Kayarath’s Adventures in Beautiful Days

Posted on Nov 13 2014

Kayarath's Adventures In Beautiful Days

When I first tried to write a review of this movie, I simply couldn’t. The words just wouldn’t come out. Something inside me was just off. Now that I think about it, maybe watching that movie unnerved me a bit. It must have disrupted my ability to think. That is, perhaps, the greatest praise you can give to a horror film.

The horror film I’m talking about is called It’s a Beautiful Day. It’s director is Kayoko Asakua, who also directed the horror short Hide and Seek (which I think is great). It’s a Beautiful Day was part of the New Wave of J-Horror film series put together by Tetsuki Iijchi and The Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Tetsuki Iijchi is the president and CEO of Tidepoint pictures, purveyors of indie J-Horror. This time, 91.8 The Fan played a part as a media supporter (full disclosure is awesome bro!).

The Bryn Mawr Film Institute is a movie theater devoted to the local, indie, and underdog movies that go unnoticed by Hollywood. It’s fairly easy to find, located on Route 30 right next to the Bryn Mawr train station. Don’t get Bryn Mawr confused with Berwyn though. It’s a fully equipped movie theater instead of a hole in the wall that some indie places can be.

You have to admit, this does look nice...

You have to admit, this does look nice…

Before the film started, I got some exposition by overhearing one of the regulars converse with the usher/program director/guy who works at the place. It’s a Beautiful Day can best be classified as a slasher flick. It’s the perfect movie to see the day before Halloween. It’s also one of the most international movies ever, with dialogue in Japanese, Korean, and English. They even subtitle the Japanese when everyone is speaking English. Soon enough, Tetsuki Iijchi appeared, introducing himself, Tidepoint, and the movie itself. After some additional exposition, the film began.

They weren’t kidding when they said it was a slasher flick. Two people get gutted in the first five minutes and their splattering blood serves as the background for the opening credits. Next on the chopping block, err the protagonist, is a South Korean exchange student on the worst trip ever. Despite studying near Los Angles, most of the Japanese people on this trip can’t speak a lick of English. Even if they did, they would be too busy partying and drinking beer to speak coherently. The studious South Korean finds herself the odd woman out. She won’t have to put up with them for too long however.

If you want to see a fraked up jerkbag cut up a bunch of dopey young people, you’re covered. I must admit, horror films are not my area of expertise. I just don’t like being scared. I wasn’t too put off by all the dismemberment though. Part of it must be due to being desensitized to visual violence in general. Another is that the special effect were good but not perfect. Suspension of disbelief is much harder to maintain in a more serious film.

This picture, less so...

This picture, less so…

What it lacked in production values, it made up for in crazy. The actors they got for the serial killers (and the person who cast them) nailed it. It was the perfect mix of anger and ruthlessness, with a veneer of humanity to top it off. Those guys know how to act off putting. I also have to give the movie in general props for throwing in a few plot twists along the way. I’m no horror buff, but I bet movies where a group of young adults must fend off a crazed killer tend to be formulaic. While one plot twist is really arbitrary, I’m cool with that. Sometimes, it’s not how plausible a situation is, it’s how will the characters react to it. It’s an extra layer of unpredictability, and any horror film can benefit from that.

I can’t say that I was scared though. What I felt was suspense and uncomfortableness. That realization when a characters’ situation changes from “in danger” to “you’re as good as dead” creates a wonderful rush of adrenaline that hits you like a roller coaster dive. That’s not how I felt most of the movie though. The greatest feeling I felt was a general sense of uneasiness. Horror is all about the villains, and these guys are Joker level crazy without the wit to lighten the mood. To see madness in action can wear down even the most well adjusted person. Wouldn’t you blink if you stared into the darkness long enough?

Horror may not be for everyone, but it does have merits. If you want to see some blood and gore, this movie has you covered. If you want to see people die in horrible ways, it’s there. If you want to be just plain freaked out, you’re good to go. And remember, have a beautiful frakin’ day.

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