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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark, atmospheric, creepy little movie....
I guess I'm old school when it comes to horror these days, and Infection worked for me. Less is more in the horror genre as far as what is shown to us, and this movie follows that rule very well. I hate it when reviews give everything away, so in a nutshell: A decaying hospital (as well as healthcare system) is the setting for this nicely done thriller. Fear of illness,...
Published on May 16, 2005 by G. Leavins

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creepy And Unsettling Film: Guilt And The Subconscious Mind!
"Infection," (aka: Kansen) is not a film for everyone. When I first viewed the film a couple of years ago, I knew it was not a masterpiece. Yet, somehow, there is something incredibly creepy about this film which I find appealing. However, as a word of caution, this may not be a film for everyone, so rent it first. However, I really liked this film enough to give it 3.5...
Published on September 26, 2007 by Ernest Jagger


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark, atmospheric, creepy little movie...., May 16, 2005
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This review is from: Infection (DVD)
I guess I'm old school when it comes to horror these days, and Infection worked for me. Less is more in the horror genre as far as what is shown to us, and this movie follows that rule very well. I hate it when reviews give everything away, so in a nutshell: A decaying hospital (as well as healthcare system) is the setting for this nicely done thriller. Fear of illness, infection, hospitals, the dark, doctors.... they're all covered here. A botched death at the hands of doctors, a mysterious patient dropped off at the E.R., a hospital with very dark rooms and corridors, an aggressive virus that disolves it's host. The movie really builds tension, and the payoff does not insult the viewer. Most horror films today are pretty silly, and this was a nice little gem to discover. Highly recommended.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expect creeps and gross out rather than shocks with this one, May 20, 2005
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This review is from: Infection (DVD)
The old joke is that you should avoid going to hospitals when you are not feeling well because there are too many sick people there. "Kansen" ("Infection") takes place in a hospital where nobody should go, and that includes the doctors and nurses in director Masayuki Ochiai's 2004 horror film. Last night I watched the season finale of "E.R." and with all the problems the fictional County Hospital has, it looks like a state of the art facility compared to the hospital in this movie. The doctors have not been paid, nine nurses have quit, patients are falling out of beds, and they are running out of syringes and just about every other type of necessary supply. One doctor suggests sending every incoming patient to surgery because that might help the place make enough money for them to get paid. A new nurse is so inexperienced with a syringe that she has turned a comatose patient's arm into a pincushion. Meanwhile, an ambulance in transit with a patient who has a rash that is quickly covering their entire body keeps asking for help. It takes that ambulance a while to get to this wretched little hospital, at which point we understand the movie will get to the business of the title.
But before that happens things have already gotten critical when a patient dies because of a fatal mistake. Recriminations fly fast and furious, along with the fear that a malpractice case could close down the hospital and cost them their lousy jobs. When they agree to cover up the circumstances of the death, these doctors and nurses earn the fate that awaits them when the decomposing body is delivered and the unknown infectious disease is unleashed. Whatever it is, it appears to be a green fluid. The part where your muscle tissue falls apart with the sort of wet sound that makes you physical ill comes last. Before that there are nightmarish visions and a descent into insanity peculiar to the personality (and personal limitations) of each character.
The basic premise of the killer disease is familiar and depending on your age the films "The Andromeda Strain" or "Cabin Fever" might be what first comes to your mind as cinematic reference points for this one. What Ochiai is able to take advantage of is both the setting and the characters to creep you out in this unsettling little horror film. There are enough gross outs involving bodies falling apart, but the parts that will get you come before the end stage of the infection as the characters fall apart mentally. Where did the green goo come from? The question is not really worth asking because it is simply the cause for the grim effects. The first act of the film is the most problematic because it takes a long while for the ambulance to get to the hospital and get the main part of the story going. But once things start happening "Kansen" jmoves into a higher gear as these doctors and nurses are all trapped in that place by feelings of duty, guilt, and fear as the infection jumps from person to person.
The result is a solid little horror film without any of the cultural mysticism and nuances of the better known efforts in this genre from Japan. The goal here is not to shock you, but to simply creep you out and it succeeds more often than not in that effort. "Kansen" is the first title in the J-Horror Theater project put together by producer Taka Inchise. With the international success of "Ringu" and "Ju-On" the idea is to keep Japan at the forefront of making horror films and make a six-part film anthology. Involved in the project are Hideo Nakata ("Ringu"), Kiyoshi Kurosawa ("Kairo"), and Takashi Shimizu ("Ju-On"). Norio Tsuruta directs the second film in the series, "Yogen" ("Premonition"), and while the trailer for that film appears on this DVD, I have yet to see its availability. But on the basis of that trailer and this film there is reason to believe that these Japanese filmmakers will be able to succeed where their American counterparts failed so miserably when they started churning out all those splatter flicks.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is one Infection horror fans will actually want to catch, July 4, 2005
This review is from: Infection (DVD)
Japanese horror films truly are a different breed. Infection, from director Masayuki Ochiai, is one humdinger of a creepfest that doesn't spare the gore yet never descends to the level of a hack-and-slash effort. Its vibrantly dark cinematography and appropriately unsettling music provide the background for a veritable orgy of suspenseful horror as its characters' psychological overloads, helped along by a mysterious catalyst, give birth to something exceedingly ugly and quite often disgusting. In a sense, the film is somewhat confusing, in that it never exactly spells out the source of the infection or even the absolute nature of it, but I didn't feel the disappointment some viewers might at the ending.

