Kairo is a film which for me is impressive visually and atmospherically. It’s a film that scares you by showing less and making you feel more. It’s of the same caliber as films like “Ring” or “Ju-on” for the fear it can bring about within you. But story-wise it’s dull and tedious. I didn’t know what the heck the film was about nor what the characters were talking about. Their little discussions about life, death and where the ghosts came from made little sense. Example: “the afterlife is full with ghosts so they must be falling out of it”. Right. That’s just a theory on behalf of a character. But really, where are they coming from? Was it that computer at the university that had that screen saver with the little lights that wouldn’t touch each other? No, not that. The ghosts came from an Internet site streaming videos of them online. Cool but, where did that start? What’s the source? In “Ring” we had that explanation in Sadako. We had her motives and reasoning. Most Japanese ghost stories are like that, the ghost wants revenge, there is a point to it. Rather than ghosts just being as*holes for the sake of it.
No, none of these things are ever really explored in any detail, the reasoning behind why people sellotape doors shut is not explained. How people can become ghosts isn’t explained. What the significance of them becoming black ash and how it’s easy to be affected/infected by that is all just, well, a mystery.
Where as “Ring” was a mystery that built to a fascinating conclusion Kairo does nothing but try to scare you. It’s throws things at you but doesn’t tell you where it came from, it’s nonsensical and disappointing.
On the plus side the movie does feature ‘Koyuki’ who seems to be hot for one of the nerdiest most stupid characters in the film. I’ve noticed this trend in J-Horror movies, the attractive girl goes for the dumbest guy who in reality couldn’t get a girlfriend to save his life.