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Pet Peeve

While the plot didn’t do much for me, this film was packed with one terrifying scene after another.

Pet Peeve is a film that you can enjoy provided you don’t try to figure out why any of the things in the film are happening.  In other words, if you don’t try to analyze the plot, you’ll enjoy the film because it has what you want in a horror film—lots of horrifying images and things that jump out at you.

The film begins with a student moving to a new city to go to the university.  However, soon it becomes apparent that the town is haunted.  It also becomes apparent that there are several plots taking place and sorting them out is not easy.  Don’t worry about this—it you keep watching you’ll realize that the film actually is shown out of sequence and one of the adult characters is a child in one of the other plots. It is confusing but oddly it doesn’t really hurt the film very much.  Why all this is happening isn’t really necessary to understand…just sit back and allow yourself to be terrified.

Pet Peeve
Directed by Toshikazu Nagae
Cast Kôdai Asaka, Anna Ishibashi, Shimako Iwai
Release Date 2014
Martin's Grade: A-

Among the weird things that occur in this hellish town is a man who has been cut in half….yet is STILL alive, creepy shadows, a masked man who says nothing but just stares at one of the characters, women with straw for faces, several very grisly murders, a sticker that marks you for death as well as odd spirits with faces that look scrambled—with eyes and a mouth that are twisted sideways.  It’s all very creepy and with modern CGI, most of it looks incredibly real (though the cut in half guy, at times, doesn’t look too real….and I was actually glad about that).

Add to all this some very creepy music, excellent direction that heightened the terror and an overall ambiance of terror and doom, and you have a very enjoyable Japanese horror film…provided you don’t worry too much about the plot.  As for me, when I gave up trying to understand all this, it made the film much more enjoyable.

Normally, my reviews are a bit longer.  The problem with Pet Peeve is that talking about it isn’t easy—it’s just a case where you have to see it and experience it for yourself.  Explaining the plot might just confuse you and analyzing it seems pointless.  Suffice to say that it is very disturbing, dark and occasionally terrifying—and that’s what most folks want in a horror film.

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer & Film Critic, Martin Hafer

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