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[Review] Shibuya Kaidan: The Locker

Netflix Synopsis
Legend has it that if you use a certain coin locker in Shibuya, you will find love. Six teenagers take the legend literally and use the locker hoping to make their dreams of romance a reality. Instead, they find a curse worse than death: Ghostly crying, mysterious handprints and something wicked shadows their every step. A she-devil is waiting who will never forgive or forget … and once she has you in her clutches, she'll never let go.

My Thoughts:

The Locker reaked "student film". From the "hey I can't afford real actors, so I'm going to cast my friends" acting to the cheesy filming locations (all of which looked like places you could film for free) and strange film tricks that seemed painfully out of place (that weird panning they did during the first hospital scene?). All these technical details would have been fine if they story wasn't so generic and just plain blah. I spent the first 50 minutes of the movie wondering if the synopsis writer on ol' netflix had even seen the movie. The locker is barely mentioned once and the seemed to focus more on the statue for unwanted fetuses (uh, yeah. Didn't know Japan had those either). I suppose that this was the writers way of throwing a red herring, so that the ending would be a surprising shock, but the only thing it had in common with a red herring is that it stunk (haha, too far? I'm here all night folks!). At the very least the synopsis could have been a little more subtle. Unfortunately it doesn't stop there. There was no atmosphere, which gave it the scare power of a Halloween episode of Home Improvement. Finally The Locker's last sin is that it was completely unoriginal. The final scene where the girl confronts the "ghost" (which is, of course, a long stringy haired girl who walks disjointedly *sigh*) was ripped right out of Ringu. I won't go into detail, the confrontation scene and the scene afterwards were practically the same. The biggest difference was the amount of money spent on make-up and effects (The Locker of course was the loser of the two).

I really enjoy foreign horror movies. I think what I like best about them is that fact that they're so different because each culture has its own set of mores, superstitions, and things that scare them. It's fun to watch and see if things that are considered scary are scary to me too. With that said, I am fucking sick and tired of the stringy haired Asian girl seeking revenge. While I like Ringu and Ju-on they both really ruined the bulk of Asian horror movies made after 1998 (and 2002 respectively). It's like America's incessant need to remake movies from the 80s, and well any movie really. They've simply run out of good/original ideas, so they keep recycling the same ideas over and over again. I may not be on the up and up of the latest cinema coming out of Asia, but all I keep seeing from the horror genre is the stringy, Asian girl ghost whose hair is in her face and is seeking revenge (being wet is optional). Knock it off!

Anyway, the point is that The Locker lacked in originality, storyline, acting, and budget. One of four is tolerable, but all four a bad movie makes. Skip this one unless you have 70 minutes you don't want back.

2 Stars