HOWLING VILLAGE MOVIE REVIEW
A lot of the Japanese directors who were most influential during the J-horror craze of the late 90s-2000s eventually moved on to other kinds of work after the insistent cry for more content abated. Not so much for Takashi Shimizu, who made the original “Ju-On: The Grudge” and its sequel (both the Japanese and American versions). Steadily working in the horror field, Shimizu has made another horror film that feels like it’s about 15 years late to the party with “Howling Village”. Which isn’t to say it’s not good, but it’s more than a bit odd. The story follows a child psychologist named Kanae who can see spirits of the dead, although she’s not adjusting well to it. This ability becomes both useful and terrifying when her two brothers disappear. Apparently they went looking for the titular Howling Village, which is based on one of Japan’s most enduring and popular urban legends, a mysterious abandoned village of ghosts, and maybe more, located at the other end of a blocked off tunnel deep in the woods. One thing leads to another and before ya know it, the place is lousy with the dead, abductions, time travel, and were-dogs. Yeah, I know. That didn’t go where you thought it was going, did it? Listen to Chris, Lewayne, Ryan, and Chad do their best to explain.
DIRECTED BY: Takashi Shimizu
STARRING: Ayaka Miyoshi, Ryôta Bandô, Tsuyoshi Furukawa, Renji Ishibashi, Takamasa Suga, Hina Miyano, Megumi Okina, Reiko Takashima, Rinka Ôtani, Masanobu Takashima, Minori Terada, Akira Sasamoto, Ken Tanaka
Christopher Lawrence Cox (Founder, Da Boss)
Born in the wilds of northern Virginia, in 1992 Chris managed to put all of his survival skills to use and barely escaped with his life to Austin Texas, where ever since he’s dabbled in everything from plumber’s assistant to sandwich maker, from band to bar management. An opportunity to see theatrical release films for free by becoming a critic on a local public access show called “The Reel Deal” turned into a full-time job when Chris and his friends decided to take it to the internet. They built the site Spill.com, adding multiple podcasts and animated features, to no small amount of success. During this time, a fortuitous friendship sprung up between Chris and young Brian Salisbury, who was also a local film critic, and they merged their forces of will, and their laundry list of ideas for shows, to eventually build this paradise you see before you. Follow Chris on Twitter and Facebook and check out his Amazon Wish List.
Chad Halvorsen (Screener Squad)
Chad Halvorsen currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, where he produces and edits commercials, films, and everything in between. He was always a fan of film/television growing up, spending days in the Summer, making (terrible) home movies with his brothers. Little did he know that passion would carry on into adulthood. Since 2006, Chad has worked for several agencies in various departments. Shooting, producing, editing, production management, directing, and when forced to, writing copy. In 2015, Chad decided to take the big leap and become a freelancer. Since then, he’s produced content for Lyft, AT&T, Target, and Discovery Network. His passion lies in entertaining people, making them feel better, even for a moment. All the pain and suffering of this business is worth it, if even just one person views his work. Chad is a frequent podcaster, most notably posing as a co-host for the podcast “The Film Illogical Society.”
Ryan Aleck Hill (Screener Squad, Video and Audio editor)
Ryan is a Washington D.C. based filmmaker & video editor who loves watching and talking about movies more than just about anything. He currently works at a creative agency as a director of photography/video editor, and does freelance video editing for Anthony Fantano/TheNeedleDrop. He also has a YouTube channel (Downhill Media) where he works on a weirdo art explainer series called “Artsplained” with his partner Michelle. He was a part of the Spill.com community way back in the day, where he was cursed with an obsession for movies. In an effort to break the curse, he shows up on the Screener Squad podcast every once in a while and edits for One Of Us. Chris Cox claims that this is the only way it can be broken. You can follow him on Twitter but you’ll probably regret it.
Lewayne White (Screener Squad)
Lewayne’s earliest memories are of watching movies and reading comics, which instilled in him a sense of wonder, a vivid imagination, and unrealistic expectations. It also means he spends a lot of time watching movies, writing scripts for them, and trying to get them made. He lives in the middle of middle America after landing there as a child, and has remained there mainly because he hates packing.
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