Jintai-mokei no yuru (1996)

Plot Overview

Takahashi moves into a new apartment after a divorce and as she tries to settle in, finds that she is having strange and violent dreams and weird things keep happening in her apartment. Her neighbours also have some quirks of their own.

Review

We are introduced to Takahashi as she is moving into her new apartment, with her real estate agent ex-husband helping her check the place out. Her neighbour listens to their conversation through the wall and takes notes on his computer. She later bumps into a scientist father and son who live in the building. The son is a medical student who is obsessed with prosthetic body parts.

Her stalker neighbour becomes increasingly sensitive to her thoughts and feelings, their dreams begin to intertwine and her dreams become more violent and sexual as the film goes on. The medical student son masturbates with his father’s prosthetic arm and then the next day, the father gleefully tells his son that he must still be youthful because he had a “nocturnal emission” the night before, sniffing the arm and looking at it knowingly.

Takahashi also works at a ‘Fragrance Research Lab’. We learn that she has an oversensitive sense of smell and divorced her husband because she smelt another woman on him; for some reason this story is recounted whilst we are shown the most un-erotic sex scene between her and husband. She later catches the son dressed in her underwear and makeup, touching himself and moaning ‘Father!’, which leads to her learning more about the woman who lived there previously.

The film is mostly strung together with a bunch of random ‘weird’ scenes connected by a slight whiff of the theme of obsession. It also seems to dabble in ‘body horror’ too. It doesn’t really create the right atmosphere for either of these to work. The first one being the most important, but it never quite feels ‘obsessive’ enough. Technically the film is decent, the actors give good enough performances and the camera work is fine.

Summary

It ultimately all feels a bit pointless due the massive lack of atmosphere. It ends up seeming like ‘weird for weird’s sake’ and it never really comes together. There isn’t much of a story and the focus is on the increasing obsessiveness and weirdness, but as mentioned none of it is really that effective. It’s not terrible, but it’s nothing to write home about either. Pinku fans and fans of random weirdness may enjoy it, but otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it.

Rating: 5/10

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