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The horror film has a special use for the young female body. How often does one crescendo with some girl in a tight white T shirt – if not Jessica Biel then someone pretty similar – running endlessly, screamingly away from a scaggy male assailant with a hook/axe/chainsaw/knife? Meanwhile a man with a Steadicam aimed right at the young woman’s breasts in turn runs backwards away from her, to the nodding appreciation of the largely male audience. Audition turns the tables – a sad sack of a Japanese salaryman pretends to be a producer holding auditions for a film. In reality he’s doing try-outs for something more permanent and less well paid – a wife. And soon he’s found the ideal candidate (played by ex-model Eihi Shiina), a former ballet dancer, young, frugal, demure and beautiful. Not just his ideal woman, but some sort of universal ideal of objectified womanhood too. But before he has a chance even to consider whether it’s appropriate to ask her to slip her top off, she’s pounced – the biter is bit. And what transpires then is so gruesome and so disproportionate that you’ve got to wonder what this poor, sad-eyed man did to deserve such a fate. The answer, of course, is nothing, personally. He’s the payback for all those girls, all those T-shirts, all those dark, scream-filled woods. Enjoy.

Audition – at Amazon

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© Steve Morrissey 2007

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