posted 00/00/2008

Directed by:
Kôji Shiraishi

Eriko Satô ... Kyôko Yamashita
Haruhiko Katô ... Noboru Matsuzaki
Chiharu Kawai ... Mayumi Sasaki
Rie Kuwana ... Mika Sasaki

Country: Japan
Runtime: 90 min
Original title: Kuchisake-onna
AKA: A Slit-Mouthed Woman

This is one of those Japanese urban legend movies. To be honest with you I do know there are a lot around but I haven’t seen many yet. Carved was a good movie. It managed to spook me as I watched the film and for a few minutes as I lay in bed at night. Jose has told me that Japanese girls with their hair in front of their eyes are not scary. He’s wrong, they are very scary, and especially if she has a slit-mouth.

In modern Japan kids circulate the legend of the slit-mouthed woman. From 5 year olds to teenagers, it’s a hot topic. The story revolves around two teachers and some abducted children. We see her first abduct a kid from the playground. She is dressed in a khaki trench coat, carrying long scissors and wears a mask to cover her slit mouth. She has long black hair. To be honest, she kind of turned me on.

She abducts 3 more children. She does not talk but just walks in or pops up wherever she wants. On one occasion the two teachers that are on her trail try to kill her by stabbing her but this does not work. You see, the slit-mouthed woman is a spirit that inhabits a person and when you think you have killed slit-face you have only killed an innocent person and slit woman vanishes, ready to look for a new host.

In the basement of an abandoned house she keeps the children tied up. Now I know this is horrible but I wanted her to give one of the little 10yr olds a giant slit mouth with her long scissors, and she does, but you don’t see much of it. What you do see is pretty sweet. Now we find out the secret of this evil spirit. It turns out that the male teacher that is now looking for this menace is the slit-mouthed woman’s son. The mother would kick the shit out of him and his children when she would go crazy. One day she wants to stop hurting them and asks the boy (male teacher as a kid) to slice her throat. He decides to first slice her mouth open then stab her to death.

One theme in the movie is physical parental abuse. The female teacher, the slit mom, and another parent all confess to smacking their children. I don’t know how this all ties into this horror movie or if there’s a message in this. I know that a sexy slit-mouthed woman with a scissor is abducting kids for apparently no reason. That’s enough for me.

The final showdown takes place in the basement. The two teachers make their way in and find one of the missing girls tied up. The slit-mouthed woman shows up and attacks them both with her scissors and with her kicks and slaps. The male teacher manages to decapitate his mother but the house breaks down and crushes him. The slit mouthed woman is still alive, she inhabits the body of the female teacher and you suppose the whole thing starts over again.

This movie was fun and creepy. The slit-mouth make-up was beautifully done. This is a simple but effective horror yarn that brings a slit-smile to my face!

  - Jorge Antonio Lopez


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