Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

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The Shadow Spirit

(Mōryō no hako)

North american Premiere

North American Premiere

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Director: Masato Harada
Screenplay: Masato Harada, from Natsuhiko Kyōgoku
Cast: Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, Hiroshi Abe, Kippei Shiina, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Rena Tanaka
Producers: Kiyoshi Inoue, Satoru Ogura, Issei Shibata
Distributor: Geneon Entertainment Inc.


A dealer in rare books who moonlights as an sly and unflappable expert on supernatural occurrences. A private eye with a fondness for Cary Grant’s style and the uncanny ability to read the memories of others by simply looking at them. A neurotic pulp fiction writer, two oddball police detectives and a pair of feisty crime tabloid reporters. An aging beauty of the silver screen—the former “Lady Samurai”—and her illegitimate daughter. A sinister, esoteric Shinto cult with something to hide. An ominous and enigmatic building. A drawer carefully packed with the severed right arms of four young women. Boxes within boxes, filled with secrets and dreadful discoveries. These are just a few of the parts and pieces of an elaborate, conspiratorial mystery that will confound, delight, frighten and intrigue you to the final frames of THE SHADOW SPIRIT.

Get ready for the second adaptation of an award-winning novel from the Kyogokudo series by celebrated mystery writer Natsuhiko Kyogoku, hailed as Japan’s modern Edgar Allan Poe (though old Poe never showed such wit and warmth). Set in 1952, during Japan’s post-war era, THE SHADOW SPIRIT is a fiendishly fun cocktail of gruesome murder and strange magic, diabolical deeds and daring detective work, weird science and otherworldly whispers. As much as anything, though, it’s a rich period piece boasting captivating and complex characters, fleshed out with gusto by a truly wonderful cast. Among the leads are the distinctive talents Shin’ichi Tsutsumi—familiar from ONE MISSED CALL, the ALWAYS films and Sabu’s superior DRIVE and MONDAY—and the unmistakable Hiroshi Abe, of GODZILLA 2000 fame, more recently witnessed as the ill-fated hypnotist is the amazing SURVIVE STYLE 5+. The director’s chair, meanwhile, belongs to Masato Harada, previously responsible for the quirky gems KAMIKAZE TAXI and BOUNCE KO GALS.

—Rupert Bottenberg