Audition definitely comes as one of the finest and most successful blends of promising romance and hard-hitting horror. The film builds up its seemingly straightforward story about love between two people and – when the right time comes – attacks the audiences with some of the most shocking images of sheer, graphic torture.
Takashi Miike created an uncontested masterpiece, making Audition an indisputably unnerving psychological thriller that astounds with its enormous attention to details not only in its romance-filled sensations, but – unfortunately for the squeamish viewers – also in its gruesome scenes of physical and emotional torment. While the blood-infested sequences last for only a couple of minutes, the most distressing part comes from the close-ups of Asami Yamazaki’s face, showing this immense pleasure she takes from hurting another human being.
In the most ingenious and agitating way Audition shows how tremendously deceitful first appearances might actually be. While love is the returning theme of the picture, it’s not as much about having feelings as it is about obsession, misunderstandings, and unrestrained mental abuse. Surprisingly, the most honest conversation that the two main characters have is in the final scene.
While the film will always remain as controversial as it’s been on the day of it’s worldwide premiere, it still proves to be a truly stylish and compelling work that is as close to true art as no horror has probably ever been.