New Religion

2022 [JAPANESE]

Action / Drama / Horror

11
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100% · 5 reviews
IMDb Rating 5.7/10 10 388 388

Director

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
920.84 MB
1280*538
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
Seeds 25
1.85 GB
1920*808
Japanese 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
Seeds 21
921.56 MB
1280*538
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
Seeds 6
1.67 GB
1920*808
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
Seeds 20

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by captainpass 7 / 10

Onryo for the Pandemic Age

On one level, "New Religion" comes dressed as the familiar onryo- the departed female child haunting the living (though in this film it is a haunting that is more obviously psychological than supernatural). On another level, this feels much more like a contemporary Panos Cosmatos or Brandon Cronenberg film, particularly in its very offbeat script, lighting choices (particularly the red filter), ambient noise and use of silence during framing shots. The film is a slow-burn, but it is thought-inducing (if that is your cup of brew). It is also strangely pessimistic.

At the heart of the movie is the wonderfully understated acting of Kaho Seto as "Miyabi," the mother whose moment of absence leads to a tragedy that compounds over time until it becomes horrific. As a sort of purgatory (one can only surmise), Miyabi divorces, becomes a call girl, attaches herself to a rather boy-ish club D. J. boyfriend and then finds herself enmeshed in a strange relationship with a client ("Oka," a photographer who lives in a dark room and requires a digital projection of his voice). The client only wants to photographs parts of Miyabi's body one session at a time (spine, legs, ears, etc.). It is a remarkably non-sexual (but also, rather creepy) arrangement. (In that respect, this film's male protagonist-photographer actually does find a cousin in Kurosawa's "Creepy.")

Yet it is the photographer, not Miyabi's boyish boyfriend, who engages her tragedy: Oka tells her at one point that he has kept her daughter alive; that the daughter is still in Miyabi's apartment; that the daughter dreams of her mother. Miyabi knows otherwise; and yet she comes to embrace the premise, leaving her boyfriend and her handler befuddled in the process. At another time, the photographer tells her that he has given her the "dream" of her daughter, but that he wants "her history" in return; that he is like a "moth" and that moths are "envious" of those with a history.

So what are we to make of all of this? Is the photographer a predator drawn to those with tragedies? Or is the point less literal and more general: that we are dealing here with an allegory of grief: That humans seek to piece together various moments of loss and tragedy for a resolution, "meaning" or whole that will nonetheless escape us? Or is it that each little act of selfishness, whether intended or not, adds up to a horrific whole? Or perhaps that our ability to lose ourselves in a fiction leaves us unable to say where we end and others begin (the photographer has quite a bit to say about the dreamer-confronting-the-dreamed in one of his monologues)?

But the film avoids such singular answers. And at the end we are presented with both a type of forgiveness for Miyabi and further horror for her, which seem to defy any notion of resolution. Indeed, if there is an additional backstory here, it is mass violence (the movie does not dwell on this, but rather gives us glimmers of the outside, larger world). And if there is an additional metaphor at work here, it is the idea of metamorphosis; that the photographer "changes" those with whom he comes in contact, and that the change is inevitably catastrophic. Oka promised Miyabi a restoration of her loved one, but uses Miyabi for a hateful end. In contrast, the boyfriend relates to her his belief that Miyabi is singular and cannot be "replaced." He relates to her his desire to spend his life with her, but also concedes his inability to make that happen. He loves "everything," and wants to restore the "fun" of when they first met. In sum, he is no savior.

I can't say that I figured this one out, but it was fun trying. (Bonus points for the Def Leppard "Photograph" references in this film!)

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 7 / 10

All red

Miyabi (Kaho Seto) has lost her daughter when she falls from the balcony, which puts her in a dark place, working as an escort in a basement somewhere with two other women. Sure, she has a new guy, but one of her co-workers -- Aiwaza (Daiki Nunami) -- loses her mind and kills a whole bunch of people with a knife.

One of Aiwaza's prize clients -- Oka (Satoshi Oka) -- now needs someone to take care of his needs, so Miyabi takes over. His needs? He takes photos of women, slowly, strangely and in ways that make them feel like they're being dissected. Yes, that's strange. But what's stranger is that his house is either always pitch black or blindingly red. Strange enough? What if he had no vocal cords and now spoke through the sound system of his home at body rattling volume? And what if with each photo that Oka takes, Miyabi gets closer to seeing her dead daughter?

Also: none of this could be happening. Or all of it.

Directed and written by Keishi Kondo, this is not a movie to go into hoping for a straight up horror film. But for those willing to make the journey toward its heart of darkness, there's something strange and wonderful here.

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