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Film / Reincarnation (2005)

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Reincarnation (a.k.a. Rinne) is a 2005 Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Shimizu. Preceded by Infection (Kansen) and Premonition (Yogen), Reincarnation is the third film in producer Takashige Ichise's six-part J-Horror Theater series.

35 years ago, a series of murders took place in a hotel. A college professor, Omori, had apparently gone mad and, as part of his wish to understand reincarnation, filmed himself killing 11 of the hotel guests and employees, as well as his own children, before committing suicide. In the present day, horror movie director Matsumura decides to make a movie, Melody, about the massacre. As the date of the shoot draws near, Nagisa Sugiura, the actress who is set to star as Professor Omori's daughter, is haunted by the ghosts of the victims and visions of the killings. However, Nagisa is not the only person who is seeing these visions...

The film was part of the After Dark Horrorfest film festival.

This film contains examples of:

  • Age Lift: In-universe. Omori's daughter was a young child; Nagisa is an adult. Also inverted, in the case of Professor Omori being much older than Nagisa.
  • Arc Words: "Together Forever"
  • Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Nagisa: she is cast as the professor's young daughter in the movie, and begins to see visions of his past victims. Eventually, she ends up incarcerated at a mental hospital.
  • Creepy Child: The ghost of Omori's daughter.
  • Creepy Doll: This film contains the creepiest one you may ever see.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Yuka has a reputation as a bit of an oddball due to her claims she has had a past life. As it turns out, she's very much correct.
  • Downer Ending: Several of the characters (main and supporting) are killed throughout the course of the film, and Nagisa is driven insane and ends up in a mental institution. To make matters worse, it is implied that Professor Omori's personality takes over hers - thus proving the professor's theory correct.
  • Film Within a Film: The director decides to shoot a film named Memory, which is a cinematic adaptation of the infamous hotel massacre.
  • Foreshadowing: A couple of blink-and-you'll-miss-it examples: Nagisa touches her throat a couple of times - Professor Omori stabbed himself in the throat. Also, Yayoi touches her chest after Yuka shows off her birthmark - as it turns out, Yayoi is the reincarnation of Omori's daughter... who was stabbed in the chest.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Omori's horrific experiment ends up completely proving his theory.
  • Homage: The entire movie was heavily inspired by The Shining. People being forced by their job to gather in an empty hotel where an unhinged man massacred a dozen of people (including his own family), only to be victims of ghostly activity (including a creepy little girl and feel like they have been here before)... In fact several scenes are directly lifted from The Shining, including a shot of a ball bouncing down a hallway of the hotel before knocking on room 227, and a scene where a character looks over a miniature of the hotel only to have a daydream of herself inside - similar to Jack looking at the hedge maze replica.
  • Reincarnation: Well, of course, it's in the title: the whole premise of the plot is that a professor is hellbent to prove the existence of the reincarnation phenomenon, and goes to great lengths to test his theory. In the final scene, the professor's soul/mind seems to dominate the mind of their modern incarnation, a teenage girl named Nagisa.
  • Reincarnation-Identifying Trait: Yuka's birthmark turns out to have been indicative of the way her past life died.
  • The Reveal: Nagisa is not the reincarnation of Omori's daughter, as is initially believed... but of Omori himself.
  • Serial Killer: Professor Omori, intent on proving the existence of reincarnation, decides to kill his children, as well the part of the hotel guests and personnel, and lastly himself.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Some of the jump scares are included in the trailer, including the one featuring the hotel maid's ghost.
  • Twist Ending: Part of the reveal: Nagisa is not the professor's daughter's incarnation, but his. While in her padded cell, the professor's widow - who survived her husband's massacre at the hotel - brings Nagisa their daughter's old doll. Nagisa then shakes and trembles before the object, until she begins to show a sinister smile, implying that, in the end, the mad professor was proven right, after all.
  • Uncertain Doom: See Kill the Cutie.