Think Netflix teen movies are all sunshine and first loves like in “The Kissing Booth” or “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”? Think again! Netflix has unleashed “Re/Member,” a chilling horror tale where Japanese high schoolers are stuck repeating the same day in a sinister time loop. Imagine trying to bond with your classmates and learning life’s lessons while a creepy, eyeless red monster is on your heels daily, pushing you to unravel a mystery!
Ever wonder how the vanishing of a young girl from Russia in the 1940s could be linked to a group of modern-day Japanese teens? The opening scenes of “Re/Member” might leave you scratching your head, but they lay the groundwork for a spine-tingling ghost story and whodunit. Asuka, played by Kanna Hashimoto, spots the unfortunate victim and discovers her daunting task: to locate and piece together eight body parts scattered around her school, all while dodging the fearsome Red Person without eyes. But Asuka isn’t alone in this eerie “Body Search” game. She’s joined by five of her peers, equally ensnared in the relentless time loop, working together to piece together the puzzle. Their collective struggle surprisingly sparks camaraderie and even some unexpected fun as they face their daily demise. However, just as victory seems within reach, the game’s rules start to shift, casting everything they know into uncertainty.
Kanna Hashimoto truly shines in her role as Asuka, the film’s main character. She masterfully portrays a reserved and introverted character without fading into the background.
“Re/Member” presents an intriguing and suspenseful premise, complete with a villain that could haunt your darkest dreams (a creature with empty eye sockets – spine-tingling!). However, the movie stumbles when it comes to character development. The characters don’t fit neatly into typical teen stereotypes, making it harder for us to quickly grasp their personalities. Moreover, they lack sufficient individual traits to make them captivating on their own. Despite these shortcomings, the film’s spectacle and light-hearted moments, characteristic of its manga origins, manage to mask some of these flaws, providing an enjoyable viewing experience. But when the climactic confrontation arrives, the lack of personal connection to the characters impacts how much we’re drawn into the film.
While “Re/Member” doesn’t bring anything fresh to the time loop genre or particularly excel as a teen movie beyond its plot twist, it does have promising elements. However, by not fully developing its characters, it restricts the extent to which viewers can engage with their race against time.
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