Fantasia 2016 Review: Inerasable

A writer (Yuko Takeuchi) and a student (Ai Hashimoto) seek information from a Buddhist priest in the Japanese film Inerasable, directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura. Inerasable is being shown at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal.

A writer (Yuko Takeuchi) and a student (Ai Hashimoto) seek information from a Buddhist priest in the Japanese film Inerasable, directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura. Inerasable is being shown at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal.

A novelist (Yuko Takeuchi) has been writing short horror stories based on suggestions sent in by her readers. She gets a letter from Ms. Kubo (Ai Hashimoto), a student who has heard strange noises coming from her bedroom; swishing noises that sound like someone sweeping the tatami.

The nameless author remembers getting a similar letter a few years ago. . .when she finds it, she discovers that it was from a tenant in the same building. And that woman’s young daughter had acted as if she could see something. . . up near the ceiling. Then Kubo learns that another former resident of the building committed suicide shortly after moving somewhere else. (His landlady has a creepy story about the last time she saw him.)

Kubo and the writer start working together, trying to figure out what drove the man to kill himself. They look at old photos, land records and maps, and talk to old timers in the neighbourhood to learn about previous buildings where Kubo’s apartment block now stands, and the people who lived and sometimes died in them.

They go farther and farther back in time, and travel to other cities, too. They hear stories of apparent madness, fatal accidents, murder, and more suicides, all connected in some way. Restless spirits seem to be everywhere.

At one point, a young man who knows all about the ghost stories, rumours and gossip on Kyushu Island  casually mentions that the locals think just hearing those stories will leave you cursed. Oh, oh! “Ah, a classic ghost story rule!” (or words to that effect) says the writer’s husband, knowingly.

Director Yoshihiro Nakamura also made Fish Story (2009), Golden Slumber (2010) See You Tomorrow, Everyone (2013) and The Snow White Murder Case (2014), which were all shown at previous editions of Fantasia. See Inerasable at the Fantasia international Film Festival on Friday, July 22, 2016, at 5 pm in the Hall Theatre of Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Inerasable

Directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura,  written by Kenichi Suzuki, based on a book by Fuyumi Ono.

Cast: Yuko Takeuchi, Ai Hashimoto, Kentaro Sakaguchi, Kenichi Takito, Kuranosuke Sasaki,  107 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles.

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