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FILM REVIEW: It Comes

11 March 2019

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FILM REVIEW: It Comes

It Comes is a film adaptation of the award-winning horror novel by Ichi Sawamura. As strange occurrences start to surround his family, Hideki Tahara decides to seek help from an occult writer, Kon Nozaki, and a spirit medium, Makoto Higa, to get rid of “the thing” haunting them. Being able to mimic voices and appearances, “the thing” never shows its true form. Without a physical presence to counter, the Tahara family struggle to fight against it. Brace yourself as “It comes” to your mind!

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Year: 2019
Cast: Junichi Okada, Nana Komatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Haru Kuroki, Takako Matsu
Language: Japanese
Runtime: 134mins


Review by Jean Wong

The Japanese version of the bogeyman — bogiwan — comes to life in this modern horror movie It Comes (2019). The film plays with your paranoia to deliver a hair-raising work as it slowly but surely ups the fear factor at every turn.

With his wife’s pregnancy, Hideki Tahara (Satoshi Tsumabuki) seems close to achieving a picture-perfect family. But of course things aren’t as simple as that. As the couple decides on the name ‘Chisa’ for their daughter, “the thing” announces its presence to Hideki by using that same name for itself — though they hadn’t made their daughter’s name public knowledge yet. This marks the start of the hauntings surrounding Hideki, creating a sense of unease in the viewer.

Throughout all these hauntings, “the thing” never shows its true appearance, making it all the more difficult to counter it. The mystery of where it came from and what it wants wraps the film in an additional layer of fear.

Coming from Tetsuya Nakashima, director of acclaimed murder mystery movie Confessions (2010), one would expectantly look forward to his first venture into the horror genre. However, where Confessions does a brilliant job at letting the story unfold, It Comes seems to fall flat in that area.

The choice to shoot it from three different point-of-views does give the story more depth, but the clumsy execution ends up confusing the plot. While we are first led into believing that Hideki is our protagonist, the film switches to Kana’s (Haru Kuroki) perspective halfway through and does it again later on to Nozaki (Junichi Okada). As the film switches its point-of-view, it throws in additional details that doesn’t seem to further the plot along. Perhaps it might have been clearer if it had been shot from a third person perspective in the first place.

What really saved this film, however, is the amazing acting performed by the cast. The changes in point-of-views gave each actor their own time to shine. Tsumabuki easily adopts a fatherly persona onscreen, while Kuroki complements him as his anguished wife. Nana Komatsu also does well as the vivacious and overprotective Makoto Higa, the spirit medium that Hideki consulted and Nozaki’s girlfriend. As her second time working with director Nakashima, Takako Matsu flourishes as the aloof shaman who attempts to end “the thing” once and for all.

As a horror film, It Comes does deliver on its grisliness with repulsive effects and unexpected twists at certain moments. While Nakashima’s work on this film may be a bit of a letdown, It Comes is still a horror movie worthy of some praise in part due to the great cast and terrifying scares.


Catch It Comes (2019) in cinemas from 14 March 2019 here.

Contemplative empath who sees wonder in the curious world. Has a habit of hiding behind books and occasionally dabbles in games, Netflix and YouTube. Spends way too much money on bubble tea, but really, she shouldn't.
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