Being persuaded by her co-worker Hirohashi (Chikara
Ishikura), welfare worker Rika (Megumi Okina) takes the job of
taking care of Sachie (Chikako
Isomura), an old woman. In Sachie's house though, she finds a
little boy, Toshio (Yuya
Ozeki) locked away in a wardrobe. When she frees him though, he
starts acting weird, slowly freaking her out - but that's nothing to what Rika
experiences next ... a spirit/demon bent over Sachie, sucking the life out of
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Earlier: Katsuya (Kanji Tsuda) leaves for work, leaving his wife Kazumi (Shuri
Matsuda) alone with his mother Sachie. Soon Kazumi sees a little
boy she does neither know - but it's Toshio alright - nor can account for,
running around the appartment, always eluding her if only just ... When she
finally thinks she has cornered him in a room ...
When Katsuya returns home, he only finds Kazumi's dead body. At first, he is
devastated - understandably -, but soon a strange power takes possession of him
& he hides the body in the attic. When his sister Hitomi (Misaki Ito) comes
for a visit, he throws her out ...
Later, Hitomi tries to reach Katsuya via phone, but only gets spooky noises
as an answer, furthermore at the toilets of her workplace she sees something
that might be a ghost ... & when she sends a watchman to investigate, she
sees him killed over a surveillance-monitor. In panic, she flees the building,
but the spirits follow her home & manifest to her in various forms, via tv
or telephone, in the guise of her brother tatsuya or as a small teddybear she
suddenly holds in her hand ... until she finds Toshio under her blanket with
Later, Hirohashi, when looking after his colleague Rika, finds her cowering
beside Sachie's corpse, clearly in shock. When the police investigate, they
find two more corpses - those of Katsuya & Kazumi - in the attic of the
same house. Detectives Igarashi & Nakagawa (Daisuke Honda & Hirokazu
Inoue, respectively) take up investigations & soon dig up a
series of murders that happened in the same house 5 years ago, with one person
involved never found - a little boy called Toshio (!).
the 2 detectives decide to pay Toyama (Yoji
Tanaka), who ibnvestigated the case back then & was the only
one left alive, a visit, who only reluctantly agrees to help, as he has quit
the force precisely because of what he has seen in that case ... & when he
now sees the surveillance video of the watchman's murder, he decides to take
matters into his own hands, & wants to burn down once & for all the
house all the evil emanated from. Once there though he is subjected to ghostly
visions & future remembrances concerning his daughter, before he is killed,
Years later: Izumi (Misa Uehara), Toyama's daughter, is living a relatively
normal life as a highschool student, until she & 3 other girls go to an
alleged ghosthouse - yes, it's the house from above -, but Izumi pulls
out literally the last minute ... the other 3 girls go missing, but Izumi is
far from safe from harm: Suddenly, she sees her dead father again, as well as
her 3 girlfriends & of course Toshio ... soon, she ends up dead, too ...
After years of not having seen each other, Rika & Mariko (Kayoko
Shibata) meet again, Rika has finally gotten over all the horror
that happened to her in the past, & Mariko has just finished studying to be
a groundschool teacher & is teaching ehr first class. But already at htheir
first meeting, Rika has a ghostly apparition of Toshio. & when Mariko
loater tells her over the phone that she has to do a housevisit to meet the
parents of a problemchild, it neither takes the viewer nor Rika long to figure
that has to be Toshio ...
Overcoming her understandable fear, Rika rushes to the ghosthouse to find
her friend already in the clutches of the ghosts, who are soon after her too
... until she figures the only appear as long as she is covering her eyes,
& when she doesn't, they cannot harm her ...
Or can they ?
Mainly, this movie is a mood-piece, with much of the actual atrocities
happening off-screen & only hinted at - but nevertheless they are spooky -,
while the narrative structure more or less resembles that of a jigsaw puzzle:
its seperate pieces thrown together in not necessarily the right (temporal)
order, & only making perfect sense in the broader context, tied up in the
finale. The finale itself though somewhat spoils the movie, the logic it's
only scary as long as you cover your eyes rather suggests the director has
read one too many books on horror movies than any original idea & is rather
an annoyance in its second-rate self-reflexiveness. A spooker as good as this
would have deserved better !