Road Rash Reviews

Audition Review*****

Cert 18 | 115 mins | 1999

5 stars for this brilliantly horrifying Japanese thriller.image

First released in 1999, this iconic J-horror classic is based on the novel by Ryu Marakami (Tokyo Decadence) and adapted for the screen by Daisuke Tengan (The Eel, 13 Assassins).

It was directed by Takashi Miike (The Happiness of the Katakuris, Ichi the Killer) and is regarded as something of a turning point in Japanese cinema.

imageIt tells the story of Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi – The Grudge, Suicide Club), raising his son Shigehiko (Tetsu Sawaki – Harmful Insect) after the tragic death of his wife seven years before.

At the suggestion of his son, he decides that it is time for him to remarry, so he goes to his friend and partner in their film production company, Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimara – Kill Bill, The Wind Rises) for advice on dating.

imageYoshikawa comes up with a cunning plan, they can use their position as film producers to hold an audition for a film which may or may not be made, but which will enable Aoyama to choose his dream girl.

He takes home all the CVs and chooses 30 girls for the audition, but before they even start he has already made up his mind. He is fascinated by the tragic ex ballet dancer Asami Yamakazi (Eihi Shiina – Tokyo Gore Police, Helldriver).

imageAfter her audition they begin to meet up for drinks and then food, but Yoshikawa has serious misgivings about her. He is unable to check her background or indeed find anyone who knows her.

Aoyama remains undeterred but the situation is about to take a horrifyingly sinister turn as Asami is not at all what she appears to be.

imageAudition is a masterclass in tension building. From the start I was transfixed and as it rolls towards the inevitable climax the suspense grows so that by the time you get there your nerves are already shredded, even before the violence starts.

This film really is for hardcore horror fans. There are no elaborate special effects and you don’t really see a lot until right at the end, but when it comes it is brutal, graphic and totally uncompromising.

An absolute must own for horror fans, just bear in mind that this release is in Japanese with English subtitles, but as long as you can deal with that then you should be fine and this is a real eye opener.

“When I was young, I burned myself in an accident. I want you to know everything about me.”


Audition is available to buy now on Blu-Ray, DVD and limited edition dual format Steelbook.


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DirectorTakashi Miike
AuthorRyu Murakami
GenreHorror, thriller
StarringRyo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Konimura
Available to buy on : Own Audition on Blu-Ray Own Audition Steelbook