Sunday, August 2, 2015

Ninja The Monster (2015) Fantasia 2015

A caravan bringing a princess to Edo decides that the fastest way to get where they are going is to go over a certain mountain. Not heeding the warning of the locals that a monster lives in the woods they head onward. The caravan is attacked and only the princess and two of her men survive. It then becomes a race to get to safety before the monster gets them.

I don't get the title or its significance since the ninja in the film, one of the princess's men is not a monster and the monster really is a monster. I'm equally puzzled about the discussion of ninja's being outlawed since ultimately the fact has little to do with the main action of the film. It does play into the pre-credits sequence but that sequence doesn't have much to do with the rest of the film.

This is an entertaining but unremarkable ninja/ monster film that doesn't have near enough monster. While the film does move along at a good pace and is entertaining the monster largely remains off screen through much of the film. Its bold choice owing to the title of the film, but I don't think it really works ( the monster not the film). For me the title promises more than we get. The lack of a real monster presence lessens the tension.

If you forget the monster and just see this as a ninja film (of sorts) this is a pretty good B film. It is a pretty good quest film on it's own terms. The action is well staged, the performances are fine. You even get a sense of what it probably really looked like during the period the film is set instead of the flashy typical movie settings.

I like the film, I just wish there was more monster. Worth a bucket of popcorn on a rainy afternoon.

The film World Premieres tonight at Fantasia at 715. For tickets and more information go here.

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