Central Hospital is in trouble. It's dangerously understaffed, no one has been paid, the director has disappeared, patients are coming to harm because no one is there in a timely fashion to see to their needs, supplies are dangerously low, doctors and nurses are putting in way too many hours to carry the load, etc. Lest you think things could get any worse, well, they most certainly do. It all starts when a mistake leads to the death of a patient. With their backs already to the wall thanks to the deteriorating state of the hospital, the doctors and nurses involved decide to cover up the real cause of death - it was a severe burn victim with no real family, after all. There is to be one more patient admitted to the hospital, however, one literally dumped on them by paramedics. John Doe has the mother of all infections, one that liquefies the internal organs and basically causes the victim to start dropping gooey gobs of green nastiness all over the place. One extremely unemotional doctor, who may or may not have knowledge of the little cover-up so recently planned upstairs, insists on treating the patient, trying to figure out the new pathogen, and thus gaining medical kudos for the effort. Everyone else is just revolted by the poor excuse of former humanity spreading his nasty green goodness all over the floor.

Well, he of the liquefying organs sort of disappears, and the hospital crew enacts a search for their green and gloppy charge. It soon becomes clear, however that - whatever the patient had - it is quite infectious. Rather than call in the health department, they keep on keeping on under the direction of the emotionless pioneer (who I like to call Dr. Gung Ho). Needless to say, they start dropping like flies - well, not like flies, really, as they tend to do something really nasty such as burn their own hands off before commencing with gooey expectorations of the nastiest sort. I'm not sure why the hospital is almost completely dark throughout the film, but it makes for a most creepy of settings, and characters have the disarming tendency of sneaking up quietly behind one another out of the frame. It's really hard to describe the sort of horror that builds up as characters develop the infection, but it's more than capable of spooking and quite possibly disgusting you.

The ending leaves some questions unanswered and may be something of a stretch for some viewers. Even if you find disappointment in the final minutes, though, there is more than enough gory goodness to keep you entertained up to that point. Infection (aka Kansen) is apparently the first film in the J-Horror Theatre series, which apparently aims to shock audiences and teach them the fine art of suspenseful dread. The Japanese are masters at creating atmospheres of indelible horror, and one can only hope that future movies in the series can succeed half as well as Infection in terms of going for the jugular of horror fans everywhere.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Infection: You Thought Our Health Care System Was Scary--A Look At Two Japanese Horror Films, January 14, 2007
This review is from: Infection (DVD)
To be upfront, I'm not a huge fan of Americanized remakes of Japanese ghost stories or supernatural thrillers. You can keep "The Ring," "Dark Water," "Pulse" and "The Grudge"--to me, it's just hokum with little reason or rationale. You could make a shot-for-shot remake, and I'd still prefer the original. Why? I don't know, maybe it's just a bias. The Japanese ghost story has such a long history in film, maybe I've become accustomed to it--I'm seeing an evolution of the genre and it seems more natural. That doesn't mean that the plots make any more sense, but the films are generally better at evoking a mood and a sense of dread. Having recently seen two such entries in the Japanese horror lexicon, "Premonition" and "Infection," I was once again caught up in creepy goings-on and otherworldly intrigues. Both films are entertaining, if somewhat problematic, and will likely be enjoyed by those who appreciate this sort of thing.

From a technical standpoint, "Premonition" is probably the stronger of the two films. When a family on vacation stops to use a pay phone, the father stumbles on a newspaper portending the death of his daughter. Within a minute, this happens in a harrowing and well executed sequence. Some years later, the couple has separated and both are still haunted by the incident. The husband, in particular, has not recovered from the strange newspaper--no one has believed in its existence. The wife, working in the field of mental phenomena, starts to realize that perhaps her husband isn't delusional--just as he starts to be alerted with further premonitions. United, they try to piece together the history of the newspaper and some of the people who have encountered similar visions. The film evolves into a treatise on sacrifice, mental illness, and whether you can change destiny.

