The film centers around three people who went to school together in the village. Hinako and her family left before she finished school. She moved to Tokyo, went to school there, grew up, got a job, etc. Fumiya was a guy who stayed in the village, and Sayori was a girl who was scheduled to become the priestess of a family but who died while still in school.
Hinako goes back to visit the village, finds out about Sayori's death, then finds out, along with Fumiya, that Sayori's mother has her own plans to bring Sayori back from the dead.
On the plus side the story has no blood. There are two deaths, which for a horror film is a relatively low body count. The story does raise an interesting issue when Sayori, back from the dead, asks what is wrong with her having the same emotions she had when she was alive.
On the negative side there is some extremely annoying camera work. The actress playing Sayori's mother isn't convincing; she's way too over-the-top crazy to be believable. There's also no explanation for why the dead coming back to life in this situation would be a problem. It's just along the lines of "well, that can't be allowed." We learn later one possible answer, but that depends on whether or not Sayori was typical of the dead-brought-back-to-life or whether she was as psycho as he mother.
Overall a somewhat uneven film that is fairly decent but could have been better. Synopsis
The films open with a couple who have lost their song at the home of a person who says the dead can be channeled. A girl is tied up and then seemingly channels the spirit of their dead son.
One time Hinako was visiting the house where Sayori lives and saw her being used like noted above. Sayori doesn't want anyone else knowing.
Sayori apparently saves Hinako from drowning. Later, Hinako's family moves to Tokyo, forcing Hinako to leave her friends behind.
Some years later Hinako is returning for a visit to her hometown.
Apparently her father, although he ended up taking a job in Tokyo, still owns their house in their hometown so Hinako is going to stay there while visiting.
She meets another classmate and asks about Sayori after going to Sayori's house, knocking on the door but no one coming to answer it even though she was sure she saw someone upstairs. Apparently Sayori died while she was still in high school, having drowned in the river.
Hinako finds out that Sayori's mother is on a pilgrimage.
Someone has vandalized some statues.
Hinako's boyhood friend Fumiya, who now lives in the village, finds out that the area beyond the vandalized statues is called the Valley of the Gods and anyone going there supposedly is cursed.
Hinako "dreams" of seeing Sayori, but finds something left behind indicating it might not have been an actual dream after all.
She had given Sayori something years ago when she left the village, and that's what she found near her bed the previous night. Fumiya tries to play down everything, though, even when Hinako tells him she saw someone at Sayori's house the day before.
The two of them go to explore the "Valley of the Gods" cursed area.
Hinako's schoolmate "friend" tells her Sayori was angry at her for leaving, and also tells her that she shouldn't become involved in that family's affairs since the people there wouldn't like it and Hinako is now considered an outsider since she moved away to Tokyo.
A young boy throws a rock through Hinako's window. Various people have begun seeing what they assume are ghosts.
Fumiya takes someone out to see the spot he and Hinako had discovered in the valley.
He says that Yomi is the land of the dead where the dead still have bodies, and the cave is like a passageway to that land.
Fumiya finds out that Sayori's father had been planning on publishing a book on the history of Shikoku island. He explains the idea of a pilgrimage to all 88 temples on the island, going in one direction from beginning to end.
But if the line is broken, this would be the result.
They break in to Sayori's house at night to search for the book her father had written.
He finds the book. In another room they find the seals of the 88 temples. You can get a piece of paper stamped to prove you've been there on a pilgrimage. There are so many seals since there are 15 doors in the room and each one indicates a pilgrimage. Sayori's has been in the hospital, nonresponsive, for years, and the number 16 is on the ceiling above his head. They realize Sayori's mother is now on her 16th pilgrimage.
They find out the mother has been doing the pilgrimages in reverse order.
Apparently Sayori was in love with Fumiya and he feels she's been watching him all the time. What he's saying now is bound to bring trouble.
He's now attracted to Hinako. They kiss and end up having sex.
The guy Fumiya had been talking to earlier explains what happens if things are done in reverse.
Sayori's mother is talking to her husband at the hospital.
Meanwhile Hinako and Fumiya were given the name of some other man who might be able to help them.
The guy tells them that the mother must be stopped from returning to the village at all costs, but he doesn't explain why. He's said the dead will return, but hasn't said anything about any actual kinds of problems that will cause.
The mother has already begun her ritual.
The old woman says that the gods of her family would not forgive her for letting the family line die with her (since Sayori had died). She also admits to pushing her husband off a cliff since he was apparently going to try and stop her from bringing back Sayori.
Unfortunately, the actress playing the mother just isn't believable; she's acting a little too crazy.
Obviously her mother already has Sayori's life/death/unlife/whatever already planned out.
Sayori wants to see Fumiya. She kills her mother by crushing her backbone.
Fumiya goes off to check out the valley area, leaving Hinako behind. Since she sees a light go on in the house she goes inside (alone, no backup), and ends up confronting Sayori.
Sayori says she wants Fumiya, but he tells her no. Sayori then spends some time insulting Hinako.
He ends up going to Sayori which isn't the smartest thing in the world to do as she crushes his back, too.
A storm starts up and the guy they talked to list suddenly appears.
Suddenly Fumiya crawls into the cave, grabs on to Sayori and they both vanish beneath the water.
Main index page
Japanese Dramas Main Index Page