HOMUNCULUS (2021) Reviews of surreal Japanese movie on Netflix

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Homunculus is a 2021 Japanese mystery horror film in which a homeless man sees people’s innermost traumas after undergoing trepanation.

Directed by Takashi Shimizu (Howling VillageThe Shock Labyrinth 3DThe Grudge 2004 and sequel; Ju-on: The Grudge), based on a manga by Hideo Yamamoto, the movie stars Gô Ayano, Anna Ishii, Yukino Kishii and Ryô Narita.


“For me, what really worked at the beginning of Homunculus was the visuals […] Instead of still being very focused on the visuals and mind games (or abilities), it becomes a slow-burn mystery. Also, I loved Ryô Narita as Manabu Ito, the medical intern turned mad scientist, who goes around drilling holes in the skulls of people.” Heaven of Horror

…Homunculus should’ve had more of an eerie ambience and a more thrilling premise. Instead, it turns into a drama where everyone cries at the end. The reasoning behind people’s actions seems flimsy – while you understand that Nokoshi’s actions might be all over the place, with a hole in his head and all, the others’ actions just feel out of place.” Leisure Byte

“A lot of the weirdness begins to be toned down on the way to a staid finale, but the human drama doesn’t ramp up to compensate. By that point, almost two hours into a story that was spinning its wheels after one, there’s little reason to be excited about the conclusion.” Ready Steady Cut

“The visuals in this film are stunning and do a lot of the work to give this film its creepy and unsettling vibe.  I was disappointed in the second half when the majority of the imagery went away, it meant the film lost the atmosphere that it really had going for it, and it meant the second half of the film felt very disjointed from the first.” Trailer Trashed

Original title:

ホムンクルス aka Homunkurusu

YouTube reviews:

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