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Added by Ueno_Station54 on 12 Apr 2013 12:05
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Series Review: Tomie

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People who added this item 43 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.3
Tomie (1998)
I had heard of this series a while ago whilst browsing asian-horror-movies.com and the only thing I really knew about it prior to watching it was that it's based off a manga series by Junji Ito who also made Uzumaki and Gyo which are two short manga series I enjoy quite a bit. On to the movie.

The movie is extremely low budget and not in a good or charming way. It's very poorly made and badly written. It doesn't even feel like a horror movie, like they weren't even trying to make it tense or exciting.

The story of a demon girl that drives men to madness having them kill people for her love and even killing her only to have her resurrected each time is so poorly explained it took me quite a while to get what was even happening.

The ending pulls a typical J-Horror and intentionally makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

The only saving grace is that it had one of the coolest soundtracks I've heard in quite sometime from a band I've never heard of called "World Famous", ironically.
Ueno_Station54's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom

Tomie: Another Face is even more low budget and generally even more poorly written than the first film. This is clearly shot on a home video camera and not in a found footage kind of way. It looks like a cheap, Spanish soap-opera.

One thing it does do better than the previous film is explain the lore of Tomie. I now know that when Tomie is killed, she multiplies which helps capture the helplessness and futility of a Junji Ito story.

It also captures the episodic feel of an Ito tale by being broken into 3 different stories. The first chapter is about a high school couple being broken up by Tomie. This chapter is atrocious and the character interactions make no sense.

The next chapter is about a photographer looking for beautiful woman he used to see standing atop a hill everyday. This turns out to be Tomie and some stuff happens. It is a bit better than the first chapter.

The last chapter is probably the best. It follows a man trying to marry Tomie who are being pursued by the one-eyed man Oota who is trying to destroy Tomie once and for all.

I think this Oota character is a recurring character in the manga as the first film featured a one-eyed man but as a completely different character. This story explains the Tomie lore and actually has some good special effects. It's obvious the entire budget was spent on this chapter.

The biggest problem with all the stories though, is Tomie herself.

The woman playing her is absolutely atrocious and it's ear-grating to listen to her deliver lines.
Ueno_Station54's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom

Tomie: Replay is the first of the series to be studio backed. In fact, this is actually a Toei release. That being said, this is certainly the most well-made and professional of the series up to this point.

It's not only better visually but it's better written too as it actually has a narrative that works as movie. Junji Ito's work doesn't typically translate well to film so things have to be changed to make it work. The writers pretty much took the premise of Tomie and made into a typical J-Horror affair.

It's still not scary or really even trying to be but it has the typical supernatural mystery element of J-Horror.

Even though it's generic there is some cool ideas present. Mostly just building on ideas from the first films but presenting them in more interesting ways. Nothing I can really explain since these were all visual things.

Once again we have an awful actress playing Tomie. Her laugh is just gross to listen to (and the character laughs a lot).

Anyway, this is probably the best film so far just by actually being a regular, coherent movie.
Ueno_Station54's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.6

Tomie: Re-birth is actually by a director I'm sure we all know. Takashi Shimizu, famous for his "Ju-On" series. After he established "Ju-On" with "Ju-On: The Curse" 1 & 2 he made Tomie: Rebirth before being shot into international stardom by making "The Grudge". Being such an established horror director I was not at all surprised that this entry would be the first to really feel like a horror movie and that's one of it's strongest features.

Really the best thing about this movie is that it manages to feel like a Shimizu film while also still feeling like an Ito story. I think a lot of Shimizu's work has a similar feel to Ito's storytelling style so this really was a good match-up. The film has that somewhat low-budget look "The Grudge" had and really uses that for atmosphere well. It has that episodic feel of an Ito story without being broken into chapters. The story is definitely well written in that regard. Shimizu manages to blend the overly weird style of an Ito work without it feeling silly or forced in.

Overall this a very nice horror movie.
Ueno_Station54's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom

Tomie: Forbidden Fruit is a very pleasant surprise. The film greatly benefits from it's focused yet involved storyline about a father and daughter both in love with Tomie.

The only serious problem with this film is that there was a spot where it should have ended about 7 minutes before it actually did. Although it gets some points back for the very last scene also being very good, those last 7 or so minutes were totally unnecessary. Had it ended when it should have this would have been a truly great movie.

Also, Jun Kunimura plays a big role in this movie and he's great as usual.

Ueno_Station54's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 5.1
After two good films in "Re-Birth" and "Forbidden Fruit", Tomie: Beginning is a definite let down with downright awful makeup effects and technical errors. Back to the low-budget with this one. The film isn't grossly offensive or anything, it just doesn't really do anything.

(getting low on pictures)

The Tomie in this movie was pretty decent at least but trying to make her a sympathetic character is weird. It's worked to a degree in some of the films but it was laid on way too thick in this entry.
Ueno_Station54's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 3.2 IMDB Rating 4.5
The third Tomie film from Ataru Oikawa, all of which have been pretty bad and this is definitely the worst of his three. The big problem is with the plot. It's so vague you can't really give a shit about anything that's happening.

After the awesome soundtrack in Oikawa's first film I wonder why the next two had dating-sim quality music?

The movie also features one of the worst Tomie's yet and relies on jump scares which is very uncharacteristic of the series.
Ueno_Station54's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 4.6

Knowing Tomie: Unlimited was made by Noboru Iguchi, I was not surprised by any of the bat-shit crazy things in this movie.

In fact, it was a little more tame than I expected.

Said bat-shit crazy things certainly aren't unwelcome in the Ito universe but it still has to be balanced with atmosphere. Iguchi definitely isn't known for his atmospheric touches so he sticks with what he knows best, random weird shit.

Instead of feeling like a blend of the director and writers style, this just feels like typical Iguchi. Not necessarily bad, but just missing that something-something.


1. Tomie: Forbidden Fruit
2. Tomie: Re-birth
3. Tomie: Unlimited
4. Tomie: Replay
5. Tomie
6. Tomie: Beginning
7. Tomie: Revenge
8. Tomie: Another Face
9. Tomie vs. Tomie (Have not seen yet because it does not exist with English subs)

OVERALL: 2.5/5
Ueno_Station54's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom

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