Rating: 0 out of 5
The Cast: Mirai Shida, Haruna Kawaguchi.
The Buzz: After the success of ‘Ju-On’ and ‘Premonition’, director Norio Tsuruta releases a film synonymous to the styles found in“Paranormal Activity” and “Blair Witch Project.”
The Story: Two Japanese teen idols host a recorded television show on paranormal sightings captured on smartphones. While the girls were presenting a prepared list of submitted videos, an unknown footage began to play unexpectedly on the monitors. Familiar to Haruna –both using their actual name for the film—the video showed a segment of her school where a ghostly urban legend was seen. The girls, their director and producer set out to the haunted school to investigate only to discover a frightening truth.
inSing.com thinks: Well, the frightening truth for us is how this might perpetually ruin director Tsuruta’s curriculum vitae. He had a good run with ‘Ju-On’; an average run with ‘Premonition’. That and the sad fact that horror flicks based on “true amateur recorded footage” had us fooled once too many.
When ‘The Blair Witch Project’ first came out from the woodwork, some had a good fright while most had a good time questioning the authenticity of the whole, “Oh look, we found some tapes in the forest and here are its ghastly contents.” Needless to say, there was much to be enjoyed in a nauseating sense as students with cameras run around the forest -- we just couldn’t wait for them to die.
A decade after that first mainstream “found footage” horror film, another was discovered right out of the bedroom. Not only was ‘Paranormal Activity’ smart on a cinematic level, but its pre-opening marketing ploy deserves a new Academy category on its own.
Horror filmgoers were given the hope that we are indeed not alone, only to be duped with a popcorn in hand.
So why didn’t this Japanese horror flick work? It had all the ingredients of a top-notch fright movie night: kawaii teenage girls running scared in a haunted school, a director that has evoked staircase-phobia in a few, and of course, the “found footage” concept.
Exactly because of the clichés found in the aforementioned and in particular Tsuruta’s lack of spirit –on ‘Ju-On’ he made the ghost a primary figure but in this film, there’s next to none, not even a random shadow.
There’s an obvious screenplay and direction struggle that made ‘P.O.V’ into a bad B-grade film rather than an A-grade amateur-captured film. In my humble point of view, don’t bother watching it.