Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Suicide Club: Mail Me!

If one was to ever question how amazing Suicide Club is, look no further than the first few minutes to get your answer. In it's opening, a line of 54 Japanese school girls join hands and jump to their death in front of a speeding train.
Blood and guts galore, the true intrigue lies not within these effects--but in the mystery of what causes this increasingly popular fad. Truth be told, the idea of suicide has always strangely intrigued me. I remember a website that became known to the public called My Death Space, a play on Myspace (back when that was hip), which gave the public access to recently deceased people's Myspace profiles. A great number of these, were teenagers or young adults that had committed suicide, often leaving suicide notes in their profiles under the journal feature or whatever it was called. I'm not sure if this site was the real deal, but I do know that it left me with a sort of freezing fear. The idea and concept of suicide and death felt so real from one computer to the next, and yet I still couldn't imagine how anyone could take their life like that.

Suicide Club surreally examines this concept of fads in the most brutal and intriguing of ways. There are so many possibilities and so many interpretations that one could be kept awake all night thinking. Once you think you have some idea of it's meaning something else crazy happens, causing you to second guess yourself, and then once you second guess yourself---baby chicks appear, yellow raincoats and the BEST song in the history of the world and then what? Your head explodes.

I won't waste time with a plot because you know it already--a lot of people kill themselves and no one knows why. BAM.

What's most chilling about Suicide Club? The anticipation and the question of whether or not someone is actually going to do it. I used to be terrified of loaded guns in movies being pointed at someone's head. That idea of not knowing just when something is going to explode is extremely nerve wracking, Suicide Club takes those anxieties and doubles them. Introducing you to character's, only to see them take their lives for no apparent reason other than the fact that they finally figured something out that you didn't. Blood? Guts? Gross? Yes. But I wouldn't call it the driving force behind the film. And as a matter of fact I was tickled pink at the sight of some technicolor like, red as paint blood during one very wonderful scene involving a knife and some fingers. Sure there are moments of fleeting nausea---human skin cinnamon roll anyone?

But our focus remains on the very idea or driving force behind the suicides, and that makes all the difference.

I must admit I've been quite absent from the Asian films as of late---I think my last one was The Host and I actually liked that one! It's no surprise that me and Asian films haven't been getting along, but Suicide Club completely reawakens an excitement within me (Enough to move Noriko's Dinner Table up to #1 in my queue). So what did I love besides everything? No jump scares, exaggerated blood effects upon suicides,
the concentration on the art of fads and what is popular--a theme that resonates in cultures not only in Japan where cell phone ornaments run amok but here as well (cough Justin Bieber), and of course the piece de resistance---Dessert! Desert! Dessart!

Oh and there's of course Genesis....but he's better left unexplained so that his moment of reveal is all the more amazing.

Truth is, I've spent an hour or so scouring forums and message boards to try to gain some new insight into my blatantly confused mind, but when it comes down to it, I like that the film has no book end of explanation. I'm even tempted to press play and watch the entire film all over again just to relive the joyous confusion that ensues. It's a beautiful film right down to it's soundtrack, gritty style of filming, and simplistic shots at the film's end. It's, as you may have guessed, right up my alley and hopefully many of yours as well. When it comes down to it, knowing is not truly important--rather the experience and living it, is what matters. Say what? I just uncovered the secret meaning behind the whole movie? Yesssssss!


Matt-suzaka said...

Awesome, I fucking was nearly blown away by Suicide Club when I watched it not all that long ago. It's so surreal and creepy, it makes my skin crawl, but at the same time, it makes me smile at certain points. There are some scenes that are purely amazing in how they unfold and you are never remotely sure as to where the film may go.

When I watched it, I hadn't watched an Asian horror film in a while with the cluster fuck of Asian horror from a few years back. I thought Suicide Club would be just another seen it all before horror film, but boy was I wrong.

There is so much depth and thought in this film, but there is so much left open, that it leaves one to only ponder what it all means. I did a review of it sometime back, and looking at it now, you commented on it. I'll take credit for you watching and loving the movie. You're welcome. Great review, by the way.

deadlydolls said...

My first experience was watching in it on my laptop with two friends crowded around the screen. We occasionally laughed and winced, but when Genosis started singing, we had to pause the movie because we all broke out into the craziest ten minute attack of laughter I've ever experienced.

But yes, this is one of my favorite genre films, easily in my top 10. I think the interpretations are endless--which you'll see when you watch the prequel, which, be warned, is not nearly as wacky-fun, but still strangely haunting in a much more mind-fucking way--and that's part of what keeps me coming back to the film at least once a year. Bizarre, but not empty.

Andre Dumas said...

You are correct Matt- I remember reading your review and adding it to my queue straight away! Thanks bunches yo yo.

Emily- As soon as he opened his mouth I KNEW that had to be the part where you had a laughing attack. I'm excited for the prequel but I guess I'll have to accept that nothing will be as wildly whacky as this!

