Nochi no hi   2010   Japan The Days After
The Days After Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Hirokazu Koreeda
Studio:NHK Enterprises
Writer:Saisei Murô
IMDb Rating:6.1 (24 votes)
Genre:Drama, Horror
Duration:48 min
Hirokazu Koreeda  ...  (Director)
Saisei Murô  ...  (Writer)
Ryo Kase  ...  
Yuri Nakamura  ...  
Summary: Four short films based on ghost stories written by award winning modern Japanese writers Yasunari Kawabata, Osamu Dazai, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, and Saisei Muro.

Ep.1 The Arm - Director: Masayuki Ochiai
Ep.2 The Whistler (The Leafy Cherry Tree and Magic Flute) - Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Ep.3 The Nose - Director: Sang-il Lee
Ep.4 The Days After (Dead Son) - Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Hirokazu Koreeda directs this portrait of the love and grief two parents feel for their late child, whose spirit wanders home on a regular basis to spend time with them. This 48-minute film is the last in this series and the only one that is safely classified as strictly drama (not horror). This is well made, so fans of the director will want to check it out.

A grieving couple are visited on a daily basis by an eight year old boy. They suppose he is the ghost of their son, who died years ago as a baby. But is the visitor really their son, and can they cope with the thought that he isn't?

Kore-eda was only willing to do a Kaidan if he was allowed to focus on emotions and drama, instead of making a straight horror film, although the idea of losing your child is of course horrific enough in itself for any parent. The Days After looks at the feelings of a couple who had it happening to them, and the "ghost" in this story forces them to acknowledge just how raw their emotional scars still are, even years later.

Being a parent myself with a boy about the age of the one in the film, this episode struck me, and struck me hard. Yep folks, it's "Grace" time: even though this is the longest and most sedate of all episodes, for me it was akin to a rollercoaster ride, getting the cold sweat and everything. Masterfully acted and gently paced, this one left me drained and satisfied. Results might differ for each viewer though: with less empathy for the leads this one will probably seem ponderous and bereft of thrills. For me it hit a dint in my armor and I am now officially in awe of Kore-eda. If you are a fan of his earlier work I urge you to try and go see this.

By Ard Vijn

Search: AmazonMRQERoviAsianmediawikiHanCinemaWikipediaMetacritic