Freeze Me Movie Review

Brrrr. Freeze Me is one cold movie, jam-packed with the kind of rape, revenge, and bloodshed that seems to hold an endless fascination for Japanese moviegoers. It's easy to put any and all of that on screen. What's harder, and where Freeze Me succeeds in doing -- up to a point -- is to do it with a bit of entertaining finesse. Interesting characters and a tight storyline keep this bloodbath on track.

Tokyo office worker Chichiro (Harumi Inoue) has a loving fiancée, but she also has a secret: a few years before arriving in the big city she was gang-raped by a bunch of local thugs who went so far as to videotape the attack and sell copies on the Internet. Ashamed and unable to go to the police for fear of reprisals, she fled her home to start a new life in Tokyo.

All is well with Chichiro until the terrible day when one of her rapists, the quite insane Kojima (Shingo Tsurumi), shows up at her apartment to say hi and to inform her that two of his cronies will be joining him soon to reenact the rape and make yet another tape they can sell. Though she struggles with him at first, she lets him in her apartment after he strips and begins walking around her building distributing photos of the attack. Later, he even shows up at her job and embarrasses her. Soon she's trapped with him at home, being subjected to his brutality all over again as he waits for his friends to arrive.

But Chichiro soon decides to take action. Armed with a particularly large knife, she goes after Kojima while he's taking a bath, and the scene of the two of them rolling around in the blood-filled tub is quite an eyeful. Now Chichiro has a problem: what to do with a bloody corpse in a cramped Tokyo apartment.

Or two. Or three. Two more tormentors show up at the apartment in search of Chichiro and Kojima, and in each case Chichiro lets them in and dispatches them, but strangely, only after they have their way with her. One of the two is obsessed with ultra-violent video games, and it's kind of funny to watch him playing away and shrieking "Kill! Kill! Kill!" at the screen as Chichiro sneaks up behind him to deliver the fatal blow.

With three bodies to worry about, Chichiro orders three big freezers for her apartment. The deliverymen are surprised that she's ordered even one, but she explains it's the latest hip decorating trend. "Yeah," says one of the deliverymen, "I think I saw something about that on TV." By the time they deliver the third freezer to the now hopelessly crowded apartment, they've stopped asking questions.

Inoue turns in what movie reviewers call a "courageous" performance, given that she is willing to spend much of the movie being beaten and raped, running around topless, and dodging geysers of blood. There's little nuance in the script -- Chichiro is sane and then she's nuts -- but Inoue manages to make her sympathetic all the way to the gruesome end.

It's hard to be fully supportive of any film that traces its cinematic lineage back to the famously loathsome cult classic I Spit On Your Grave, in which a gang rape victim sticks around the scene of the crime to off her rapists one by one in increasingly creative ways, but Freeze Me is certainly an eyeful, and it keeps you guessing. Is Chichiro ever going to get 500 pounds of frozen corpses out of her living room, or does she plan to live with them forever?

Cast & Crew

Director :


Comments

Freeze Me Rating

" OK "

Rating: NR, 2000

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