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Girl Hell 1999
King Of The Witches

Girl Hell 1999

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Ice Berg?

 

"Misaki is a girl trapped in a world violent beyond compare. Her home life is a wreck, two men are interested in her, and a homeless woman she regularly visits. But little does she know life is only going to get more violent..." - IMDB

"The story of an innocent woman called Misaki. Her mother is gone and her sister is disabled from a car accident. Her father sexually molests the two girls and Misaki and her and a friend turn to prostitution. It is only a matter of time before Misaki reaches breaking point." - TMDB

Girl Hell starts off as a standard weirdo pinku, and maintains that facade for about 15 minutes, but the moment Misaki takes an eternity of hesitation to unlock her own front door and walk inside, Daisuke Yamanouchi pulls the rug and you spend the next 50 minutes being assaulted by a depressive onslaught of nihilism and abuse.

Girl Hell's reputation precedes it, so I was fully expecting outrageous moments of shock, but what I wasn't expecting was how cold and sad this was going to be, bleak doesn't even begin to cover it. The subject matters are inherently bleak when played out like they were (barr a couple of small bits that went past the line of over-the-top and almost became funny), but Yamanouchi's direction and framing of the barren, forgettable locations, coupled with the cheap, quiet synths make this far more of a miserable experience than a shocking one.

Masaki is the only character with any redeeming qualities in this whole thing, and you're forced to watch for 65 minutes as her and her innocence are dragged through the depths of cruelty into broken catatonia and forced back into the cycle of abuse.

I'm not really sure as to what merits I should be using to rate this on, but competence is what I'm going for here, and Yamanouchi certainly manages exactly what he was going for.

As a side note the synopsis on here is complete bullshit." - Some Other Dude On Letterboxd

"Girl Hell 1999 seems pretty silly at first, but as the movie goes on and you learn more about the characters, it ends up retrospectively being a really sad movie, especially when you understand the context for some of the earlier scenes that seemed like they were just weird for the sake of being weird ;(

btw I love when the moon is red in the sky but you can clearly see that they just cropped an image into the film, complete with the edges of the image being visible.. I love good cinema!!" - Another Letterboxd'er