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It Comes

Opening Date
14 Mar 2019
M18 Sexual Scene and Horror
134 mins
Japanese with English & Chinese subtitles
Tetsuya Nakashima
Nana Komatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Junichi Okada, Haru Kuroki, Takako Matsu
It Comes is about a father, Hideki Tahara who seeks help from an occult writer, Kon Nozaki, a spirit medium, Nana Komatsu and a spirit teacher, Higa Kotoko to get rid of “the thing” haunting them. They discover that “the thing” is actually from Tahara’s hometown and he starts to remember a deep forest called “The Mountain” from his childhood. Never mention the name of which mimics voices and forms, "Bogiwan". Or else brace yourself as "It comes" to your mind!
It Comes is a film adaptation of the award-winning horror novel by Ichi Sawamura and it stars Junichi Okada (Sekigahara), Makoto Higa (The World of Kanako), Satoshi Tsumabuki (Waterboy), Haru Kuroki (The Little House) and Takako Matsu (Confessions). Director of Oscar-shortlisted film “Confessions”, Tetsuya Nakashima returns for the horror film, It Comes.
By Jason Lin  14 Mar 2019
It Comes is a film adaptation of Ichi Sawamura’s novel that follows a supernatural creature known as ‘Bogiwan’ that boasts impactful onscreen performances by most of the cast members.
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Known for dark works studying human nature and its corresponding tragedies, Japanese filmmaker Tetsuya Nakashima approaches the horror genre with flamboyancy. It Comes is a film adaptation of Ichi Sawamura’s novel that follows a supernatural creature known as ‘Bogiwan’ tormenting the onscreen characters.
Opening with folklore, Nakashima doesn’t follow traditions and instead went for a bold and visual approach to provoke sensations within the audience. For those who are familiar with Nakashima might like to think of 2010’s Confessions as a reference. Similarly, seasoned Japanese actress Matsu Takako has a strong role in It Comes albeit one that only appears in the final chapter.
Takako plays Kotoko, an icy cool shaman from Osaka, and her presence in the film while impressionable only heightens questions around the plot and her character. She owns the ability to influence national police force and fire fighters to evacuate and cordon off an entire residential compound to perform an elaborate exorcism/ritual on a scale of Singapore’s annual Chingay Parade. While an elaborate ritual that spans across what felt like half an hour might imply good production values, it only prolonged the film to lose focus at the expense of a significant portion of the production budget.
Otherwise, the film builds up its primary characters with Hideki (Satoshi Tsumabuki) and his wife Kana (Haru Kuroki) experiencing inexplainable supernatural events that would not only haunt them but also punish their loved ones around them. Friends of theirs would have bleeding wounds that inflict excruciating pain along with an unusually dry throat. While such physiological details might be appreciated to instill fear, they are unfortunately not explained and thus felt irrelevant.
What Nakashima does well is the study of the film’s characters as they are investigated deeply to reveal terrifying details of their personality and indirectly hints at the dark side of human nature. Hideki spent time to update his blog about parenting might be a tool to fulfill his ego and personal branding at the expense of his wife Kana and daughter Chisa. Kana likewise might just be frustrated to be an overworked wife and mother at the expense of her freedom as a woman.
However, darkness of mankind and supernatural horror folklore requires much more to weave them into a feasible package. It Comes just might be an experimental exercise for Nakashima to sharpen this. If one can look past the troubling horror elements of the film, Nakashima directs his characters well along with impactful onscreen performance by most of the cast members including Takako and Kuroki.
Following an ending that further aggravates the holistic appreciation of the film, It Comes is nevertheless a showcase of what its auteur might be capable of in future attempts.
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