Directed by Yudai Yamaguchi
Silver Raven (Special Jury Prize), 2013 Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival
Atsushi Chiba (Yôichi Nukumizu) is trapped in what appears to be a cargo compartment. He is tied up. He only has a cell phone at his side, except he can’t reach anyone who values him. He is, in essence, a man who is alone and in peril. Then he sees a stone, mysterious and glowing.
In ABDUCTEE, the pieces of the puzzle only realize themselves at the absolute point of necessity. Chiba appears to be in a steel island of isolation, when in fact, as more is divulged, that island reveals entanglements that make Chiba’s imprisonment all the more sensible. With these revelations, the story evolves into a human trafficking tale where the essence of life is illustrated with great feeling amid a backdrop of some remarkable happenings.
This small and ambitious gem is exactly what has been needed in Japanese genre cinema. The newest and perhaps most ambitious film from Yûdai Yamaguchi (Yakuza Weapon, Deadball, Meatball Machine) is a true departure. Whereas the “extreme” filmmaker used to rely on gore to establish titillation and tension (and in many cases humor), ABDUCTEE is dark, intense, claustrophobic, and feverish, taking the viewer to a spiraling conclusion that won’t be soon forgotten. –Phillip Lorenzo