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Film ● Review: Re/Member

English Title: Re/Member

Japanese Title: カラダ探し [lit. body search]

Director(s): Hasumi Eiichiro

Screenwriter(s): Doki Harumi

Studio: Ghost Gate Films, Robot Communications Inc.

Released: 2022

Runtime: 1h 42m

Starring: Hashimoto Kanna, Maeda Gordon, Yamamoto Maika, Yokota Mayuu, Kamio Fuju, Daigo Kotaro

My Verdict: Despite being a time-loop story with a little clumsy structuring and cheesy montages, it is still a moderately enjoyable horror film.


● Based on the manga of the same name written by Welzard and illustrated by Murase Katsutoshi, Re/Member is a horror film that is essentially a Groundhog Day time loop in which the participants must search for the missing body parts of a murdered girl whilst being hunted down by said murdered girl. The loop does not end until all body parts are found.

● Six high school students are selected to participate in the body search. As is common in manga and anime, the group is gender-balanced: Morisaki Asuka (Hashimoto Kanna), a girl who is a loner; Ise Takahiro (Maeda Gordon), a seemingly popular boy and basketballer; Naruto Rie (Yokota Mayuu), the popular girl and class president; Hiiragi Rumiko (Yamamoto Maika), a girl who is far from being a delinquent but is a bit out there; Kiyomiya Atsushi (Kamio Fuju), the knowledgable weirdo boy who gets picked on; and Uranishi Shota (Daigo Kotaro), a boy who hasn’t turned up school for some time.

● Please note that I have not read the manga so the review is purely of the film.

L to R: Hiiragi Rumiko (Yamamoto Maika), Morisaki Asuka (Hashimoto Kanna), Naruto Rie (Yokota Mayuu), Ise Takahiro (Maeda Gordon) and Kiyomiya Atsushi (Kamio Fuju).
L to R: Hiiragi Rumiko (Yamamoto Maika), Morisaki Asuka (Hashimoto Kanna), Naruto Rie (Yokota Mayuu), Ise Takahiro (Maeda Gordon) and Kiyomiya Atsushi (Kamio Fuju).

● Like many horror stories, whether it is a film or a novel, the premise involves a semi-pointless quest or game that is presumably run by some supernatural force (such as a curse). Even by the end, said supernatural force remains mostly unexplained with some twist.

● Thankfully, although the film doesn’t hold back on the brutality and the gore, I wouldn’t classify it as slasher-gore horror either. It doesn’t continuously shove it in your face, the timing and intensity of the violence are quite measured.

● It does, however, try a little too hard with those mini-jumps in the opening act.

● The narrative wisely avoids running through the loop a large number of times as time-loop stories have been done enough. If anything, given the runtime, there could be one more loop.

● It also avoids listing out the rules of the game using superimposed text. Although one of the characters somehow vaguely knows about the body search and is used for expositions, the audience along with the main characters find out as they go along.

● The film is not merely about the body-search game. The story tries to elaborate on the themes of loneliness and friendship even though the film is somewhat clumsy in its treatment. For example, Asuka is a loner but the group develops a bond as they repeat the day. Whilst a crisis can drive people together, this arguably happens too suddenly. If this process happens over one more loop, it would come across as more plausible.

● Asuka and Takahiro, as expected, develop a friendship with overtures of romance. This is handled well enough given the runtime.

● There are scenes and montages of friendship with insert songs that are just cheesy. The idea is thematically consistent but these scenes—which borderline on the slice-of-life genre and there is nothing wrong with that—are simply too generalized. They don’t make you want to stop watching but they are cheesy and jarring.

● As already mentioned, as is typical in horror, not everything is explained and more revelations at the end would be appreciated. Having stated that, unlike many films nowadays, there is actually some interesting signposting for what may be happening and why. One cannot be certain but at least there is intrigue.

● And on a note related to the themes and signposting, this is a case where the English title is more clever than the native title.

● The visual effects are mostly good enough even though one can see them in play. The main weakness is the design of the monster as it comes across as too cheap. The lighting is mostly well-managed, especially considering the amount of nighttime scenes.

● Despite being another time-loop story and somewhat clumsy with those cheesy montages, it is nonetheless a moderately enjoyable horror film. Given that the main characters are high school students, amongst other considerations, it is more aimed at older teens and young adults although an older audience might still enjoy it.

“It’s Groundhog Day!”
“It’s Groundhog Day!”

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