Corpse Party (Live Action)

Director - Masafumi Yamada

Cast - RyŰsuke Ikeoka, Rina Ikoma, Jun, Kazuhiko Kanayama

Country of Origin - Japan

Discs - 1

Distributor - Section 23

Reviewer - Richard Glenn Schmidt

Date - 10/04/2016

The Film (3/5)

As theyíre cleaning up their classroom after the last cultural of the year, a group of high school students are dropped into another dimension where ghosts roam around killing them one by one. It turns out that a series of child murders some years before had cursed the old elementary school where their high school now stands. If they are to survive in this deadly and horrible place and get back home, the kids must find a way to reverse the curse.

Corpse Party began as a video game in 1996 which was then adapted into a manga and anime in 2012, and now this live action film (which already has a sequel) in 2015. This was my first foray into this world and I gotta say that I enjoyed myself. Iím always up for some cursed classroom hijinks and Corpse Party doesnít disappoint in that department. The gore effects are mostly practical and are pretty impressive in their squishiness. Thereís a heaping helping of melodrama poured on top of this splatter movie so you can get your high school love triangle fix, you sick bastards. I enjoyed the subtly haunting piano pieces in the soundtrack and the spooky surprises stashed throughout the film.

Unfortunately, there are some things about Corpse Party that arenít so great. The acting chops of these old teenagers is a little dicey but once the horror kicks in, everyone seems to find their stride. The generic story elements (as in the characters and the plot) and the constant running from place to place within the same location makes the film feel longer than it is. That being said, I look forward to watching this again and seeing if I like it better.

Audio/Video (4/5)

The film looks and sounds great in 1080p. Thereís a lot of dark scenes in the film but I had no trouble seeing them in detail. Nothing else notable to report.

Extras (1/5)

Other than a trailer for the film, thereís nothing on this disc.

Overall

Call me crazy but one of the things that struck me about this filmís alternate dimension is how it reminded me of Lucio Fulciís broken logic in The Beyond. That little bit of a mysterious and a morbid vibe goes a long way with me. If youíre already J-horror fan then Corpse Party is worth checking out but donít expect too much more than a gory Sunday afternoon low budget timewaster. I donít think anyone is going to see this film and become inspired to delve into the vast universe that that subgenre has to offer. However, there are some scares, some weirdness, and a layer of inescapable dread once the ball gets rolling.