The Booth (2005)

There have been plenty of ghost stories surrounding the various radio stations I have worked in. Back in my college days at Monmouth, I had an unexplained experience; there were lots of stories of a ghost in the old Bayville Hawk studios, and some people believe that ghost followed us to our new building in Toms River. None of these stories match up with the Japanese horror movie "The Booth".

Shogo is the host of a relationship-focused call-in show. He's cocky, condescending, and generally rude. He's a charmer, a manipulator, and a back-stabber. These traits may work for being a popular talk show host, but the things he has done in the past have created some bad karma.

Japanese horror movies love to focus on a sense of karma and revenge. Childhood bullying plants life-long seeds in the victims, accidental murders lead to vengeful ghosts, things of that sort. "The Booth" uses lots of flashbacks to establish all the misdeeds of Shogo to show just how many people have reason to get back at him, leading to his paranoia and fear.

J-horror also usually blends gore with tension very well. Some movies forsake plot for gore, and others are purely psychological terror. "The Booth" keeps a nice balance of eerie, unsettling moments countered with violent bloody images.

As a radio guy, it was fun to see a ghost story set in a radio station. I'm surprised no one has tried to pitch this for an American remake, but if anyone does, consider this my request to have a part in it.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "The Booth" gets a 7 out of 10.