A long crawl from inception to climax.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
The New York Times by A.O. Scott
The picture is about victims -- but it's also a great, sick rush with a kicker on the level of "The Vanishing."
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.
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.
After simmering for an eternity, it derails, with spectacular, psychotic force, bulldozing its way toward an almost unwatchable theater of cruelty.
Los Angeles Times by Kevin Thomas
A diabolically adroit piece of filmmaking that goes even further than the films of Italy's excruciatingly macabre Dario Argento.
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.
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.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer by William Arnold
The first two-thirds of the movie are a kind of stumbling relationship drama, but the last third segues into a spooky feast of torture, mutilation and murder.
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!
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.