December 6, 2007

Ring 0: Birthday (2000 film)

Directed by Norio Tsuruta. Written by Hiroshi Takahashi. Based on the novella Lemon Heart by Koji Suzuki.

A short while back, a friend of mine described Ring 0 as "one of the worst, most syphilitic bowel movements ever committed to celluloid." Thankfully, he's a friend I frequently disagree with.

Ring 0: Birthday is a damn fine supernatural drama.

December 1, 2007

Happy Birthday (1999 story)

Written by Koji Suzuki.

Incapable of reading Japanese (despite four years of the subject in high school... all forgotten... long story), I probably shouldn't comment on someone's translating abilities. But I can't resist taking a moment to point out this particular sentence:
There in the bright light they had examined each other's organs, lapped each other's fluids, felt each other's pulses against their mucus membranes.

November 15, 2007

Lemon Heart (1999 novel)

Written by Koji Suzuki.

I was really, really looking forward to this story. A glimpse at Sadako before death, before the tape, before the earth-altering virus. What is she, this future replacement of humankind, like as she enters her adulthood?

October 26, 2007

Coffin in the Sky (1999 story)

Written by Koji Suzuki.

Well, this is terribly unnecessary.

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice, atmospheric story with creepy imagery and some decent exploration of Mai Takano, but why did Suzuki think it was a good idea to take a sequence from the novel Spiral, which effectively played on readers' imaginations, and pretty much spoil it by filling in the details?

There's a reason he cut it in the first place.

October 25, 2007

Paradise (1990 novel)

Written by Koji Suzuki.

It's a shame Suzuki's popularity is mainly based around his horror work. It's not even his work, but rather the loose adaptations of fantastic filmmakers. I'm not complaining about the films - I love The Ring and Dark Water - but, frankly, those are not Suzuki at his best. Forest Under the Sea is. Loop is. This, his debut novel, is. His finest writing isn't about viruses or ghosts, it's about people. People struggling to find their identity and looking to the past for some form of answer. While these are elements that do, on occasion, pop up in his horror tales, here they finally get to stand in the forefront instead of getting buried within creepy dripping and moldy flesh.