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Audition(オーディション)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Japan
·
1999

Rated R · 1h 55m

Director Takashi Miike
Starring Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Jun Kunimura, Tetsu Sawaki
Genre Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
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Seven years after the death of his wife, company executive Aoyama searches for a new spouse by holding auditions for a fake movie. After skimming through several of the actresses' portfolios, he becomes obsessed by the beautiful and mysterious Asami Yamazaki. However, this actress is a little different from the others...

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Cait Mohr Profile picture for Cait Mohr

Shockingly visceral, this has to be one of my top 10 horror movies of all time. There's something about the torture scenes in this movie that makes watching feel like an act of masochism itself, the film's cruelty displayed with such disturbing clarity that you can almost feel the gradual build-up under your own skin. I feel like I watched this entire film clenched in the fetal position, a testament to the artful execution of Miike's vision!

Kelsey Thomas Profile picture for Kelsey Thomas

For much of its runtime, AUDITION has a distinct rom-com feel, which makes the final torture scene all the more jarring. Its early scenes are fairly quiet and reserved, demure like the film’s antagonist (anti-hero?) Asami, up until Miike’s ultimate — and unabashed — display of visual excess. He seems to wonder just how much he can rattle viewers, always going “deeper, deeper, deeper” into their nerves while they sit as paralyzed as Aoyama, the unfortunate but not unfeeling widower. Through his portrait of Asami, Miike shows that victimhood and villainy are inextricably tied; still, it’s hard to be sympathetic when she smiles down at that wire saw. A relatively slow burn with a huge payoff.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

New Times (L.A.) by Andy Klein

A warning is virtually mandated: No one who's even the least bit squeamish should even think about seeing Audition. But, if you have a taste for the disturbing, it's a trip that will stay with you for some time.
50

Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

The most startling aspect of this slow-building horror movie is how unexpectedly it morphs from a quietly romantic suspense yarn to a flat-out tale of terror that may have some viewers hiding under their seats.
30

Village Voice by Dennis Lim

After simmering for an eternity, it derails, with spectacular, psychotic force, bulldozing its way toward an almost unwatchable theater of cruelty.
89

Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

Audition's take on the war between the sexes is bleak and almost entirely devoid of hope. --It's enough to make you give up dating altogether.
70

L.A. Weekly by Paul Malcolm

How Miike gets us from amiable point A to debilitating point B is a remarkable act of manipulation and control that may leave you feeling sucker-punched, even brutalized, but you won't forget the experience anytime soon.

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