Koichi Sakakibara transfers to a new high school and meets a mysterious girl, Mei Misaki, who nobody else appears to see. Misaki shares the name of a girl who died twenty-six years ago and she can see ‘death’ through a false eye she keeps hidden behind an eye-patch. When students at the high-school begin dying in seemingly chance accidents the two begin investigating an old curse affecting year 3 class 3.
Rather than being a straight up gory horror the film creates a creeping fear as the two struggle to discover a way to prevent the deaths of their classmates. The fantastic score in particular develops a foreboding atmosphere and the cinematography is good. The story is entertaining despite odd plot elements and a rather unsubstantial resolution. Certain explanations are skipped over to keep the running time down and the focus is kept tightly on the two leads.
The film is set in 1998 and themes of continuation and a connection to the past are present throughout with the recurring curse being the driving force of the interactions. The film is largely a meditation on youth, death and trying to understand the incomprehensible natural forces which shape peoples lives. Balanced somewhere between a B-movie melodrama and a more serious psychological thriller, the film offers many interesting moments interspersed along a rather thin storyline. While not always successful it is a fun distraction.
Based on the novel by Yukito Ayatsuji.