Hideo Nakata – director of j-horror classics Ring [Ringu] (1998), Ring 2 [Ringu 2] (1999) and Dark Water [Honogurai no mizu no soko kara] (2002) – makes his long awaited, and for some, much anticipated return to horror with the unsettling hit The Complex [Kuroyuri Danchi] (2013), staring Hiroki Narimiya (Azumi, Nana 1 & 2, Drop, Ace Attorney) and ex-AKB48 leader Atsuko Maeda.
Reminiscent of Nataka’s previous works stylistically, The Complex takes us back to a time when less equaled more, and directors didn’t rely on cheap jump scares and excessive gore to terrify their audiences. The Complex, for all its faults (of which there are some) reminds us what it is about old school Japanese horror (or j-horror) that made it so popular at the turn of the century, back when Hollywood was churning out remakes of j-horror films by the dozen (The Grudge, The Ring and Dark Water to name a few).
Asuka (Atsuko Maeda), a young nursing student, has just moved into a new apartment complex with her parents and younger brother. At first everything seems normal about their new home, but on their first night in apartment, Asuka is awoken by a strange scratching sound coming from the apartment next door. Concerned for her elderly neighbour’s well-being, Asuka enters his home only to find him dead from malnutrition. Shockingly, it appears as if he had been trying to claw his way through the wall between his apartment and Asuka’s room.
Following her neighbour’s death quickly learns that there have been a number of strange deaths over the years and that some believe the apartment complex to haunted. After a number of strange occurrences that culminate in the discovery of her apartment empty and her family missing, Asuka seeks help from Shinobu (Hiroki Narimiya), a young handyman that she befriended after the death of her neighbour, only to learn that there is more than just evil haunting her.
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About the Author: Reiyezerwyre is full time language teacher, and part-time otaku based in Japan, who loves to write about their love of film, music, language and fandom in their spare time.