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The Forbidden Play

Opening Date
22 Feb 2024
NC16 Violence and Horror
Japanese - subtitles to be advised
Hideo Nakata
Kanna Hashimoto, Daiki Shigeoka, First Summer Uika, Minato Shogaki
A young boy makes a wish after losing his mother Miyuki in an accident. He buries her finger in the ground and chants everyday to bring her back from the dead! Mysterious phone calls, cracking glasses, piercing gazes, and possession... Resurrected through the breaking of a taboo, Miyuki conjures an onslaught of eerie phenomena, and her monstrous determination sees her rise again and again to attack the living!
By InCinemas  05 Feb 2024
Hollywood meets J-Horror in this bone-chilling horror mystery.
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After 25 years since his critically acclaimed The Ring (1998), Hideo Nakata is back true to form, entertaining viewers with his unique blend of horror and mystery in The Forbidden Play.
The film, adapted from the 2019 novel by Karuma Shimizu, follows the seemingly happy life of the Ihara Family – Naoto, his wife Miyuki and son Haruto, as they settled into their new home. Foreboding sense of horror creeps in when Haruto believed his father’s lie that he could bring a lizard back to life by chanting to its buried tail, followed by a sinister warning “do not betray me” from Miyuki to Naota as he left for work.  
Naoto is devastated that Miyuki has died in a car accident. Haruto, determined to bring his mother back to life, buries one of her fingers in the backyard and relentlessly chant a resurrection spell daily, signalling something evil is lurking underground. 
The introduction of Hiroko Kurasawa, a video director and former colleague of Naota, recording a real-life bar fight for a show “Street Scoop Camera” provides a much-neededc omic reprieve to the film. Unexpected and bizarre phenomenon soon torment Hiroko, and thereafter the film evolves into hardcore horror.
Hiroko visits the Ihara home and witnesses the strange occurrences. As Hiroko tries to uncover the mystery behind the family's troubles, she falls victim to the malevolent forces at play. Viewers soon learn about Hiroko’s timid bullied past, and will rejoice at her new-found strength to battle evil.
Evil is vanquished in the end, or is it? The actions of Naoto driven by guilt and loss as a father, may provide the opportunity for a sequel.   
Nakato has effectively put together a mixture of Hollywood and J-horror tropes in The Forbidden Play, creating an unforgettable yet unexpected antagonist who defies the logic and laws of nature. Viewers will now look at their beloved backyard differently with unforgettable images of Miyuki as she emerges from the ground and crawl through.
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