scares in it and you guys already know what I think of the fabulous creepy abandoned mine. If I had a photo of it printed off from the Internet, I'd probably be slinking off to the bathroom with it right about now, haha. Ah, you know I'm only joking. I truly am only joking. Or am I...? Maybe I'll just quit while I'm ahead.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers' Centre, The International Bar, Toners' Pub (Ireland's Most Literary Pub), the Ha'penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland's Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home. In 2003, she was invited to be a guest on Niall Boylan's 98FM late-night radio talk show purely on the basis of having a 'sexy voice.'

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director's Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:



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