Marie Iitoyo, Yu Inaba, Shota Sometani
Shochiku Co., Ltd.
The dead are accumulating at a rate that’s alarming, and the state in which the victims are discovered is even more so. They’ve all died of a heart attack visibly provoked by extreme fear, and their eyes have literally exploded. Mizuki witnessed the death of her friend. Haruo lost her brother in nebulous circumstances. The two students seek to understand the cause of this slaughter, and their investigation leads them to Eiko, who says she knows the origins of this mystery. Unfortunately, she dies under similar circumstances, but with her last breath, she mentions the name Shirai-san. This troubling story draws the attention of Mamiya, a journalist who decides to join Mizuki and Haruo in unraveling Shirai-san's curse. Little do the know, however, where their investigation will lead them, nor how much visceral horror will confront them at every turn.
2019 seems to be a year of rebirth for J-horror, a genre that has thrilled thousands of moviegoers in the wake of Hideo Nakata's masterpiece RINGU, which seared Fantasia’s silver screen in 1999, its iconic phantom rematerializing 20 years later in Nakata’s new SADAKO (our opening film!). Fans of the famous, vengeful spectre will be thrilled to encounter STARE, with Shirai-san, an unforgettable new apparition that will inspire many a nightmare. Striking as often in broad daylight and busy public places as at night in the gloom, Shirai-san leaves no hope for those souls unfortunate enough to provoke its rage. A more than honourable mention goes to the makeup artists who have conceptualized its terrifying appearance. The director, screenwriter and horror author Hirotaka Adachi, known by the pen name Otsuichi, doesn’t skimp on the bloody effects and anxiety-inducing moments in this effective feature film that will take its first victims on the planet right here at Fantasia! – Nicolas Archambault
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