Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
Three teens go into an abandoned railway tunnel, and implicate themselves in some ghostly goings-on.
Is it good movie?
I feel really bad that the past several reviews I have posted for AITH have all been pans, and I was hoping to break the streak with 152, but I can’t. Because it sucks. Hard. I mean, I have really tried, and I just can’t find any redeeming qualities. Not to the movie, nor the DVD presentation. At 32 minutes, the only plus I can give you is that it is short.
Yoshi and Tetsuya follow their friend Yuki into an abandoned railway tunnel on a dare, since the tunnel is considered haunted after a hideous disaster (possibly terrorist in origin?) claimed the lives of 152 people. Once inside the tunnel, to everyone’s surprise it is Yuki herself who freaks out. After exiting stage right, they begin to be harassed by what appears to be a spectral presence. Mysterious phone calls from improbable numbers, disembodied voices calling for help, all the standard fare.
152 is an unoriginal idea shot in uninteresting ways. The actors are wooden in any language, and the script by writer/director/ex-pat Darryl Knickrehm was done in English, and then translated into Japanese, so supposedly nothing was lost in the translation. Which is a ridiculous thing to consider. My only hope for the actors was that their dialog was so incompressible to them that they were forced to deliver it so poorly. The film limps along until it finally peters out into nothing.
Video / Audio
Video: Aspect ratio 1.33:1, shot on DV, apparently actually inside the thumbhole of a bowling ball.
Audio: Dolby Digital, Japanese with optional English subtitles. The subtitles go by way too quickly, and instead of having the lines broken up on screen by actor, each subtitle is up only as an actor speaks, which makes it nearly impossible to follow the plot in a dialog heavy scene.
Deleted Scenes: There are three deleted scenes, each with an explanation of why it was deleted. My favorite is the 30-second scene cut for “pace”. It’s a friggin’ 32 minute short! Do you honestly think that half-minute excision made any sort of impact on the proceedings?
Soundtrack: Oddly enough, the entire soundtrack is available here for your listening pleasure, so you can enjoy the bastard son of the Halloween theme and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.
The Making of 152 Documentary: This making of piece shows some decent behind the scenes footage of the cast and crew having a good time. It is slightly marred by Darryl Knickrehm’s narration, since he chose to use his best nature documentary voice while talking about himself in the third person.
Pre-CG Footage comparison: Apparently all 200 shots of the short film were manipulated with a computer somehow, from light stand removal to color correction to make it look like a scratched piece of crap on purpose. With this feature, you can watch the entire short sans retouching, with an inset in the lower right-hand side showing the finished work. Why you would want to do this is beyond me.
Like I said, I really hate to be so negative, but this movie sucks. It looks bad, sounds bad, and is wholly unoriginal and uninteresting. Maybe I’ll watch it again someday and try to find some good in it, but for now, man, I just can’t.