Photos from Audition – Takashi Miike, 1999. For a few years after the release of Saw, I searched for films that could scare me. Everything seemed to be gore porn–gross but not particularly frightening. I expected more of the same from goremaster Miike’s Audition. There are certainly grossouts galore in the latter half of Audition, but, visceral disgustingness aside, this is a bone-chilling portrait of love gone wrong. The premise is sick enough: a widowed film producer auditions young women for a fake show in order to find a new paramour to court. The second half of the film is a descent into hell almost unparalleled in cinema. The first half is slow, so be warned. Miike rewards your patience (if rewards is even the right word) with highly affecting nightmarish moments. Not to be missed by those who think Ringu is the scariest film to come out of Japan.

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