Judging from “The Complex,” maybe Hideo Nakata’s return to low budget J-horror wasn’t such a great idea. More in the mold of “Ringu” than of the helmer’s U.S. pics or “The Incite Mill,” this tale of a malevolent ghost tormenting a young woman in a decaying apartment building has few chills and so many sloppy scenes, made ridiculous by a seemingly rushed cutting job, that even die-hard fans will shake their heads. Somebody better give Nakata a decent script and editor before he develops a complex himself.
With: Atsuko Maeda, Hiroki Narimiya, Masanobu Katsumura, Naomi Nishida, Ruiki Sato, Kanau Tanaka.
Bubbly nursing student Asuka (Atsuko Maeda) and her family move into a rundown building. When their elderly, antisocial neighbor dies, Asuka feels guilty for not saving him. Meanwhile, Asuka befriends a mysterious little boy (Kanau Tanaka). When weird things start happening — like her family disappearing — and she thinks it’s the old guy’s ghost seeking revenge. Handyman Shinobu (Hiroki Narimiya) tries helping by bringing in a group of exorcists (unintentionally hilarious) who discover a possibly different reality. The ingredients are right: a crumbling neighborhood, outgoing girl, pretty-boy champion, creepy kid and supernatural events, but the results look cheap and lifeless.