“Over Your Dead Body”follows a group of actors rehearsing a play based on a well-known Japanese ghost story, “Yotsuya Kaidan.” When the events onstage start to affect the real lives of each of the actors, they find themselves experiencing some weird situations. The lead actress, Miyuke (Ko Shibasaki), is most affected. In the play, she is having an affair with her co-star Lousuke (Ebizo Ichikawa), an ambitious casanova who soon enough starts having an affair with another co-star, (something that also happens exactly like in the play).
There were high expectations for “Audition” director Takashi Miike‘s return to horror films, but sadly, “Over Your Dead Body” is not what everyone expected. The film is mostly a long play. Most of the movie involves actors rehearsing on a rotating stage, with no major hints of any supernatural events. Furthermore, when something twisted finally happens, it does not really makes sense – we see a moving puppet that has no relevance later on, and we are presented with what we guess are supposed to be the lead actors’ gory hallucinations.
In addition, after some intense splashes of gore, viewers are once again forced to watch long minutes of the actors rehearsing over and over again, just to see the film end in a twist that is hard to understand.
Overall, “Over Your Dead Body” is not Miike‘s best job. It’s a weird approach to horror, is at times tedious, and demonstrates only the vaguest fragments of this director’s great talent. No matter how much we love and respect Takashi Miike, “Over Your Dead Body”feels like a dull unfinished experiment, but one still worth watching.