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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell J.

Manga Adaptation Re/Member (2022) Forgets Itself Along the Way

Title: Re/Member

First Non-Festival Release: October 14, 2022 (Theatrical Release)

Director: Eiichirô Hasumi

Writer: Katsutoshi Murase, Welzard

Runtime: 102 Minutes

Starring: Kanna Hasimoto, Gordon Maeda, Maika Yamamoto

Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here

Everyone has nightmares. Sometimes these nightmares can reach points where you might fear for your life, probably because something is after you in some way. The fear of dying still exists in dreams but most people are safe from that. What if that weren’t the case?

For the students in one high school this is their reality, except it’s even more twisted. After a long day, Asuka (Kanna Hasimoto) finds herself dreaming of her schoolgrounds, seemingly with several of her classmates. They are wandering around when they are attacked and killed by a vicious entity. Next morning, they find themselves repeating yesterday’s day of school. It turns out they have been selected to play a terrifying game called Body Search, which requires them to put missing pieces of a corpse together while avoiding the Red Person no matter how many nightmares or deaths it takes.

Tonal inconsistencies and hokey writing diminish the impact of the fun yet forgettable supernatural slasher Re/Member.

Despite its strong first act, Re/Member begins to fall apart as the crew pieces together the mystery of the dead girl. Its initial premise of a time loop murder mystery gets increasingly bizarre as it tries to lay out new rules the more the nights progress. These ideas aren’t terrible in a vacuum, but the way that are presented and when they are dropped make it hard to take the film seriously, especially for a film that bills itself as a relatively straightforward teen slasher. Much of these issues arise from its use of amnesia to progress the plot and raise the stakes after the majority of the middle fails to do so.


A little past halfway through, Re/Member makes its inspiration well known. Spelling it out for the audience, the Red Person is an extension of each member’s loneliness. Whether brought out by bullying, concerns about the people closest to them, or sports melodrama, each teenager has a reason why they have been selected for the Body Search. It works, but the blunt delivery shatters any subtlety that the film once crafted. This gets murkier with a reveal introduced in the final act where the embodiment of their isolation literally consumes them and leaves them to be forgotten. This is far scarier than the actual film leads, as the stakes are essentially erased in the end in favor of something more palatable.


Aside from the clunky story, the main issue behind Re/Member is its overly saccharine approach to horror. Weaving between horrific nights the teens spend montaging valiantly against the entity in search of body parts and school days spent goofing off and bonding like a Japanese brat pack, Re/Member often forgets what it wants to do with the story along the way. A few drops of dialogue induced characterization and a general respite from the non-stop horror from the nights do little to move the plot or characterization in convincing ways.

All is not lost in this Netflix acquisition, as there is plenty to praise. Slasher fans will grow weak in the knees over the bevy of fun, gory kills that mark the end of each game. The special effects team does a nice job making sure these over-the-top kills are fresh and as grounded as they can be. Its cast has a great chemistry, and the work they put into their characters leaves the audience feeling connected to them. Their sense of comradery is genuinely appealing and makes the ensuing onslaught harder to endure.

It isn’t the most well-thought-out supernatural slasher, by Re/Member is a fun enough piece of Japanese teen horror fluff that does what it needs to do. With its gleeful gore and wild set pieces, this mystery never fails to entertain despite its unevenness in narrative. Fans of Japanese and time loop horror films may have a lot to enjoy, while others may find it repetitive. Regardless of its quality, it is certainly a memorable film that you will Re/Member for a long time.

Overall Score? 6/10

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