Monsters Club
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Monsters Club

A terrorist's taste of terror is not a terrible thing to tell.

Toshiaki Toyoda (Japan, Visions)

Saturday, September 10, 6:15 p.m.
AMC 6 (43 Gerrard Street East)

Sunday, September 11, 1:30 p.m.
Jackman Hall (AGO, 317 Dundas Street West)

Sunday, September 18, 9:30 a.m.
AMC 2 (43 Gerrard Street East)

In Monsters Club, Toshiaki Toyoda brings a very interesting blend of, if not genres, tropes and subject matter that sound unconventionally rancid on paper. But because of very creative and intimate camerawork, Toyoda makes poltergeists and domestic terrorism mix so well it deserves its own subcategory in Netflix. Or at least a list on MUBI.

Ryoichi Kakiuchi (Eita) lives deep within the forests, surrounded by snow and wildlife and not a sign of civilization. But he knows civilization is out there. Rambling off his own manifesto and trying to shrug off his affluent family’s history of tragedy, Ryoichi has dedicated his time to sending nail bombs to CEOs and advertising firms under the guise of a non-existent terrorist sect, Monsters Club. His hatred for the world is as deluded as it is passionate, and his loathing for the system seems to be at a peak concentration until he’s distracted by a new element altogether. Ghosts.

This could be another is-he-imagining/is-he-not affair, but due to Toyoda’s style that’s beyond the point. Ryoichi is tormented, not by spirits but by himself, an antisocial entity that seems beyond able to find peace. Toyoda’s technique is incredibly inspired, but never overwhelming to the substance, a situation many contemporary and otherwise interesting Japanese films suffer. A near–fairy tale affair, Monsters Club is a fantastical look into frightening matters.