A beautiful young girl is found brutally murdered within a container full of hair. A man with an insatiable hair fetish steals the corpse, which grows hair endlessly, and fashions hair extensions to sell to salons. Little does he realize that the extensions carry the fury of the girl's vengeance, killing anyone who wears them. Director Shion Sono (who also directed "Into a Dream") ingeniously mixes comedy with fright in this hilarious and hair raising J-horror. Edit Translation
- Bahasa Indonesia
Cast & Credits
Exte was easily my "most uncomfortable" watch of 2019. I've only watched one other film of Sono's, so I knew he was very good when it came to gore, but I didn't know what to expect from him when it came to ghosts and ghouls.
Dear Christ, I will NEVER be getting hair extensions for the rest of my life.
Before I go into it, do remember, this was 2007. The CGI and such are not going to be amazing and top of the line. Watch this as you'd have watched a film you were going to see in the cinema in 2007 for the best impression of this film.
With a very unique plot - I for one, have never come across a horror film personally that has hair extensions as the main "evil" object. This has drawn me in for quite a while and it's not hard to see why this has become a very influential horror film.
Starting off very serious and dark this film promises quite a lot at the start. This does fade after a little while and we become a bit more upbeat and a little more fun. I'm not faulting the film for this - it must be pretty hard to keep a film about hair extensions murdering people to a degree of seriousness - however, it really does pick up after a while.
Once the spooky things start going down, we get uncomfortable scenes of body horror (I wouldn't really call them body gore, but either way) that made me feel a little queasy and very uneasy. I was rubbing at my eyes, picking my lips and trying my best not to pause the movie and leave it for a while and return to it.
Sono creates such a stunning piece of art that is so uneasy and makes the viewer squirm. Although the plot doesn't seem to make much sense. There's two different plot lines going on at once - the investigation of the woman murdered and a secondary plot following Yuko - and I don't think that the investigation got much attention once it first switches to Yuko. Both plots do eventually overlap and come together, but I just don't think this was done as 100% as it could have been. Everything comes to a close well, but I did find myself wishing for JUST a little bit more from Sono to bring this up just one or two notches. (And that bloody song is gonna be stuck in my head all day...) The ending is pretty vague and more of a horror-comedy piece than a horror, but that's who Sion Sono is, so definitely a plus in this situation.
This all said, I do very much love this film. It's spooky, it's unsettling, it has definitely made me a little uneasy at the idea of having hair extensions. The atmospheric creation of Sono is something that I truly appreciate. The 2000s of Japanese horror have a legacy for their moments of unease and Exte is no different. Truly unnerving, extremely uncomfortable and breath hitching, this film truly is one of the gold films of the 2000-2010 Japanese iconic ghost horrors.
All of the cast were amazing (and I can't imagine some of these scenes were easy to record either), and it really helped develop the film further.
Again, I will never be having hair extensions and secondly, I think I have a new found fear of hair in general. Some of these scenes were just too creepy.
(My only qualm is... doesn't Yuko have to like legally adopt Mami... not just move her into her place?)