Alas, poor Tomie: I knew her, Heroic Cinemanauts. A girl of infinite flirting and fancy, with a side order of cutting a bloody swathe through the teen male population. I was pleasantly surprised by the original Tomie, and so settled in for a marathon of Tomie-watching.
Alas for my expectations, this sequel is a poor imitation. We’ve lost the bewitching Miho Kanno, who was capable of making a psychotic, unkillable, regenerative boy-killer seem like a poor misunderstood girl (at times). The replacement Tomie is nothing more than a self-centred brat who looks little different from the sort of teen who makes grannies mutter “Young people these days…”.
Just because she’s an uninspired actrine, however, doesn’t mean she’s not watchable. Well, at least if you like looking at dripping-yet-tastefully-nude, beautiful, young, pouty Japanese girls, you’ll find her watchable. I don’t, so I didn’t get much out of either her performance or her looks. Her character swings between petulant and vicious, on the one hand, and extremely pathetic on the other. She has to, of course, in order to inspire the arbitrary murders that are invariably unsuccessful: her own murders, by the young men she’s seduced and abandoned.
And without a credible, or at least more-than-2-dimensional, Tomie in the title role, the rest of the film falls apart fairly rapidly. None of the other actors manage to create a believable character, and without the strength of the previous Tomie, the film just flaps around loose.
There is a reasonably entertaining sequence, involving a schoolgirl whose father disappears. Said father, one of the doctors present at Tomie’s rather unusual birth, pops up again in a rather disturbing scene, explaining a vital bit of plot while accompanied by the standard spooky sounds and minor effects common to mundane horror movies. And while I can sympathise with Tomie’s distaste for being underground, and felt some horror at the burials, I for one wished she would just shut up about it.
So my score is two down and three to go: I’ll need to get in training if any of them are as lacklustre as this one.