Audition aka Ôdishon (1999)

Anyone who’s ever been on the dating scene knows what slim pickings there are out there for the discerning ‘ singleton’ (or whatever hideous phrase they’re using to generalise the desperate masses these days), and just how hard it is to find someone who has even read a book, never mind connects with you on a cerebral level, without secretly being a white supremacist, or a twilight fan, before you can even consider them relationship worthy.

It all seems like so much work( and you have so much Breaking Bad to catch up with, not to mention games to play and piles of books that don’t involve necrophilia or poorly written twilight bondage fan fic to engross yourself in), that you think, if only there was a way for me to audition these creeps, so that I had barely any contact, and could ask them all those questions that would root out all of the weirdos before I even bothered to put on my make up for them; which I know is just internet dating (except we all know that that does not work, don’t we kids?), so instead we could get them to apply to be our significant other, and audition!

Because that way we could all stop pretending we aren’t psychos and just be ourselves!

Like Eharmony, but for normal people!

Audition is the story of one man’s mission to find himself a wife by doing just that. After his wife dies, Shigeharu and his friend set up the auditioning process for a documentary style film that is also a clever way for him to find himself a suitable spouse among the applicants. Creepy, yes, but he’s a busy man! Luckily, Shigeharu quickly finds himself smitten with Asami, a former ballet dancer, who seems to check all of the boxes on his little ‘wife idol’ fantasy he has going on in his head, and they begin to grow closer, despite his friends misgivings about how if something is too good to be true, you’re probably the star of a Japanese horror film, but I doubt even he could predict little miss perfects true nature, unless he was taking some serious acid while watching Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein.

Based on the book by Ryu Murakami Audition is a thing of beauty, for horror fans and film lovers in general. Stylish, powerful and thought provoking, it morphs from a bittersweet tale of love and loneliness, into a gripping and blood splattered orgy of retribution and revenge.

Abuse, power, sex, death, desolation, feminism, and love are all themes that can be found here, in Takashi Miike’s masterpiece of visceral terror. There is not a second of dialogue that is wasted and a bit of violence that is in the slightest bit gratuitous, for it all leads to the perfect ending and a narrative that draws comparisons to Lynch and Cronenberg, and yet, stands in a league all of its own by the credit roll.

Audition has not aged, and seems to stand up against films of the last few years with a maturity and a steely gaze that many film makers to this day have not been able to meet, particularly with regards to the torture scenes.

Beware, if you are in any way of the squeamish persuasion, you’d be advised to sit this one out, as this is for those among us who can ride more than the tea cups without needing to do a Linda Blair pea soup a rama all over the living room.

This entry was posted in 90's horror, critique, feminist horror, fiction, horror, japanese horror, Nineties horror, opinion, pop culture, rape and revenge, Slasher, Twist ending, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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