Tomie: Replay (2000)
By: J.R. McNamara on January 11, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Hard Corps (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 1,77:1 (16:9 enhanced). Japanese DD 5.1. English Subtitles. 94 minutes
The Movie
Director: Tomijiro Mitsuishi
Starring: Sakaya Yamaguchi, Yosuke Kubozuka, Kenichi Endo, Mai Hosho
Screenplay: Satoru Tamaki
Country: Japan
In the western world, manga legend Junji Ito is probably far more well known for his comic Uzumaki, which Wizard magazine (issue 181) recently named as having one of the top 25 most disturbing scenes ever put to paper, but in his native Japan, he also known for the tale of the demon schoolgirl Tomie. In the aftermath of the popularity of Ringu, and the sudden rise of j-horror, his Tomie series became the subject of several film and TV adaptations. Tomie Replay is the second film (not counting a TV mini series).

Tomie Replay starts with a young girl being admitted to hospital with a large tumour distending her abdomen, which, upon operating, the doctors discover to be a living disembodied head. Quickly the head grows into the lovely Tomie (Mai Hosho), the un-killable girl who possesses the ability to regenerate herself, and can put men under her thrall. All those involved in the operation quickly either go mad or commit suicide. The director of the hospital, who cut his hand during the operation, has gone missing. His disappearance is investigated by his daughter Yumi (Sakara Yamaguchi), and a young patient Fumihito (Yosuke Kobozuka), whose friend has also suddenly disappeared. Will they find the answers they are looking for, or will they too become victims of Tomie's wake of death and pain….

This part of the series is the only film to be directed by Tomijiru Mitsuishi, but it is written by Satoru Tamaki, who also adapted another of Ito's properties Kakashi (Scarecrow) the following year. This certainly is a more even film than Tomie, and clearly has a greater budget, given the quality of the filming and the special effects. For some reason though it still seems to not quite ring true; perhaps this is due to Tomie's intentions never being made completely clear…
Presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.77:1), the picture was clean and free of all artefacts.
It is hard to gauge the sound on a film such as this. You spend most of your time reading subtitles, so you tend to not notice the sound at all…at least until a dislocated demon's arm starts to squelch its way into position, or a body is sawn in a bath! Another thing that makes reviewing the sound on a film that is subtle is that it doesn't enter Michael Bay/ George Lucas THX territory, and really doesn't rise much more than the aforementioned sound effects and talking. It was a clear 5.1 track and there was definitely no pops, scratches or distortions.
Extra Features
The special features on this disc were quite weak.

This disc has the trailers for all five Tomie films: Tomie, Tomie Replay, Tomie Rebirth, Tomie Another Face and Tomie Forbidden Fruit.

There are also a few drawings by creator Junji Ito, which are beautifully rendered, but left me wanting much more…I may have to seek out the manga.
The Verdict
A much better film than Tomie, Tomie Replay is well written and directed, and has a much cleaner, more professional feel that the first film. I also found this film to be far more engaging than the first, and it can be watched quite independently, as there are no links to the first, other than the creature Tomie herself.
Movie Score
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