People do crazy things when they’re in love. So you can imagine what actually crazy people do. This idea is explored to the fullest in Takashi Miike’s 1999 Japanese horror spectacular, Audition.
The plot follows an aging widower, Shigeharu. He feels lonely and his son thinks it’s time he started looking for another wife. When Shigeharu explains all this to his friend in the movie business, the buddy gets a bright idea: they decide to stage an audition so Shigeharu can have his pick of the litter.
After a comical segment with a dozen or so interviewees, Shigeharu (and the audience) meets Asami. Dressed all in white with a glowing smile, she could be an angel. Shigeharu falls hard at first sight. After the auditions, the friend warns Shigeharu to keep away from Asami, saying he might be moving too fast. Shigeharu ignores this and calls her. After a romantic dinner, Asami confesses to a brutal abusive childhood with her dance instructor grandfather.
As the story continues, things begin happening that put Shigeharu on edge. Finally, Shigeharu learns the truth about Asami, in one of the most unforgettable scenes in movie history.
Folks, I’m a pretty tough guy when it comes to movies. The Wizard of Gore cast no spell on me, all the bloody fun in Hellraiser didn’t turn my guts a bit. So when I say that Audition literally made me vomit, you’ll fully understand what that implies.
This movie is a triumph of horror cinema. It begins gradually at an almost painfully slow pace. Every little oddity building and building the tension. Until finally the cable snaps and you fall into a macabre carnival of twisted imagery. This is not a movie for those new to the genre. This is a goal for even veteran film goers.
This is the milestone. If you can watch it, you’re in the game. But make sure you’re ready before you do.