x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night

This Japanese language remake of the US horror is a refreshing reversal, but doesn't have anything the original doesn't have.

Director: Toshikazu Nagae
Starring: Noriko Aoyama and Aoi Nakamura
**

In somewhat of a unique twist, Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night is a Japanese remake (of sorts) of an American film, with the promotional material stating it is "inspired" by the original US version.

Relocating the story to Japan, international student Karuka (Aoyama) has to come home to Tokyo when a car accident renders her temporarily wheelchair bound. When her father goes away on business, she is left with her younger brother (Nakamura) alone in the house, when strange occurrence start happening around the house.

The pair begin to investigate further over several days, leading to a terrifying discovery that will leave both of them fearing for their lives. The names and back stories have changed, but this is without a doubt a retread of the first American film.

The director Nagae appears to bring a grittier, "J-horror" approach to the aesthetic of the film, and takes a lot of inspiration from other films such as Rec, but at its core it is the same film with a different setting. To anyone bemoaning Hollywood's penchant for recycling non-English language films with bland remakes, this will be a refreshing reversal, but beyond that there is nothing here that wasn't in Oren Peli's film.