St. John's Wort


Director: Shimoyama Ten

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

St. John's Wort has some beautiful gothic design work going on in the sets, but the overacting is never convincing, & the story so flawed that the sometimes experimental editing seems to exist mostly to trick the viewer into thinking some of it might make sense when in reality it doesn't.

A young man who is a video game producer & a young woman who is the primary artist for the game visit a haunted-feeling house that has been wired with video cams linked up to a crew of game designers back in their gaming lab who watch as the adventure unfolds, recording everything for digital alteration to use in their game.

The house is not actually haunted although a psychopath has been living in it for some while, so mayhem ensues. The house had belonged to one of the game artist's late. father. He had been a famous but mysterious painter who has left clues all over the house regarding the pedarastic torture-murders he committed in life.

Even the most obvious clues were never noticed by the people who wired the house for video. And the young psycho who lives in the house has gone undetected, not even leaving footprints in what we're shown to be a very dusty place. You'd have to be stoned or drunk to not constantly be saying, "That doesn't work. Hey, that wouldn't happen. Uh-oh, there's another plot glitch."

SPOILER ALERT! There's a gender-bending filip in the story that is beyond stupid as a girl whips off her wig & declares herself to be, ta-da! I'm a boy! But under the wig is the actress's hair not much different from the wig & she in no way conveys an boy nor any degree of ambiguity. Some of this is so damned stupid it's beyond belief that it even remained in the script.

Even more of it, especially in the idiotic editing that goes back & forth between computer game images & comic book panel titles, was an affectation that didn't work on its own merits, & certainly didn't disguise the story faults merely by adding confusion.

The ambiguous ending is the "Was it all a dream?" cheating type, but asks instead "Was it all a video game?" END SPOILER ALERT

I completely disliked this film.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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