Very effective for the most part, but it becomes yet another movie that is ruined by the last 20 minutes. The ending is even more ridiculous than the ending to The Exorcist 3. Some great moments, but completely ruined by an absolutely terrible last act. It is the exact opposite way the story should have ended and pissed me off to no end. 2 stars
Kitamura adapts splatter-punk Barker's work, translating the author's grand attributes to the screen, if not correcting his own melodramatic artifice. The adaptation has a veneer that is as showy as it's stylish. While its lead characters and inner meaning are as identifiable as it's plain and generic, and its violence is equally as gruesomely horrific as it is suspenseless. A wash of Barker's diabolical poetry.
It's gory and self-aware enough that it doesn't make for effective suspense/horror, but it's not funny enough to make its stupidity and gore 'enjoyable'. There's an idea in here about an artist who becomes a monster by observing the monster through his art, but it's buried in convoluted nonsense that feels ill-suited to the premise, instead adding dead weight to what should have been a simple, effective movie.
Good horror movie that would have benefitted from cutting down on the gore and upping the psychological dread. Despite some really cheap shots the movie is well put together and features decent performances from the cast. The best bit is that the makers of the film didn't alter the ending from the novel.
The initial chasing portion of this story was fine (e.g., it keeps you guessing why the police let this happen). Additionally, it has some stylish gory and agile deaths. But then, it throws too many things hoping to make you feel fulfilled. It doesn't work. By the end of it, you'll be left starving with a conclusion that doesn't fit (at least, the fantasy part of it, since the successor didn't bother me that much).