Jun Tanaka · 2017 · 100 minutes
preceded by PACALIEN
Red umbrellas become unnerving in this debut that recalls the heyday of J-horror, where new talent sought to examine social concerns and explore the human condition through the mode of the foreboding and supernatural. Ryota has a chance encounter with old-flame Fumiko when an umbrella inexplicably falls from the sky, landing in between them. Soon the two have moved in with one another and a wedding is on the horizon. Things would be looking up for Fumiko and her fiance if it weren’t for his ability to see ghosts, a curse that he increasingly finds harder to keep a secret. His home and work life are jeopardized by these phantoms whose presence he finds menacing and exhausting. When Ryota meets a woman who can also see them, he lets his relationship with Fumiko decay as he spends more and more time observing ghosts with this new woman.
Specters that can be genuinely disquieting or campy depending on the scene. Distractingly ill-timed music cues. Working with a miniscule budget of around $6,000, BAMY subverts the feeling of dread it so casually maintains with its pondering of relationships and fate. Despite proudly displaying his influences - the film could be described as if Kiyoshi Kurosawa had directed Ghostbusters - Tanaka’s first feature signals an exciting new voice, J-horror or otherwise.