From Japanese auteur Takashi Miike (13 Assassins) comes this multi-reality ghost story. A theatre troupe are in rehearsals for a production of the 200 year old play Yotsuya Kaidan. The play is a story of betrayal and revenge, centring on a samurai named Tamiya Iemon and his spurred lover Oiwa. As rehearsals of the play progress, reality begins to mirror fiction, as the lead actor Kousuke Hasegawa (Ebizô Ichikawa) begins cheating on his girlfriend, and fellow actress, Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki), which results in a strange and bloody series of events.
The story of Over Your Dead Body moves back and forth between the performance of Yotsuya Kaidan, one of Japan’s oldest ghost stories, and the real horror happening to the actors. The performance of the play essentially becomes a film-with-a-film, as the sets on the stage give away to a period setting. This might make Over Your Dead Body a little hard to follow, since it can be hard to determine what reality the film is taking place in. In fact, it took me most of the film to realize that the real life horror happening to the actors is mirroring the events of the play.
In typical Takashi Miike fashion, Over Your Dead Body features some grisly scenes of body horror, both within the world of the play and a particularly bloody scene in the “real world”. It actually remains somewhat ambiguous how much of the real-life horror is real and how much was in the mind of the jilted lead actress Miyuki Goto, who seems to be undergoing a bit of a mental breakdown, after finding out about Kousuke’s affair. Altogether, Over Your Dead Body was, to say the least, an interesting multi-reality ghost story.
7 | FAIR
- Friday, September 12, 9:00pm – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
- Saturday, September 13, 6:30pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2