Adequate, if uninspired, tale about a Japanese urban legend passed around by school kids. The story goes that there is a "fiend"called the slit-mouthed woman who goes around snatching up little kids. Suddenly, kids start to actually disappear and it turns out that the story may not be such a fairy tale.
Aside from some fairly impressive special effects that are used sparingly and effectively, there is little to be had by horror fans here. The story is relatively simple and lacks any real twists or innovations, the finale taking no chances or straying from traditional horror cliches. And, despite being a Japanese film, there feels like an awful lot of American horror staples being utilized here. I can't quite pin it down, but the whole thing just felt like it was trying to create a new "supervillian" franchise along the lines of a Kreuger or Jason, which we all know we really don't need. About the only thing that really felt like I was watching a Japanese film (aside from the language) was that children were murdered on screen rather than off which would never fly in the U.S.
I think there is supposed to be some social commentary about child abuse and how the cycle of violence continues from abuser to victim to abuser and so forth, but it was kind of lost in translation and overshadowed by the blandness of the whole thing.
- Complaint Dept.