"Infection," on the other hand, is set in a dilapidated and understaffed hospital. A crew of incompetent personnel face inexperience and lack of supplies that cause a neglect of patient care. After the accidental death of a patient and a cover-up of its particulars, they must then face a patient who is literally dissolving with an unknown infection. Needless to say, the infection soon starts to spread--and the staff ends up battling for survival. This is a fun, if not very believable, setup and the resultant film is notable for its hysterics as well as its horror. After a bit of a lark, though, the film tries for a double-twist ending and a meaningful conclusion.

Ultimately, I enjoyed both films. "Premonition" boasts great lead performances, develops a believable chemistry between its stars, and follows through with an interesting ethical dilemma. "Infection" is loopier, more cheesy fun. A lot of people were put off by how unrealistic the hospital setting was--but I actually think this enhances the film. Neither film has a gore or real fright content, they are more about unseen and uncontrollable powers. And while "Premonition" flows to a somewhat logical conclusion, "Infection" seems not to know when to end. It has two different logical conclusions, but passes both of them up for one that is less effective--in my opinion. Anyway, you know if you like this sort of thing or not--either or both are worth checking out. "Premonition" is about 4 stars, while "Infection" is at 3 1/2 (although I found most of it crazy and fun!) KGHarris, 01/07.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creepy And Unsettling Film: Guilt And The Subconscious Mind!, September 26, 2007
By 
Ernest Jagger (Culver City, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Infection (DVD)
"Infection," (aka: Kansen) is not a film for everyone. When I first viewed the film a couple of years ago, I knew it was not a masterpiece. Yet, somehow, there is something incredibly creepy about this film which I find appealing. However, as a word of caution, this may not be a film for everyone, so rent it first. However, I really liked this film enough to give it 3.5 stars. The film itself takes place at a hospital that is understaffed, underfunded, short on medical supplies, and staffed by a few incompetent doctors and nurses. The hospital is already reeling with too many patients, when a distress call from an ambulance crew is received requiring permission to drop off an infectiously diseased patient. Moreover, there is an extreme urgency to the voice of the ambulance crew.

However, a cover-up is about to ensue when one of patients in the hospital, who has severe burns, is given an injection of the wrong medicine which will kill him. He was the patient of Dr. Uozumi (Masanobu Takashima), yet it is Dr. Ouzumi's colleague, Dr. Akiba (Koichi Sato), who along with an inexperienced nurse that will be the cause of this patients death. This partly illustrates the tremendous amount of pressure the staff of this hospital face. How do they handle this tragedy? They decide to cover it up. They know that if word gets out that their careers will be ruined. The staff, therefore, decides to heat the body up to speed up the decay process, just in case there is an autopsy. Meanwhile, the medical staff have been so busy with this patient, that they are unaware that the ambulance crew has dropped off the infectious patient in the ER.

This is no ordinary patient the medical staff will have to deal with. Out of nowhere, however, Dr. Akai (Shiro Sano) convinces the medical staff not to report the diseased patient to the Health Department, but instead to study the patients illness: As he tells them that they will be famous, and have job offers and interviews which will make their careers. Dr. Akai, is the most disturbing character in the film, and much attention must be focused on him. Further, Dr. Akiba's portrayal is of primary importance to the film, which I do not wish to reveal. Director Masayuki Ochiai did a very good job with this film, and gives one a very claustrophobic feel to the film. Plus, the films many questions are answered at the end. I really like this film, but once again, rent it first. And watch Dr. Akiba closely in the beginning of the film. [Stars: 3.5]
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not at all disappointed!, May 4, 2005
By 
Robina Hagopian (Milwaukee, WI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Infection (DVD)
as an employee of blockbuster, i'm forced to deal with movies every day. i watch movies before they come out on video so i am able to give customers feedback before they spend their money. i am also a huge fan of japanese horror, but lately i have been very disappointed in the films i have been renting; nothing has been very interesting. so, i was a little skeptikal to rent this one. BUT THIS FILM... was awesome! it has perfect timing for suspense, great camerawork, and a creepy ending. never once was i bored woth the movie, or upset about how they did something in the film. it was great from beginning to end, and i highly suggest you see this film if you're a fan of ANY kind of horror movie!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird, May 30, 2006
This review is from: Infection (DVD)
Short on money, equipment, and adequate workers, a Japanese central hospital is unable to accept new patients, while struggling just to take care of the patients they already have. After a dire mistake involving a chemical mixup resulting in the death of a burn victim, the doctors and nurses decide to further burn the body to render the cause of death unrecognizable. But the real problems begin with the newest patient, the host of an unknown pathogen which evidently liquifies internal organs into green goop. One particularly ambitious doctor seeks infamy by identifying and treating the pathogen, going as far to threaten the others with blackmail to ensure they comply. As the virus inevitably spreads, insanity and general weirdness ensues. The flawed characters are all pretty memorable, if not particularly likeable. As they barely contain the outbreak, the film takes an almost Romero-esque twist as conflict and enmity swells between them, exploding in violence at times. I'm not digging the end, though. The postmodern climax fragments into a melange of forced motifs, and pretentious plot devices.

