Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 25th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, March 24th, 2001
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writer: Yoshinobu Fujioka
Cast: Miki Sakai, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Kumiko Endou, Masaya Kikawada
DVD Released: May 11th, 2004
Approximate Running Time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Release: Adness
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Hideo (Shûgo Oshinari) is an art student who paints a portrait of his love Tomie (Miki Sakai). She whispers “I love you” before going over and destroying her portrait. Something in Hideo snaps when as he stabs Tomie repeatedly until she dies. Two of his friends arrive on the scene of his crime and they help him bury her in the woods. Everything changes when one night at a party Tomie shows up much to the surprise of the three boys and it is only a matter of time before Tomie is back to her evil ways.
Tomie is back and she is spinning her web of deceit once again. The character of Tomie has an uncanny knack for coming back to life time and again. It is appropriate that in every film in the series that Tomie is played by a different actress since the Tomie character in these films is linked only by name. Tomie Rebirth was directed by Takashi Shimizu who is best know for his series of Ju-on films. Sequels often fail to capture the essence of what made their predecessors successful. Takashi Shimizu with Tomie Rebirth injects his own style without ever loosing site of the characters roots. Takashi Shimizu expert direction crafts a movie that isn’t as scary as it borders on disgusting. Overall the performances from the cast are the best that I have seen in this series to date and I really enjoyed Miki Sakai performance as Tomie. She has an unnerving laugh and haunting her eyes tell so much more then any dialog could. Some of bizarre imagery from Tomie Replay has been carried over to Tomie Rebirth. The scene when Tomie’s head chases after Shun’ichi and his mother is the most bizarre moment in a series where strange things happen all the time. Tomie Rebirth starts off strong before metamorphosing into something that is so strange it almost parodies itself. My favorite moment is when Shun’ichi’s mother is in the bathroom as she has just killed Tomie and she is about to cut her into pieces. Her son walks in and what we get a family bonding moment as they together dispose of Tomie. Just like the other films in the Tomie Series this film explores ideas and themes that are inventive and new to this series of films. When watching Tomie Forbidden Fruit the best thing to do is give into the films excesses and enjoy the ride.
Tomie Rebirth is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1:85:1 aspect ratio. The overall image detail is the softest of the five Tomie releases from Adness. The colors and flesh tones appear accurate through out the film with grain kept to a minimum. The only option on this DVD is a Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese audio track. The dialog is comes through clearly and there is no sign of distortion or audio hiss. The English subtitles are easy to read and follow and unlike previous editions the subtitles are more accurate.
The main extra consists of interviews with the cast and the director Takashi Shimuza this segment runs about thirteen minutes in length. Others extras include storyboard to films comparisons that also includes behind the scenes footage from the film this segment is about twenty two minutes in length. Both of theses extras are in Japanese and English subtitles have been included. Rounding out the extras are trailers for the five Tomie films Adness has released on DVD. Tomie Rebirth is more a horror film then is predecessor Tomie Replay, still it is a highly entertaining film that helps expand on the Tomie mythology.