If we were to go off of the film's mundane ruminations over the experience of knocking at death's door, the afterlife is an eternal purgatory of being forced to relive the most middling of direct-to-DVD horror films scene by scene.
The Golden Circle still has its set pieces and its jaw-dropping moments of high-octane action and choreography, but I was stuck on whether or not we needed this much more of it in the grand scheme of things.
Far from revolutionizing, Creation (much as Wan's The Conjuring did initially to set off this series) refines the approach itself to the point where even the most telegraphed of scares never lose their jolting impact.
Methodical in its formal approach and more twisted than the salacious details of the crimes it combs over, Kei Ishikawa's Traces of Sin probes ingenuously into the various connecting threads of a murder case, not for the sake of pointing fingers, but more for a want of a full picture.
The concern over the utter aimlessness and disaffection of Japan's youth has proven to be a topic of abundance for the country's transgressive cinema. Whether we are talking the carefree Sun Tribe films of 1950s, the politically charged student activist films of ’60s and ’70s, or the nihilistic films that followed the burst of the economic bubble in the late ’80s, the nation's cinema was always worried about its future working force maturing in the wrong ways.