Today’s selection: Carved (2007, dir. Koji Shiraishi)
Available from: Tartan
Carved is a movie about the Kuchisake Onna, or “slit mouthed woman”, an urban legend that began in the 1970’s, and, depending on who you ask, could be considered a modern yokai or onryo. This gets confusing, as there are also movies about her from 2005 (available from Sacramant) and 2009 (available from Section 23), but Carved is the most famous, eventually getting the prequel Carved 2: The Scissors Massacre.
Anyway, the movie depicts her as a vengeful spirit, taking over housewives’ bodies Matrix-style, then abducting and mutilating children. It has good makeup and decent child actors, but the themes of child abuse and dragging investigation scenes make it a little hard to watch. It’s not as excessive as Shiraishi’s follow-up movie Grotesque, but that was banned in several countries after all.