Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cold Fish (Tsumetai Nettaigyo)

Now that you have your brand new Fright Rags shirt we now resume our regularly scheduled blogcast with a review of the 2010 Japanese serial killer flick Cold Fish

Everything starts innocently enough when Shamato Nobuyuki's daughter gets caught shoplifting. Nobuyuki is understandably unhappy to have yet another issue arise in his already estranged family, but things seem to get brighter when a nice man named Murata Yukio helps to get Nobuyuki's daughter off of the hook by offering her a job at his fish store. 

Nobuyuki also owns a fish store, but it is nowhere near as grand as Yukio's. The happiness Yukio shares with his wife Aika also seems to be much more honest than the happiness Nobuyuki shares with his own wife Taeko.

The Muratas just seem so wonderful and they instantly take to the Shamato family, but Nobuyuki remains a bit standoffish towards them. Something about them just seems off and unfortunately Nobuyuki is about to find out just how off his new friends are.  

This is a bleak and brutal film. At first it doesn't seem like very much. It certainly doesn't feel like it will be a film about serial killers or anything that remotely screwed up. I knew something was up with Yukio because he just seemed too damn nice and clingy, but I thought for sure that Nobuyuki would be the killer in this film. Like he'd start going on a killing spree in order to keep his family from becoming too smitten with the Muratas. Something like that. 

Things didn't happen that way at all. Denden, the guy who played Murata Yukio, really has some acting skills. Watch out for him. Although it seems really far-fetched at times on an objective level, the guy just had a personality that made everyone want to do what he told them to and it worked within the confines of the movie. If Yukio hadn't threatened his family I wonder if Nobuyuki would have gone along with Yukio's wishes anyway. 

However, it's Kurosawa Asuka who probably gets the most twisted role of the entire movie. Aika is probably the most fucked up female movie character I've seen in quite some time. I think she makes out or screws with just about every character in the movie at some point, but that isn't quite as sexy as it may sound. Trust me. Although when she starts making out with that one chick... Okay, that was kind of sexy. 

Fukikoshi Mitsuru, the star of this movie, isn't to be outdone, either. 

I didn't see the ending coming at all. I knew Nobuyuki would lose his shit at some point and get pissed off, but I didn't quite expect what I got. I still don't quite get his motivation at the end, but he's certainly the hero this movie needed if not the hero his family deserved.

This was a damn good movie, though. A bit slower-paced at the beginning than it maybe it should have been, but once it gets going it really does become insanely compelling. 

Perhaps I shouldn't bother saying this, but this isn't a feel good movie. At all. If you are going through some sort of depression you might want to avoid this movie. There are no breaks given. 

I really enjoyed the movie, though. Trust me, there's plenty of blood and guts to thrill the horror fan, but this isn't a horror movie. It's more of a character drama than anything else.

I highly recommend it if you think you can watch it.

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