Evil Dead Trap

06/03/2019 06:22

Film: Evil Dead Trap (Shiryô no wana)

Year: 1988

Director: Toshiharu Ikeda

Writer: Takashi Ishii

Starring: Miyuki Ono, Aya Katsuragi and Hitomi Kobaysashi



This was a film that I heard about a few different podcasts, but from what I’ve gathered is kind of a hidden horror. I heard this film was pretty crazy, so I was kind of intrigued to see what this was all about. The synopsis is a TV station employee takes a camera crew out to an abandoned factory to investigate a purported snuff film that was made there, only to end up running into a killer.

To kick this off, we have someone editing together a film. We see that shows the way to an abandoned factory. It is sent to Nami Tsuchiya (Miyuki Ono) who hosts a late night show. She is intrigued by the video and plays it. She fast forwards through it to find a woman who is tied up. Someone stabs her in the eye with a knife and proceeds to kill her.

Nami wants to get to the bottom of the video, but her producer states they don’t have the budget for it. She then gathers up people in the office to join her on their time. They go with Masako Abe (Aya Katsuragi), Rei Sugiura (Hitomi Kobaysashi), Rie Kawamura (Eriko Nakagawa) and Akio Kondô (Masahiko Abe).

They use the video to find their way and investigate the building. They decide to split up and we see there’s something not quite right about it. Nami also meets an odd guy who is there looking for his brother. There are traps around the place and a killer that starts to pick them off. Can they figure out the truth of what is going on here and get away before it is too late?

Now after seeing this, I can confirm this film is insane. The only things that I really knew for the most part were that the film kind of took the name to try and get fans of Evil Dead to check their film out. The film really carries a supernatural vibe, but I will be honest I was kind of confused what they were going for. It actually for a good portion feels like a torture porn type film that could have influenced things like Hostel and Saw.

This aspect though is also where I think hurts the film. It is way too long. I think that the filmmaker really tried to put too much in it. I think it really should have decided to be supernatural or to just be a psychotic killer film. By doing both it actually hurt the pacing for me and took the length to a place it shouldn’t have gone. It is crazy though, if they would have went with either way I would have liked it. The film starts off well and then I kind of lost interest for a bit before it picks up to the end. I will say that it still built the tension needed and the ending was fine.

Even though it goes on too long, I think there are some interesting concepts the film explores. I could see Nami wanting to investigate the tape. As a journalist, she realizes she could have a major story on her hands. Even the guy she meets asks if she is a cop because of all the questions she is asking. It is believable for her to be there. I don’t really want to spoil the reveal that happens later in the film, but we have the issue of a twin dying in child birth and it having effects later in life. I’ve seen other films that use this and it is an interesting one for sure.

Something I also learned about it in regards to the acting was that adult stars from Japan were used. This makes a lot of sense, as there is some nudity that really just comes out of nowhere. I could have done without the rape scene that happens, as it doesn’t add any value to the story. Ono I thought was good as the lead. The rest of the cast rounded out the film for what was needed as well. The fear seemed real and none of it comes off as unbelievable.

The effects of the film were pretty solid as well. It doesn’t waste any time getting into it and that was very true with the video sent to Nami. The effects were done practically and it made me cringe. The eyeball scene for sure got me. All of the deaths were solid in my opinion. One I could tell was using a fake body, but I didn’t mind it. The film was also shot pretty well. It does do some interesting graphics and movements that I thought added to the film.

The last thing to go over would be the soundtrack of the film, which I loved. There was a track used quite a few times that made me think of Day of the Dead. To say the least, I loved it. The rest of the song selections used were good as well and it really helped add to the tension of the scene. You knew something was about to go down when the music would ramp up as well.

Now with that said, this was an interesting film. I like what they were going for, but I think that they just put too much in it. I think they should have decided between the two films that they mashed up, because they don’t work together. It runs too long to have both of them and does hurt the pacing. It still built tension to an interesting conclusion though. The acting was solid and the effects were really good. I loved the soundtrack to the film as it was one of my favorite parts. I still think this is a good film. I will warn that it is a bit intense and not for everyone, so keep that in mind. It is also from Japan, so I had to watch it with subtitles on as well.


My Rating: 8 out of 10