Tomie: Rebirth (2001)
By: J.R. McNamara on January 12, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Hard Corps (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). Japanese DD 5.1. English Subtitles. 101 minutes
The Movie
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Starring: Miki Sakai, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Kumiko Endou, Masaya Kikawada
Screenplay: Yoshinobu Fujioka
Music: Gary Ashiya
Country: Japan
Tomie is back again, like some cute Asian female version of Jason, or Freddy, or any of the other over-sequelized American horror 'heroes' that we dedicated fans of horror choose to put on a higher pedestal than some of them probably deserve. This time, Junji Ito's creation returns to the screen with a bigger budget and under the hands of The Grudge creator Takashi Shimizu, with a script written by Yoshinobu Fujioka, who would also write the next Tomie film, Tomie Forbidden Fruit (which also has the VERY western title of Tomie: The Final Chapter, which it wasn't, considering there are 2 more films).

Tomie Rebirth tells the tale of a successful young artist, Hideo (Shugo Oshinari) who kills Tomie (Miki Sakai) after she destroys a portrait he has painted of her. He enlists the help of friends Shunichi (Masaya Kikawada) and Takumi (Satoshi Tsumabuki) to hide her body…but as we know, Tomie never dies. Soon she is back, appearing at a party the friends have held to cheer up Hideo, which leads to his suicide. Tomie has not finished there though, and soon she is terrorizing and enchanting the friends, making them perform her will. Her possession of the young men leads to the involvement of Shunichi's Mother, Tomoko (Yutaka Nakajima) and Takumi's girlfriend, Hitomi (Kumiko Endou), leading all on paths of self destruction.

In this Tomie film, Tomie's powers have extended even more. Taken from Junji Ito's manga, this film also seems to incorporate elements of John Carpenter's The Thing and Poe's The Telltale Heart, not to mention a big slice of The Grudge's cake as well. The subtitles occasionally will make you go 'Huh?' but a person of below average intelligence, like yours truly, will be able to see the translation from the Japanese has been taken a little TOO literally, and will easily decipher the true meaning.
This is a much muted film, the entire colour palette consisting of not much more than greys and blue, but the picture is clean and clear, has no pixellation or artefacts.
This film is a subtle film, and the 5.1 sound reflects that. No giant booms or crashes, but the small touches of the sounds of a saw going through flesh or a palette knife stabbing into someone's neck are in line with the nuances of the film.
Extra Features
This disc has the trailers for all five Tomie films: Tomie, Tomie Replay, Tomie Rebirth, Tomie Another Face and Tomie Forbidden Fruit.

Cast and Crew interviews (13 minutes 9 seconds ) appears to be a promotional piece that Toei do to promote their movies called 'Toei Hotline'. It is not very substantial, and it seems everything that comes out of the cast members mouths describes how scary the film is.

Storyboard to Film Comparisons/Special Effects Comparisons (22 minutes 21 seconds) is a selection of scenes from throughout this film, with either script and/or storyboards to show the directors intentions with each scene. The Special Effects Comparisons are a behind the Scenes look at some of the effects scenes.
The Verdict
In the hands of Takashi Shimizu this film is well executed, but unfortunately on occasion feels like it is another entry in his Ju-on/The Grudge series, even down to the appearance of a whitefaced spook and 'black spooky hair'. Still, this entry in the Tomie series is much more enjoyable than the first, and easily on par, if not slightly superior to Tomie Replay. The ending though is very American 80s horror, with a 'shock' that can be seen from a mile off.
Movie Score
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