Scare Sarah said...

Has to be one of the best films EVER. Was so surprised by this. I love Asian horror anyway but this has to be in my top 5

Evil Dave said...

Sounds just a tiny bit like Heathers, that old Christian Slater vehicle. High School students kill their rivals and make it look like suicide. The thing is, since all the popular kids are supposedly taking their own life it becomes a trend, the cool thing to do. While Heathers is obviously satire, Suicide Club is something much darker I feel.

You must be a riot when there are balloons and needles involved. Homemade anticipation.

Andre said...

Don't remind me! I once had to leave a birthday party in tears when I was little because there were balloons and I was POSITIVE they were going to spontaneously burst.

Franco Macabro said...

I loved the opening scenes of the film, with all the school girls jumping to their deaths. The movie was insane, but so confusing!

As you mention in your review, its not easy to completely understand what this film is about, but like a good David Lynch film, the experience is more important then "getting" the movie.

Film Gurl said...

I saw this one awhile back - I also had the same reaction. After watching the film, I also wanted to know "why." It's a very intriguing and interesting film. Though, I guess it will always remain a mystery to me. Nice post, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Just watched the movie tonight.
Blown away to say to say the least...my house mate and I went outside to have a smoke afterwards and were actually speechless for about 5 minutes apart from the odd, "what just happened", and "wow".

Eventually we both agreed we loved the movie, but still really have no clue about any part of the story.

During the movie I couldn't take my eyes away from the tv, more matter how crazy the plot got. And now a couple hours later it is what I am enjoying most. My head is so full of different thoughts and ideas about the plot that I am going to struggle to fall asleep. It will take a long time to get suicide club out of my head.

mwilliams1220 said...

This movie gave me quite a headfull also! Here is my two cents:

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world-not just the Samurai style seppuku from dishonoring your master,but from depression, despair and a feeling of hopelessness style suicide. I think the director was extrapolating on that trend to a ridiculous degree; "How would it affect our culture is we embraced suicide the same way we embraced our pop icons?"

The film rapidly switches from humorous to horrifying, often in the same scene! It has been a few years since I have seen it, but one scene that has stayed in my mind is the one with the attention hungry, glam rock dressed thugs who, among other things, stomp on puppies and kittens for notoriety. Animal cruelty always upsets me, but if I am correct, there were also some pretty vicious killings (and rapes?) in there also.

Definitely a head scracther.

Anonymous said...

I accidently came across this movie after watching the movie based on the Uzumaki manga. I was absolutely amazed by it, always trying to guess/work things out and then something more crazy happened which blew all my ideas out of the water and got me guessing again.

After I watched the Uzumaki movie I realised that there was a lot I wouldn't have understood if I hadn't read the manga befotrehand, which got me to thinking if it was the same for Suicide Club, so I went for a search, low and behold, there's a manga for Suicide Club, which also explains a lot to the story, It's so deep with so many twists, I enjoyed reading it so much. Also it's fairly popular so you can easily find scanlations of it online ^_^

Anonymous said...

This is quite honestly the worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life. I'm not talking just horror movies here, I'm talking all movies of all time.

There was absolutely no plot at all to the movie; there were no main characters and there was no flow *at all*. The police is absolutely ineffective, the "bat" girl arc was thoroughly opaque and nonsensical and nothing at all was resolved or explained. There are so many inconsistencies in the plot and incredibly dumb scenes. It tries to be deep and thought-provoking, but it falls laughably short due to absolutely abysmal script, acting and directing. I looked at the budget for this movie and I was very surprised that it was so high when a gang of high schoolers could've done a better job.

0/5 stars, I don't recommend this movie to anyone, not even my worst enemy.

Unknown said...

This movie was fucking piece of shit. I just finished watching this movie and I can feel my blood boil seeing the young school kids committing suicides. This is no joke. Fuck the director and fuck this movie . He wanted to convey some so called "message" to the audience? My foot. Crap just crap, I don't care if his intentions were to good or that he wanted to convey to people that we should be connected with ourselves and shit. But this definitely wasn't the right way to do so. I find it so funny to see that young innocent children are the ones making people commit suicide, like they could understand everything about what life is, without even experiencing it. Such innocent kids giving out nonsensical statements about life. Bullshit!! I just hate myself for watching this movie. 

Anonymous said...

Haha. Maybe that's the point, Nikhita Minas. Everyone's got an understanding about life that we don't even want to hear anyone's interpretation about it; if we see another reason for living, then maybe we will start to doubt ourselves and change our meaning in life.

Hi there. I was searching for a meaning for this movie, but I guess there isn't one after scouring the 'Net. I guess it's those types that's "open for interpretation". Well, honestly, I don't like anything that doesn't have a meaning. I feel I have no direction. Though maybe that's just me. haha.

'Nyway, thanks for this!