Noriko's Dinner Table
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Brimming with a hip sensibility and a touch of ultra-violence, this provocative Japanese film by young director Sion Sono stunned audiences during its initial theatrical run.
Teenager Noriko Shimabara escapes her tiny provincial town and moves to the big city to find an Internet cult group called Haikyo.com. There she meets the site s web-master, a young woman named Kumiko, and loses herself in the cult practices of this strange group, which include a unique approach to prostitution and mass suicide. Back home, Noriko s little sister grows increasingly concerned about her sibling and toys with the idea of coming to the city herself.
Told in a fractured style, the film is an extension of Sono s runaway success Suicide Club. Too horrific to be mere drama, and to melodramatic to be horror, Noriko s Dinner Table takes a harsh look at alienated youth in a modern society.
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Calling this movie a "horror" may be a bit of a stretch. It's incredibly unsettling - and sometimes downright disturbing - but not conventional "horror" per se (no monsters, no serial killers, no ghosts or hauntings, etc.).
All that to say this movie definitely isn't for everyone. It is, frankly, very slow, and rather on the long side. This worked perfectly for my tastes, but if you're not into the heavy psychological slow-build of it, I imagine the speed of the movie could be off-putting for some people.
It's important to note, by the way, that this movie is a follow-up to "Suicide Club." Though "Suicide Club" isn't required watching for this, it will certainly enhance your viewing of Norkio to have watched "Suicide Club" first.
Any one of these words can be used to describe this unforgettable piece of film.
The sequel to "Suicide Club", while not even remotely as graphic,
actually manages to outdo it's predecessor in every other regard;
plot, character development, tension, atmosphere, settings, and all around humanity.
This movie does skip around quite a bit more though,
but not so much that it becomes distracting.
And unlike the original, the conclusion of this flick won't leave you scratching your head.
You'll definitely be discussing it, but not out of confusion.
To say the least, Sion Sono is quickly becoming the best horror director to emerge from Japan in recent years.
In this sequel of sorts, we get a closer view into the mysterious Suicide Circle.
We learn more of its convoluted philosophies,
and meet a few more members, specifically Ueno Station 54.
The film follows her history, as well as the members of one particular family,
A tragic-hero of a father, and his 2 runaway daughters,
who inadvertently stumble upon a unique division of the Suicide Club.
The mass suicides of the last film,
(62 high school girls simultaneously jumping in front of a subway car, etc.)
left a lot of families with holes in their lives.
This division of the club temporarily fills those holes, but for a fee.
Essentially you can rent 1 or multiple family members for a limited time,
and do to them anything you would regularly do to your normal family.
Naturally this leads to some pretty bizarre scenes.
With each passing film, I get closer and closer to believing that Sion Sono is the premier Japanese horror director to watch. (My apologies to any Miike fans)
Yeah I said it. (Better than Miike!!! .....well except for "Imprint" which is a personal favorite)
Suicide Club, Strange Circus, and now this!!!
I can't wait for his next film "Exte: Hair Extensions" to release.
As silly as it sounds I know it's going to be that good.
Takashi Miike, eat your heart out!!!
MORAL OF THE STORY:
For the right price, water is just as thick as blood.
A girl named Noriko runs away from her home and goes to Tokyo to meet a girl she was chatting with
online. She gets involved in the cult group thats involved with a very unique form of prositution called "family renting" and mass suicides. Noriko's sister also gets sucked into the group and their father trys to find them. It's a very interesting film about family and finding who you are. It's gets better each time you watch it, though it's long so i always enjoy the first 3 chapters of the film. When it gets to the father in the last chapter, it drage but it's still good. Also, this is not a horror film, it's a drama.
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