(VUkekpar/leweb) On m'avait décrit ce film comme une curiosité, et Nakagawa comme le Mario Bava japonais, et je n'ai effectivement pas été déçu sur ces 2 points! Le film m'a fait penser à "Lisa et le diable" de Bava (en plus réussi néanmoins) pour sa narration assez expérimentale. S'il n'est pas inintéressant dans ses deux 1er 1/3, le film marque surtout pas sa dernière partie dans les enfers, esthétiquement réussie.
I'm being generous here because Hell is cool as hell. There's a sloppy datedness to the melodramatic front-end that undercuts any eerie, fable-style vibes Nakagawa may have been shooting for; it plays stilted. I felt like I was watching some kind of scared-straight video. At least half my rating is for the surreal, nightmarish hell sequences at the end. Takeaway: everyone is trying to kill you & everything's a sin.
A horror film riddled with dull melodrama and an insurmountable amount of characters and subplots, rendering it uncompelling, and often even unintentionally humorous. Even its literal descent into hell is bland, with uninteresting characters, and a silly undercurrent. Like many early Japanese films, it does have eye-popping photography, but this may be Criterion's worse horror release. Perhaps the remakes are better?
'Jigoku'; a portrait of hell- one man's rendering, anyway. Nakagawa paved his road to hell with crisp color, crimson reds and emerald greens, deep blacks and pale whites. The characters of the film seem to be (ironically) illuminated by an angelic light, at times literally blinding to viewers, scenes transitioning without warning from pitch-black darkness to bright white light. This being said,...↓
For some reason, I can't disassociate this film from an unrelated nightmare I had months after seeing it where I had a terrible death/vomit/rotten tuna-fish taste in my mouth... I can't even look at screenshots without imagining the taste! What the heck?
it's kinda disturbing when you're watching this and you imagine yourself suffering in the bottomless hell and stuff. truly is. the scene where Shiro meets Yukiko in the Sanzu River is utterly heartbreaking and beautiful. my doubts about this film turned to awe in the final third.