Noroi: The Curse (2005) – Japanese Found Footage


Noroi: The Curse (2005) - Japanese Found Footage

Ever since I introduced the Contact Page in the top Navbar of this site I’ve had a tidal wave of regular visitors pleading with me to review their favorite Found Footage film.

It’s got to the point where I rely on this contact form heavily due to the amount of films I watch and then forget about completely!

The film that tends to get mentioned the most in contact messages is a Japanese Found Footage offering named Noroi: The Curse.

I actually first watched this film after I had smashed my foot up in a game of football ( and I mean SMASHED! ). I was loaded up on painkillers ( Tramadol to be precise ) and whilst I felt great I couldn’t remember even five minutes of the film the next morning!

So, after the barrage of contact requests I finally decided to bite the bullet and sit through this unique Asian offering again last night…

The Plot

The film follows the exploits of supernatural journalist Masafumi Kobayashi in a documentary format. Mr. Kobayashi is well known in his paranormal field after releasing numerous books and films on the subject of ghostly happenings in Japan.

After a series of seemingly unrelated paranormal-based events occur, Kobayashi ends up on a case revolving around an ancient demon called “kagutaba”.

It soon becomes apparent that this case is unlike any he has taken on before in his eventful career…

Definitely NOT Paranormal Activity

I was amazed by how unique and purposefully slow moving this Found Footage was. While Paranormal Activity relied on jumpy moments to capture it’s audience this offering leaned heavily on it’s rather deep and twisted plot.

There was no real gimmick involved at any point of this film – it was terrifyingly effective through plain atmosphere alone.

The film ended up being a film inside a film where we start off with a Japanese narrator explaining that the following is a documentary filmed by Masafumi Kobayashi’s crew.

It also goes as far as pointing out that the cameraman is a professional documentary maker and THAT is why he keeps the camera running.

I thought this was a really clever move – no more idiotic American kids stopping to film a chasing entity when they should be running their ass off to get away!

Everything seemed well thought out for once – it is one of the few Found Footage movies that manages to stay away from the more typical stupid character decisions.


I’ve always liked the dark and twisted nature of Japanese horror films – they have something unique that the Western entertainment industry struggles to replicate.

You’ve only got to look at the amount of money Hollywood paid to remake The Ring and The Grudge to see where I’m coming from!

The one downfall to this Asian genre is typically the quality of the actors involved with the films – there tends to be a rather common ‘over-acting’ problem with the majority of actors ( I don’t want to generalize but I’m afraid it is a sad truth! ).

This particular Japanese Found Footage managed to include actors that were able to contain their excitement throughout the duration of the film – the cast were VERY good.

The cinematography was very believable and the CGI was kept down to a bare minimum ( the small amount of CGI that was included was extremely effective and creepy! ).

At times I feel as though Hollywood disrespects its audience by relying heavily on ‘jump-shock’ factors time and time again. The Curse has managed to deliver a creepy and memorable experience without ever going down this route – very commendable.

Dark, twisted, atmospheric and VERY intelligent – this is one you definitely don’t want to miss out on!

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  1. im glad you rewatched this!

    i definitely think this movie is stacked with examples of brilliant film making, without falling victim to common FF issues you identified – even the question of why bother filming. perhaps not all of kōjis works offer this consistency but regardless, they are some of the better in the genre iv found 🙂

    • Hi Tom,
      I currently working my way through ‘Cult’ but I’m not that impressed by it so far – Noroi seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of it in terms of just about everything!!!!

  2. If you liked this the you should see the same directors other found footage projects: Cult, Occult, Shirome, and A Record of sweet Murder. But good luck finding a copy with subtitles for that last one. All 4 are set in the same cinematic universe as Noroi but with all different characters, stories, and locations. Best being Cult and Occult followed by Shirome, and Record was ok but I didnt know what they were saying in that one..killer ending as usual though

    • Hey Brandon,
      I actually started reviewing Cult last night but I have to be honest…not really great so far ( terrible Asian overacting ). I turned it off after about 50 minutes because the internet started buffering ( for some unknown reason! ). I’ll probably finish off the review again tonight and get it up this week. All the titles you’ve mentioned there are currently on YouTube but some of them have really low quality subtitles 🙁

  3. Definitely agree on overacting on cult, lol. But is worth the watch. Occult is my favorite of his besides some obvious production issues on cgi on ending. Would suggest subscene.com for subtitles or downloading a torrent of file, but not sure on rules about that…got copy from friend of mine. Occult more grounded in reality. Thought cult was fun dark comedy like a live action anime. U might have reviewed it allready but I did like the haunted house project as well. Sad there is not more foreign language found footage (only have about 8 in my collection of 147 that are worth the watch)

    • Hi Brandon,
      Funnily enough I did try watching that Occult the other night but the subtitles were awful ( they were a dark color so they blended into the picture too much! ). I haven’t heard of that subscene.com but I’ll have to take a look – sounds very handy! 🙂

  4. Yeh, this movie is fantastic! It delivers the most crazy and diverse horror tropes ive ever seen in a FF (or any) horror movie. And it GETS AWAY WITH IT!

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