Schlock and awe are served up in double helpings in the initially intriguing, then ridiculous Japanese horror pic “X-Cross.” Interesting ritual sacrifice scenario and an outlandish flashback structure distinguish this venture before it goes shamelessly over the top. “X” will mark the slot for midnight sidebars and Asian-themed fests, and should do respectable biz on local December release.
Pic begins as a voice from a newly discovered cell phone warns Shiyori (Nao Matsushita) to escape a resort while marauding villagers threaten to amputate her leg. Narrative then rewinds to when the recently heartbroken protag and her good-time girlfriend Aiko (Ami Suzuki) began their journey to the resort. Yarn advances past the opening point and periodically repeats the rewind device to reveal hidden and increasingly outrageous developments. Remaining fragments of credibility drop to the cutting-room floor when a villain appears wielding giant scissors. Thesps offer enjoyable perfs, and solid helming pushes director Kenta Fukasaku (“Battle Royale II,” “Yo-Yo Girl Cop”) out from under the long shadow of his celebrated father, Kinji Fukasaku. However, at market screening caught, digital projection of an HD-to-35mm print was decidedly murky. Other tech credits are pro.