Shikoku (1999, JAP) C-100m. *** D: Shunichi Nagasaki. Starring Yui Natsukawa, Michitaka Tsutsui, Chiaki Kuriyama, Toshie Negishi, Ren Osugi. Unusual romantic horror film, a mystery chiller in the new Japanese tradition: After twenty years, Tsutsui returns to her hometown and friends, but must learn that one of her best friends has died. It turns out that her mother has initiated a rite that could bring her back from the dead - and other dead people with it. Much less spectacular than it sounds, often uneven and slowly paced, but still fascinating to watch. Good score, elaborate photography, impressive mystical finale, should appeal to horror fans, despite its drawbacks. From the producer of RINGU (1998).

© Ron Altman