MIMICRY FREAKS (2019) Reviews and overview of bizarre Japanese horror

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‘Scare me to see the hell’

Mimicry Freaks is a 2019 Japanese surreal horror film in which various characters meet their fate in a forest and two storylines intertwine.

Written and directed by Shugo Fujii (Red Line Crossing; A Living Hell), inspired by the famous Japanese drawing Kaidan Chibusa Enokizu by Seiu, the movie stars Tatsuji Sugiyama, Tomoya Mochizuki and Daiki Tanaka.


One morning, a man named Fuma wakes up in bed deep within a forest. Suddenly, a traditional Japanese warrior monster known as a Namahage attacks.

Meanwhile, a wedding planner is taking two lovers and the bride’s father to a wedding ceremony hall in the forest for the rehearsal. However, the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the fact that the bride’s father is unhappy to soon have an anti-nuclear activist as a son-in-law quickly turns out to be the smallest problem for everyone involved.

When the two stories intertwine, the outcome becomes unpredictable…


“The saturated colors intensify the nightmare-like atmosphere of the story, while the presentation of the forest and the various, abandoned settlements is as horrifying as it should be. The editing also intensifies the nightmarish/delirious essence, particularly through the abruptness of the cuts. The “obvious” horror tactics (jump scares, gore etc) are all here, but in general, and through the combination of production values and narrative, the film creates horror more through its general atmosphere…” Asian Movie Pulse

Mimicry Freaks really is a film only for viewers with strong stomachs and a taste for the outlandish. However, beneath its gruesome carnage, there’s a genuinely impressive and inventive piece of genre cinema, that’s somehow familiar while breaking all the rules, and which again shows Shugo Fujii to be one of the most interesting and risk-taking genre directors working in Japan today.” Eastern Kicks

“Fujii (writer, director and editor) has understood that horror is empowered by visual as well as narrative disorientation. It is because the spectator is denied to get a full grasp on the narrative, that the splatter and the visual horror is able to unsettle the spectator.” Psychocinematography

“The films somewhat hard to follow story was made all the more nightmarish by the effects used, particularly with the editing that has footage sometimes switch to a blood red colour, or to glitch out as if the film has gotten stuck […] Mimicry Freaks was a bloody and violent horror that had a lot of crazy ideas, perhaps let down by not a single likeable protagonist this nonetheless was a wild ride to experience.” The Rotting Zombie

” …the outcome is certainly not for everybody, as it’s nasty, it’s explicit in its presentation of horror, and doesn’t shy away from going totally over-the-top – and that said, if you’re into the more extreme side of terror and are able to accept a horror for horror’s sake at face value, then you’ll be richly rewarded with a deliciously grotesque horror show that will stay with you for quite a while after watching.” Search My Trash

“Surrealism always takes its toll on storytelling. The editing is hectic and Tetsuo-like […] I’ve seen the monster do both a Jason Voorhees and Leatherface impression. The influences are obvious and they’re mostly American, but the monster’s a Japanese folkloric being in a demon mask and costume.” Tales of Terror

Original title:

Chô-gitai ningen


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