Infection is a very effective film when it comes to scares, though. Maybe it's just because I've always had a thing about hospitals, but it provided the perfect bleak setting for its diseased confrontations and medical mishaps. For instance, that messed up old lady was a predictable creep-out tactic, but things get undeniably sordid when she starts cackling as the doctors are losing a patient. Also consider the original host of the virus disappearing off his bed. Did his body disintegrate, or did he slither off into the vents? Very eerie and unconventional atmosphere. There are some lame cliches scattered about, though; annoying fakeouts, SpOoKy aUtO-mOvInG SwInGsEtS, etc. But they're inconsequential in the end.

Anyway, although it falls apart at the end, Infection is a solid horror movie.
- Thus says the Pellington
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do Hospitals Scare You?, January 29, 2006
This review is from: Infection (DVD)
This one should. Something is badly wrong at Central Hospital, a small, out of the way rehab facility. Nobody has gotten their paychecks, the administrator hasn't been seen for days, nine nurses have quit, supplies are running low and the remaining staff is burned out. One young man has cracked. A young nurse is not only incompetent but a hysteric as well.

Clearly we are not in Marcus Welby land. Things are bad and in an instant get a whole lot worse. A patient is killed due to a medical mistake. Instead of reporting it the staff decide to cover it all up. Bad move. Another doctor, the pristine, cold as ice, Dr. Akai overhears the whole thing and he's not pleased. Later he's going to play the role of avenging angel.

This would be enough of a nightmare but then a patient is dumped in the closed ER. The poor guy is turning into a green blob. Once he escapes into the vents bodies, ghosts and old sins pile up rapidly.

This is a very creepy little movie and it's a perfect example of the diffence between American horror and the Japanese version. Instead of smacking you in the face with a gross out scene the director uses a lot of symbolism and allows the viewer's imagination to do half the scare job for him. At several points we see the empty swing set on hospital grounds. The childless swings are an almost universal symbol that something isn't right and each time we see the swing set things in the hospital get even uglier.

Be sure to watch for a truly great scene that could only take place in a Japanese film: a nurse walks into a room and the blob infested head nurse walks in behind her. The camera cuts to the stairwell and we see a close up of the Walk sign but it looks like the little walking man figure on the sign is really running for his life. Next we see a trembling hand grab a pack of cigarettes. Suddenly we see the young nurse sitting sprawled in a chair and she's smoking. Something horrible has happened. The director doesn't spell it out for you. You just know.

My only gripe with this film is the ending. You never know if it was real, a bad dream or a psychotic episode brought on by a guilty mind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gross Anatomy 3.5 (dvd features below), March 20, 2008
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This review is from: Infection (DVD)
Is infection a supernatural tale or a slasher film? It's actually a supernatural slasher film filled with gore and shot in a dreamlike nightmare fashion.
A Overworked, Underfunded, and Understaffed hospital where patients are mistreated and mistakes are made some worse than others. After the doctors try to cover up one of said mistakes a infected patient is dropped in their E.R, and all hell breaks lose.
Stephen King actually recommended this for a watch in Entertainment Weekly last Halloween.

DVD FEATURES
No special features however the picture quality on this looked great, I've been watching mostly blu ray and this film still looked good. This is the first dvd to actually completely film my screen, I have a 106" draper screen and on cable 1:85 aspect ratio totally fills the screen but on dvds it leaves just a little tiny black line at the bottom, not your typical letterbox via 2:35. Anyway, this film completely and perfectly filmed the screen. It says it was formatted from the original 1:85 version in which the film was shot. If films aren't usually done like that maybe they should start.
The dolby digital 5.1 track in Japanese was also crisp and effective.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JACOB'S LADDER meets JU-ON at the KINGDOM HOSPITAL, July 19, 2005
This review is from: Infection (DVD)
These people definitely have a better work ethic than I do cause the first time I saw some demon creature crawling around with it's mutated green internal organs hanging out I'd be gone. Just put my check in the mail.

I never understood where the storyline was going, if there even was one, but with impressive camerawork, young Japanese nurses, good acting and lots of creepy visuals I rank this as one of the better Japanese horror flicks. Which is saying something I guess.
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Infection
Infection by Masayuki Ochiai (DVD - 2005)
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