ABOUT THE AUTHOR: When Frederick Burdsall isn’t at work or watching movies while covered in cats, you can find Fred in the front seat of Knoebels’ Phoenix.
Noroi: The Curse is a 2005 film from Director Koji Shiraishi (Occult and Carved: The Slit Mouthed Woman) and stars Jin Muraki and Rio Kanno.
The story itself focuses on a documentary filmmaker named Kobayashi, who has recently vanished after his home went up in flames and his wife’s body is found among the rubble. He was working on a film about a demon named Kagutaba and the curse attached.
In a found footage style we see his investigation start with Junko Ishii whose neighbor hears crying babies coming from her house. Ishii moves and the neighbor and her daughter die soon in a car crash. He moves on to Kana, a young girl with incredible psychic ability who appeared on a TV show and has now vanished.
The trail leads him to a crazed psychic named Hori, who points them in the direction of an apartment complex and Osawa, a strange man who drags pigeons into his home for some unknown reason. Osawa soon goes missing.
A trip to a shrine leads him to the discovery of Kagutaba, a demon imprisoned under the village of Shimokage, now underwater. I don’t want to spoil the surprises that come after all this so I’ll stop myself here but the movie courses along to a finale after the early closing credits, where the last piece of footage is revealed and is, to me, the best part of the movie. Immensely creepy and visual. I leave it up to you to see it all for yourself and don’t let the iffy beginning ruin you to it…it will really pull you in if you let it.
Rio Kanno, who plays young Kana, got her start a few years earlier in the film Dark Water and is better known as the voice of Madge in Howl’s Moving Castle. This is one of those movies that you either love it or you don’t so watch and enjoy Noroi and as always, I’ll see you at Knoebels.