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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 74 minutes, making of featurette, Q&A with actor and director, online interview

STUDIO: Tartan/ Pony Canyon

RELEASE DATE: 5-23-2006

THE BOOTH is a better film in the Next Generation Thriller series. I found it more disturbing than the disappointment known as PRAY. Shingo (Ryuta Sato) is the host of a nighttime talk radio show called Tokyo Love Lines. He has to do his show one night in old Studio 6 for the night where a radio DJ committed suicide years ago. A voice starts interrupting his broadcast and starts calling him a liar. Shingo wonders if someone knows about the bad things he has done over the years. He is a disgusting person that his fans don't know about. His paranoia grows as the night goes on. One surprised me as we find out that filmmakers have pulled a trick on me. One of the bets moments of the film is in that scene. I don't totally agree with the ending, but it does fit in with the usual ending for many J-Horror films. Hijiri Kojima did very well in this film and is quite a looker. I hope I get the chance to see her in more films (when they come to the USA). Director Nakamura crafted a creepy short horror film that is something that might stand up on repeat viewings.

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The tarnsfer is up to usual Tartan standards. Image detail is good.

AUDIO: Japanese 5.1 Dolby, Japanese 5.1 DTS, Japanese 2.0 Dolby

Subtitles: English, Spanish (feature only)

I ended up with a bad disc at first that had the DTS track as the default track when playing the film (if you don't have DTS and end up with no sound, go back to the set up menu and switch to one of the Dolby tracks).   Overall, the audio is good.

I wish Tartan would quit doing the thing (on some of their DVDs) where you have to turn on English subtitles when viewing the extras. It is OK is you watch to switch them off if you don't want them, but I find it annoying that you have to turn them on before viwing them.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The first thing to note is that the original theatrical trailer isn't included (despite it being listed on the back cover). The extras for the DVD changed at the last moment.

THE MAKING OF THE BOOTH- This 20 minute featurette is way too long as we look at the making of the film from the POV of lead actor Ryuta Sato.

Q&A WITH DIRECTOR AND ACTOR- This is a Q&A with the lead actor and director in front of an audience. This 8 1/2 minute featurette is just right. Actor Ryuta Sato is very funny here. It is the best extra on the DVD.

ON-AIR INTERVIEW WITH THE FILMMAKERS- A 2 1/2 video of a radio interview with director Yohihiro Nakamura and actor Mansaku Ikeuchi promoting the film.

Also included are previews for PRAY, NATURAL CITY, MAREBITO, R-POINT, and AB-NORMAL BEAUTY.

FINAL ANLYSIS: THE BOOTH is an improvement over PRAY. It is creepy horror film that builds the paranoia and peels back the layers as you watch.

this review is (c)5-26-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com