The Booth

"Very Good"

The Booth Review


Although The Booth is destined to be categorized as J-Horror, it's would be better tagged as "J-Twilight Zone." Free of the conventions of more typical Tokyo terror tales (there are no sopping wet long-haired little girl ghosts climbing out of television sets here), this tight 74-minute tale packs its punches with creepy Serlingesque twists and turns.

It all begins in a haunted broadcast booth in a Tokyo radio station. Thirty years early, an on-air personality heard weird voices and hanged himself right there in Studio 6. Now Shogo (Ryuta Sato), the annoyingly smug yet charming host of an overnight talk show called "Love Lines," is broadcasting out of the same studio. He kicks off with the topic of the evening, "unpardonable words that someone said to you," and waits for the calls to come in.

How weird, though, that the calls that come in are interrupted by extraneous noises and crosstalk, most of which repeats the word "liar" again. Shogo starts to notice that the situations described in the calls mirror certain ugly events in his past, which we see in several layers of flashbacks. Is someone playing a dirty trick on Shogo? Is the violent encounter with his co-worker/mistress that took place earlier in the day coming back to haunt him -- literally?

The pressure increases as the night wears on and we learn more about all the nasty things Shogo has said and done to just about everyone he knows and works with. But just when The Booth fakes with a left, it jabs with a right, coming at us with a whole new spin on things. To say more about it would spoil the fun. Rod Serling would be proud.

Writer/director Yoshihiro Nakamura, a thriller specialist, really cranks up the claustrophobia of the radio booth. It's small, dark, and cramped, and as the increasingly nervous Shogo chugs bottle after bottle of water, his urgent need to take a bathroom break only increases the, um, pressure. The Booth will really make you feel squeezed.

DVD Note: The "making of" featurette is worthy of your attention if only to watch the visibly nervous Sato proclaim again and again that he probably isn't good enough to be starring in this, his first leading role. His humility is refreshing, and the amazingly polite way the crew members treat each other is nothing short of remarkable. (Then again, that's the Japanese way.) Something tells me most Hollywood film sets don't generate this kind of gung-ho teamwork vibe.

Aka Bûsu.

Howard Stern's new look.



The Booth

Facts and Figures

Run time: 74 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 5th November 2005

Distributed by: Tartan

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura

Producer: Takeshi Moriya, Toshinori Nishimae

Starring: Ryuta Sato as Shogo

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.