Canadian Premiere
Selection 2023


Directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri


Official selection

Berlin International Film Festival 2023
San Diego Asian Film Festival 2023
Beijing International Film Festival 2023
Nippon Connection 2023


Kazuyoshi Kumakiri


Michitaka Okada


Yuto Nakajima, Nao, Kento Nagayama


GAGA Corporation

Japan 2023 97 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre Thriller

“A claustrophobic nerve-wrecker... serves up fast action, melodramatic twists, and revelatory gore in the appropriately over-the-top, all-in manner of midnight cinema”
– Martin Kudlac, SCREEN ANARCHY

“Taps into a glorious madness... will keep you guessing until the last possible second”
– Marco Vito Oddo, COLLIDER

The top salesperson at the real-estate firm where he works, and set to marry the daughter of his boss, handsome and self-effacing Shunsuke earns the respect, and maybe the jealousy, of his friends and colleagues. The night before his wedding begins well, with a surprise party where the alcohol flows freely. After leaving and heading home, however, things take a sudden downward turn. Quite literally — Shunsuke has tumbled into a deep, dirty, concrete manhole, with a broken ladder and no passersby to hear him yelp for rescue. Worse yet, his leg has been badly gashed in the fall. His cellphone is of little use, initially, as calls to friends go unanswered and, when he finally calls the police, they are pointedly unhelpful. The one person he can reach, his ex-girlfriend, isn’t much more help, so Shunsuke turns to social media, concocting a false identity to lure assistance. As he soon finds out, pretending to be someone else can have rather complicated consequences...

For much of its running time, director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s nailbiter #MANHOLE is a one-man, huis clos affair, but an awful lot transpires at the bottom of the godforsaken hole in the ground where Shunsuke finds himself. Suffice it to say, by the time the credits roll, good-looking star Yuto Nakajima is hardly the pristine pretty boy fans would recall from his tenure in popular J-pop boy band Hey! Say! JUMP. Screenwriter Michitaka Okada, no stranger to intricate, suspenseful thrillers, turns in a tale with more twists than a corkscrew factory, and an elegant balance of black humour, social satire, and nerve-wracking tension amplified by Takuma Watanabe’s anxious musical score. Kumakiri (KIKUCHI, MY MAN) assures that all the elements fall into place in just the right way — starting with Shunsuke falling into a place where everything goes wickedly wrong. – Rupert Bottenberg