The Inerasable (2015) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2016]

inerasableA horror writer works on a serial using fan letters about paranormal activity in their lives.  After receiving a letter about a haunting that rings a bell, she teams up with the student who sent it and they work to uncover where all the paranormal happenings in the area come from.

The Inerasable is based on a novel by Fuyumi Ono, adapted into a screenplay by Ken’ichi Suzuki which is brought to the screen by director Yoshihiro Nakamura.  Together, they create more of a drama/mystery than a horror film.  Their film brings together a writer and student with little in common but an interest in finding out where the hauntings in the student’s buildings come from.  The lead characters they create are decent and the supporting characters are a bit thin, or one-dimensional.  These secondary characters are there for exposition and to nudge the two investigators in the right direction.  They are not boring but absolutely interchangeable.

The leads of the writer and the student are played by Mansaku Fuwa and Ai Hashimoto respectively.  Both of them do well with Ai Hashimoto shining a bit more but this may due to her character’s slightly bubblier personality.  The supporting cast is good with no real stand out good or bad.  None of the performances are particularly grabbing but as none are annoying, they all are easy to watch.

The dead and their deaths are not scary or gross.  The effects for the ones requiring a bit more than just a hanging for example are good but not great.  The design for some of the ghosts do ring some form of creepy feeling but they look a bit dated in style, design, and execution.  When they are kept in semi-darkness, they look much more menacing.  Outside of these, the film has very few special effects which is definitely for the best.  It must be noted, that as the film started, the feel of the film was that it was going in Jurei territory which thankfully was not the case, giving something a bit more original in terms of ghosts and scared even though they were mild.

Adding to this atmosphere created by the dead and the ghosts, the music by Goro Yasukawa is subtle but effective.  It pushes the viewer in the right direction without getting “in their face” about what they should feel.

The Inerasable is an inoffensive mystery-drama with horror elements.  The acting is good, the story has twists and turns that keep the attention and make this film worth watching.  However, there are very few to no scares depending on each viewer’s threshold for these types of things.  The film is good as it, a decent way to spend a couple of hours.

Fantasia International Film Festival ran from July 14th until August 3rd, 2016 and will be back in the summer of 2017.