Movie Review: AUDITION

AUDITION - Cover Photo


Deceptively innocent at first, Takashi Miike’s Audition finds Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi, Suicide Club, The Grudge), a middle-aged widower of many years, urged by his teenage son and his film producer friend Yasuhisa Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura, Ichi The Killer) to get out and start dating again. To help Aoyama meet women, Yoshikawa devises a plan to hold a fake audition for a leading lady. Reluctantly agreeing, Aoyama auditions 30 young hopefuls and falls for the silent beauty of Asami (model/actress Eihi Shiina), a former ballerina with a dark past. Their courtship veers from quiet romance to psycho nightmare, realizing “a sadistic breach of contract between filmmaker and audience of which Hitchcock could only dream.” (Richard Falcon, Sight and Sound).

Director: Takashi Miike
Writers: Ryû Murakami, Daisuke Tengan
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura, Renji Ishibashi, Miyuki Matsuda, Toshie Negishi, Ren Ôsugi, Shigeru Saiki, Ken Mitsuishi

Rating: 10 / 10 Stars

Rating: 10 out of 10.

REVIEW – It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the release of AUDITION, the Japanese psychological horror film that struck fear into the hearts of moviegoers. For those unfamiliar with the insanity that is AUDITION, think of it as a darker, sadistic version of “Fatal Instinct.” Director Takashi Miike masterfully begins this rollercoaster ride with a slow and tranquil pace, lulling us into a sense of safety. But as the film progresses towards its climax, the ride becomes increasingly bumpy and unsettling.

We are introduced to Aoyama, a grieving widower who has raised his son on his own. He’s an ordinary middle-class man tired of solitude, persuaded by a friend to start looking for a new partner. Their plan involves making women feel like they’re auditioning for a film role, and that’s when he meets Asami, an innocent girl who immediately captures his attention. They go on a few dates, leaving Aoyama deeply affected when she mysteriously disappears. He decides to investigate her activities when she’s not with him.

This film is a stroke of genius, with a meticulously crafted first act and a brilliantly thought-out second act. It delivers what horror fans crave: genuine unease and fear. AUDITION presents a nightmarish experience that feels disturbingly real. The torture scenes, while pushing boundaries and making you want to look away, manage to be gross without crossing into pornography. Notably, this Blu-ray release offers improved special features compared to the initial release.

In summary, AUDITION is a must-have film, and this Blu-ray edition is unquestionably a must-buy for fans and newcomers alike.

Eihi Shiina in AUDITION (1999)

AUDITION | Official Trailer:

Watch on Apple TV