NOTE: This is a Japanese film so the original film title is actually Okaturo….which I’m guessing means ‘Occult’ in Japanese (f##k I’m clever!).
I suppose I better start off by pointing out that rarely have I enjoyed a film so much…only to have been completely let down by it’s final scene!
Now, I don’t want to put people off, because this is an excellent Found Footage offering….
But I get the feeling that the filmmakers were late for an appointment when it came to the final scene of this film. I’m not joking here – a film budget of $1 would have greatly improved the ending of this film!
Sorry, I had to get that rant out of the way before I got into the guts of this title – that final scene really did knock me off balance!!!
Koji Shiraishi is interested in a strange indiscriminate murder at a sightseeing resort. He goes behind the camera to investigate the circumstances surrounding strange occurrences and interview the survivors.
The Larger Mystery
I love it when the Found Footage genre manages to get a little deep with it’s plot lines – the recent House of Labrys managed it in style.
What makes Occult interesting is the way in which it hints at the much larger mystery hiding behind the initial one.
The film opens with a rather distressing murder rampage on a bridge above a scenic waterfall-based tourist attraction. From that moment onward the film gathers pace consistently and evolves beautifully.
I guess the main attraction with Occult is the fact it completely sidesteps just about every Found Footage angle that has been thrown out there in the past.
Now this could have led to disaster…but it really, really, worked well.
The story captivated me – and the Japanese actors involved managed to keep their ‘Japanese over-acting’ down to a minimum.
Everything glues together really well and seems to have followed a strict plot path – it doesn’t deviate.
It pains me to have to do this but it’s something that unfortunately stuck in my mind…along with all the positive aspects of the movie.
The final scenes.
Surely somebody out there must have noticed how bad this ending was?
The director, Kôji Shiraishi, was the guy behind the awesome Noroi: The Curse. Surely he deserved a SFX budget that was higher than the price of a broken iPod?
On top of that – surely one of his mates, family members or even cast members must have realized how shit that final scene was?
If I’d have come out with something similar to this film’s climax I would have expected a friend to go “No, no Chris – great film but that ending sucks ass!”.
But apparently the nearest and dearest to Mr. Shiraishi opted to keep their mouths shut on this one…which is a shame.
Occult (or Okaturo) is an EXCELLENT film – regardless of the pants ending. This ending is actually the ONLY negative thrown up by this Found Footage experience.
This truly was a low-budget film all the way through, and generally that’s okay – that’s one of the things that Found Footage movies do well…when intelligence is involved in the process (which it certainly was here).
All the way through the film the supernatural element was kept low-key and this is what made the plot so appealing to me…and then the final scene jumped out of the PC screen and slapped me like a bitch!
What was going through Mr. Shiraishi’s mind when he came up with this climax?
I guess we’ll never know…
But nobody’s perfect right?
Still a brilliant Found Footage movie and well worth watching.