The Locker 2
Horror / Thriller
The Locker 2
Horror / Thriller
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Start the story from where the first part ends; Ayano goes to visit her teacher Rieka at the hospital and Rieka gives her the key to the popular Shibuya locker. Ayano decides to search for her throughout Shibuya in order to solve the mystery of what is happening, while the hospital and the police also investigate. Discovering the cause of the evil will not be enough to stop the deaths.—Mahou 5 star
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
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A much better film than the original!
I was forced to get the VCD from Singapore in January, as in Japan the DVD releases have no English subtitles. The VCD has 2 discs: both Shibuya Kaidan 1 and 2 (The Locker 1 and 2).
The whole idea is that people put a gift in a magic coin locker and they will get the love of their life or various wishes granted - however that kind of stuff never goes smoothly in Japan does it, and as they say: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Without spoiling anything, I will say that there are mysterys to be solved, and demonic long-haired (understatement) ghost girls to run away from.
I'd recommend it for a J-horror fan, but be warned that they are not glossy films, and the first one is especially schlocky in parts. SK1 is VERY low budget, and that was not helped by bad compression on the first disc. The acting is not of the highest quality, but sometimes that works in a horror film's favour, making the actors more believable. The film has some good scares, and some icky moments.
SK2 is much better though, and has some inspired scares and scenes, and though it is still low budget, it has some good CGI effects. Overall the production for the 2nd film is much better, and so is the acting. It follows on directly from the events that transpired in the first film, and pulls the story towards a pretty chilling finale.
Many who see these 2 films will no doubt compare them to Ring, Juon. It is true that both Shibuya Kaidan films seem familiar in parts, but please remember that most J-Horror films, derive from the same sources. Folklore and Urban Legends have inspired some awesome set pieces in Shibuya Kaidan films, and I suggest NOT reading the Urban Legends section of the official site, since they are actually scenes in the films! You have been warned! I have talked to friends here in Japan about ghost stories, and Japan is rich with them. While these films are not going to redefine the genre, they do, by using existing legends, add something too it, and I think they are worth seeing, especially the second film. To say that one J-Horror film is ripping off another is often presumtious. It would be better to say that it is indicitive of the Japanese culture of spirits, ghosts, and demons.
I enjoyed watching the Shibuya Kaidan 1 and 2, though I was a little embarrassed by the first film, as I watched it for the first time with some J-Horror Virgin friends, and they just didn't get it. I made them watch Kairo afterwards so as to give them a better impression of the genre. Like I said above, these films would be best appreciated by those that treasure the J-Horror Genre, and are interested in something different to watch, that is both creepy, and insightful into the supernatural world of Japanese Legend.
This locker is an improvement over the last.
Continuing on where the first feature left off, set-up like a part 2 - a high-school girl receives the cursed locker key from her teacher/tutor as she lies mysteriously ill in the hospital bed. A flashback sequence of the two in conversation pops up to reminds us just where it's heading. So curiosity gets the better when she sets out to find the truth behind the urban legend of a paid locker, where a new born child was left to die. So those looking for love using "this" locker, placing a gift inside and confessing their love; instead feel the wrath of a spirit who wants them dead. Nothing personal - just the naivety of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. So in traditional form, a cursed object is the centerpiece to all of this horror and those who come into contact can't escape what fate has in stored. I love how these characters shove their heads into the locker as if it stretches out for miles, or hoping for something to come out and say boo(!).
The structure is more of the same, as before, but in true sequel fashion. There are frequent shots of the spirit; some plot expansion on the curse and the commonplace thrills come thick and fast, while the characters are secondary to all of this. Despite the fact there are quite a few plot threads running at the same time (involving the medical staff, bullies, friends and our protagonist),in the end it's all about putting these characters into situations that can only end in one way. The mystery is no longer there and Horie lets it open up. In doing so things (including the curse) seem to move at much quicker rate. This means some techniques from the original are hardly used (the phantom baby cries),or completely discarded (the moving sack that the baby was found in). When this spirit appears, it's straightforward; a poor man's miniature hybrid of Sakado (RINGU) and Kayako (JU-ON) --- from her pale appearance, right down to her jerky body movements. All she does is pop up out of nowhere staring, or if feeling extra motivated invisibly flinging her victims around and pulling them into darkness. Few shots can be creepy, like the reused fright from the first film, but executed even better here that it makes you feel sore from watching it happen. However more often it's repetitive and might raise a chuckle when not using shadows, or taut camera angles to hide the less than convincing make-up that shows in well lit set-pieces.
Not as dark, or even dreary. The shot-on locations don't have that sterile look, but for me the ominous air, in spite of some inconsistencies in the placement of the ghost, was still felt. Where as the first film I found dull, and solemn, this second sequel feels less distant, wanting to up the chaos and providing more weird occurrences to compensate for its formulaic mindset. I was definitely captivated, even if the drama's pure fluff with no real resolution, deaths not as gritty and the characters less defined, but most of the cast, especially Maki Horikita, do a capable job.
Issues aside, at least this sequel throws caution to the wind and was better for it.