Shudder Presents: J-Horror Juggernauts - Audition

The film that introduced Miike to Western audiences, Audition is notable as much for its steely control and slow-building tension as for its jarring tonal shifts, and infamous third act. Lonely widower Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) holds fake TV auditions, in an effort to find a new mate. Among the aspiring starlets, he falls for withdrawn, beautiful ex-ballerina Asami (Eihi Shiina), and begins a gentle courtship. But the mysterious Asami is carrying some baggage from her last relationship—literally (what or whom is she keeping in that lumpy laundry bag on her bedroom floor?). As he falls in love, Aoyama finds himself in a waking nightmare of obsessive love and erotic terror. Whether you take Audition as a cautionary tale, a straight horror film, or a sadomasochistic love story, it will be hard to erase the film’s audacious and shocking images from your mind.

Dir: Takashi Miike, 1999, 35mm, 115 min.