I remember looking at the cover art for Kakashi and saying to myself “This certainly has potential.” A morbid looking scarecrow in a red dress facilitating human expression tells me that there’s a scarecrow running around terrorizing people. So I take my chances and throw down my $3.95 for the VCD. After watching Kakashi I ran to the IMDB to check on other user comments, which is usually stacked with argumentative threads regarding movie plots. I wasn’t looking for a conflict of plot synopsis, however, I was looking to see if anyone had committed suicide during or post viewing of this movie. Good grief, what a fucking depressing movie!
The story revolves around a woman, Kaoru, who finds that her brother has abandoned his apartment in an effort to visit his girlfriend in a secluded town in the country. The only piece of information that Kaoru has to her brother’s whereabouts is a letter from his girlfriend, Izumi, with her house address. So Kaoru decides to venture off to this secluded town to find her brother. Upon arriving at the town’s entrance, she encounters a long dark tunnel that she must traverse in order to get to the city’s outskirts. Thinking that this would be the movie’s first scare point, I readied myself. Predictably, in the middle of the tunnel, Kaoru’s vehicle craps out and she is forced to leg it the rest of the way through the tunnel. But wait, no ghosts? No maniac chasing her down the dark path? No. Nothing but a woman’s giggle. So I threw my pillow down in anger and cursed my purchase. I knew from that point on that this movie would be a complete bore, and I was right.
So Kaoru reaches the city limits and encounters a man putting a series of scarecrows in his pickup truck. He ignores her initial questioning about the address she’s looking for until she asks about his scarecrows. Noticeably aggravated, he shoes Kaoru off in the direction towards the address. Kaoru gets lost and stumbles upon an old woman fawning over a baby carriage. Kaoru inspects and finds that the woman is cooing a baby scarecrow. Alarmed, Kaoru takes off in a different direction and comes upon a field where a woman is teaching a child about flowers. Seeing that these are the first “normal” people that she’s encountered, Kaoru observes as the child stumbles to pronounce Chrysanthemum. All of a sudden, the pickup truck from the earlier sequence zooms in, and the man leaps out of the truck screaming at the little girl. Pissed off that his daughter was talking to a stranger, the man grabs the girl, throws her in the truck and speeds away. When Kaoru brings her attention back to the woman in the field, she is gone.
So Kaoru continues on her way until she finally finds the address that the letter was addressed from. She is invited to stay at the house and this is when we find out that something terribly wrong is happening in this town. Apparently, each year the town holds a Kakashi festival, offering to the gods in exchange to ward off evil spirits. However, the townspeople go a bit too far in their offerings and completely obsess over the Kakashi. Kaoru begins to uncover the whereabouts of Izumi and her brother, as well as the secret of the town’s yearly festival.
If I had to choose one word to describe Kakashi it would be “uninspiring”. Although the motivation and elements were present for an all out supernatural thriller, it never executed. The acting was short of captivating and the general mood of the movie was mundane. I understand that the setting, as well as the scripting, was intended to be distant from the viewer, but rather than creating the desired “uncomfortable” feeling, it made me anxious for a plot twist or sudden moment of violence. Unfortunately, neither occurred and the plot unfolded like a decayed flower, brittle and flaky.
So what exactly does Kakashi hold that could convince a viewer to state that they enjoyed the movie? In my opinion, nothing, it was too much of a letdown. Think of this movie as say, the New York Yankees of this year. The table has been set for a spectacular movie, great plot, good direction and then……. pssssst! The fucker just runs out of gas when you need it to go the distance….. just like the Yankees.