An undisputed master of contemporary Japanese horror films, Shinya Tsukamoto specializes in a kind of physical brand of terror; the fear he creates crawls in deep under the skin. Here, a man (played by Tsukamoto himself) awakens in a cramped, featureless space; he has no idea how he got there, and even less of an idea how to get out. Each move brings on new dangers and the threat of an even worse confinement. Shooting on digital, Tsukamoto gives the audience a remarkable, terrifying intimacy with his character, as we seem to feel his breath and value each new inch of space he discovers. There’s little gore in the film, just an overwhelming sense of dread. Watching Haze is an amazing and deeply unsettling experience—you’ll be grateful it’s under an hour long. —NYFF
Constant comparisons to such distinctive celluloid experimentalists as David Cronenberg and David Lynch may give the uninitiated an idea of what to expect aesthetically and thematically from the works of renegade Japanese filmmaker/actor Shinya Tsukamoto, though as complimentary as they may be, the comparisons ultimately don’t do justice to the remarkably original and frantic essence of his hauntingly jarring cinematic nightmares. From the cringe-inducing, hyper-kinetic body horror of Tetsuo: The Iron Man to the creeping deliberation of Gemini, Tsukamoto’s intriguing body of work has isolated critics and audiences while building a strong fan base who share his technophobe paranoia and cyber-punk sensibility.
Born in Shibuya, Tokyo, in 1960, Tsukamoto found inspiration early in his childhood from the television series Ultra-Q. Making his directorial debut via Super-8 film around the age of 14, the future director later found creative outlet in painting and theater. Briefly putting… read more