Cult director Takashi Miike’s 1999 international breakout hit “Audition” gets a special 10th anniversary, 2-disc DVD release this week courtesy of Shout Factory.
“A slow-burning nightmare of psychosexual anxiety, ‘Audition’ begins as the subdued tale of a mild-mannered widower in search of a new bride and ends with a 20-minute torture session featuring acupuncture needles and a piano wire used as a bone saw,” writes Dennis Lim in the LA Times for the film’s reissue. “‘Audition’ can be filed alongside Rob Reiner’s adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Misery’ and Lars von Trier’s upcoming ‘Antichrist,’ movies that are ultimately about the male fear of women and female sexuality. In an introduction on the disc, Miike instructs viewers to enjoy the film, then slyly says, ‘You may regret watching it.'”
“Give Japanese genre director Takashi Miike credit for being willing to go a long, long way to lull horror audiences into a false sense of security,” writes the Boston Globe’s Tom Russo. “Years after the release of Miike’s notorious ‘Audition’ (1999), there still hasn’t been a film that’s shifted from human drama to grotesque nightmare nearly as boldly, or as jarringly.”
DVD Talk’s Thomas Spurlin: “‘Audition”s conclusion easily stands as one of the most effective, stomach-churning resolutions to a horror film. It’s in the build-up and the gradual gradient of suspense that mounts throughout the core story that makes this iconic scene potent, deconstructing the everyday nature of the story with a dizzying onslaught of surrealist imagery and blood-drenched chaos as it approaches the close… Sporting a flawed yet fluidly natural visual treatment and a great duo of lossless tracks, the film certainly looks leaps and bounds better than its previous presentations — while also comes equipped with a few strong extras, including a new commentary with Miike and several enlightening new interviews with the cast.”
“Because Miike and screenwriter Daisuke Tengan (adapting a novel by Ryu Murakami) take their time and ground the first hour so realistically, it makes the increasingly bizarre and painful events of the second all the more terrifying,” notes Adam Jahnke at The Digital Bits. “But Miike isn’t merely going for shock value. There are subtleties at work that make ‘Audition’ one of those rare movies, horror or otherwise, that you can discuss afterwards.”
DVD Beaver takes a look at the Blu-Ray edition of the film.
Watch the trailer for “Audition” on YouTube.