Tuesday 22 February 2022

Film Review: Masked Ward (仮面病棟) (Thriller)

Masked Ward (仮面病棟)
Kimura Hisashi (Director)
Sakaguchi Kentaro, Nagano Mei
Japanese Film Festival Online

On-call substitute doctor Shugo finds himself faced with a terrifying criminal in a clown mask. The assailant demands that Shugo treat injured high school student Hitomi. The perpetrator sets siege to the building. (Synopsis)

Masked Ward was a mixed bag for me. I liked the initial setup, and Shugo was an engaging lead whose story I was immediately interested in. However, I felt the film relied on too many devices to keep things moving, and around the middle it became a little plodding, although it did pick up in time for the final twist, with the ending left open to interpretation. There were some good ideas in there and some memorable moments, but it seemed to lack cohesion overall. Nonetheless, there were some convincing performances, especially from Sakaguchi Kentaro. Therefore, I would give this 3.5 stars overall. It was entertaining enough and worth checking out if you're a thriller fan and are looking for something new to watch, but it's not a film I'd bother viewing more than once.

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