P.O.V. - A Cursed Film (2012)

October 6, 2012 - 9:28pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: A Cursed Film, Asian Horror, curse, foreign, found footage, ghosts, Haruna Kawaguchi, haunting, japan, japanese, Mirai Shida, Norio Tsuruta, P.O.V., pov, school, schoolgirls, spirits

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Norio Tsuruta
Haruna Kawaguchi, Mirai Shida

With found footage films dominating the US, other foreign countries have been following suit with their renditions, but Japan is one country that hasn't really produced much for the particular sub-genre. Aside from Noroi: The Curse I haven't witnessed much else in terms of FF to come out've the country. Director Norio Tsuruta (Ring 0: Birthday, Kakashi, Premonition) remedies that by delivering a little flick aptly titled P.O.V. - A Cursed Film, which is a documentary-style found footage effort that focuses on a couple cute young Japanese girls that host some sort of new low-budget television program.

In this segment the topic is "Ghost Videos" where they're sent footage from viewers to  watch while a camera records their reaction to it. Right from the start, the first video they play is a creepy one showing the door from a bathroom stall slowly opening and the camera pans to the inside of the stall to reveal no one there. The second tape is actually almost the same, except this time they spot a hand on the door, and as the camera moves closer to finally divulge the culprit, it's once again empty.

After watching another creepy tape they decide to finally take a quick break, but unbeknownst to them the damage has already been done and the cast, and crew start seeing more seemingly paranormal oddities that result in them calling a medium to help get to the bottom of all this. The medium concludes that one of the girls is cursed and in order to remove it, she must visit her old school where its believed to be the source of the strange occurrences that have been plaguing them. The film crew documents the series of events that follow, as they venture through the school during closing hours...

Though obviously not the most original of films, P.O.V. still proved to be a decent addition to the sub-genre, as it offered a largely ominous tone from the start, which was only amplified when they made their way into the empty school. There were quite a few creepy moments and great use of silhouettes and strange images in the background. However, there are some minor pacing issues in certain scenes, but if you're invested enough with the characters and what's going on then it shouldn't be much of a problem.

Afterhours in the school is when most of the action occurs, as we're given a lot of somewhat effective scares to make up for some of the more chilled sequences earlier on. We're still given some of the standard long-haired spirits we've come to expect from Asian horror, but luckily also shown other menacing entities as it progresses. Either way, the handheld camera aspect just made it all even more effective. Past the mid-mark a twist of sorts is revealed that was a bit obvious to me early on, but its predicted story elements are forgotten thanks to an unexpected treat in the last 15-minutes.

It was also nice to see the filmmakers didn't opt to include any unnecessary CG sequences that FF movies like to add in hopes of intensifying the scares. However, I have to mark off points for the lack of creativity and execution of certain scenes on top of the minor pacing issues. Still, it remains a cut above a majority of the modern and similarly-styled films from the genre.

Though the film doesn't necessarily offer anything too original, there are some creepy and interesting aspects that make it stand out a bit more than the norm. Of course it does suffer from some pacing issues and predictable story elements as well. Negative aside, if you like Asian horror and the found footage sub-genre then P.O.V. is likely the film for you. On that note, I'd like to also add that Noroi: The Curse is still a highly recommended watch, if you can find it. (*cough* YouTube *cough*)

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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