Director – Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Cast – Eiko Koike, Maho Nonami
Release Year – 2003
Reviewed by John of the Dead
After reading some great remarks about 2LDK I was pretty stoked to give this one a vieweing, especially when I read its claustrophobic and high intensity-sounding storyline. On most occassions when I go into a film with high expectations my expectations are at least moderately met, but that was not the case with this one. The story is OK overall and sets up the film for some good tension, but directing issues kept this from being anything but a borderline-positive film at its very best.
Two young actresses from different walks of life living in a small apartment audition for the same role in a film, which in addition to their pre-existing jealousy of one another results in a long-awaited fight to the death.
The overall storyline is one that I really enjoyed for multiple reasons. For starters, it sets up good tension as we have two characters in heavy competition with each other, and living in a small space turns this into a claustrophobic scenario and somewhat nowhere-to-run scenario when they begin to attack one another. That brings me to the most enjoyable element of this storyline: everyone loves a cat fight. Coming in at just over one hour in length, I was surprised at how much dialogue and development we were given, which may have slowed the pacing a bit but it helped in removing the lacking plot faults that usually plague such short horror films. I was glad to see that the horror kicked in much earlier than expected, but it did seem to drag at times and may have kicked in too early, however good direction could have fixed that.
Things started off well, with a fitting set used as the small apartment where the entire film takes place, and the execution of our characters during the developmental process was fulfilling. Sadly, I felt that once the horror kicked in the experience went downhill from then on out. The direction was mediocre and left me partly uninterested in what was going on, which is the worst that could happen during a horror film: to be unamused when the horror kicks in. Most of this mediocre direction was in the execution of our two characters, who were utterly unconvincing during the long fight sequence. While director Yukihiko Tsutsumi gave us a somewhat full-frontal approach to the fight, I found it unworthy of the praise it has received and not of really enjoyable nature, which was what kept this film just a borderline-positive watch in the end.
Overall, 2LDK is a cool film thanks to the story that it brings with it, but directing/execution issues kept this from being a really solid watch and instead just a film that I would only recommend if you want to see something different.