Find My Body – I’d Rather Not (Movie Review)

This is the first time I think I’ve ever been mad about paying money to watch a film. I didn’t pull a Karen and demand a refund, but I was pretty frustrated that I paid a full price ticket. It almost worked out since it did get me closer to a free movie, but that’s a small consolation price in the grand scheme of things.

Considering how much of a digression that was, Find My Body was underwhelming to be as polite as possible. Let me tell you more about it.

Originally a cell phone novel, turned manga, turned live action adaptation Find My Body or Karada Sagashi is the story of six teens stuck in the phenomena of ‘find my body’ which in this universe is a world-wide phenomena. The game is simple: find the scattered remains of a murdered child before the red person murders you – failure to do so will have you stuck in a time loop, repeating the same day and same game, forever. There’s more then meets the eye to this phenomena though as the six students, Asuka (Hashimoto Kanna), Takahiro (Maeda Gorden), Rumiko (Yamamoto Maika), Atsushi (Kamio Fuju), Shota (Daigo Kotaro), and Rie (Yokota Mayuu) couldn’t be any more different. Will they manage to overcome the Red Person? Or are they doomed to die every night forever?

I went into the story pretty blind. I didn’t the read source material or manga, didn’t really know much about it aside from Hashimoto Kanna, Maeda Gorden, and Kamio Fuju being the selling point actors. I figured at best it’d be a sleeper hit and at worst a typical b/c-grade horror movie. Sadly, all puns intended Find My Body is the most butchered film I’ve seen in a long time.

I have to point the finger at screenwriter here. The source material, from what I’ve gathered isn’t good. It seems to be a lot of repetitive death without much substance, held together with the weak premise of a time loop due to failure. Surprisingly this is a bit of a positive since with some moderate revisions and restructuring especially with the original ‘rules’ – it could have worked out for a stronger story. Key word in that prior sentence being “could”.

I have tried and re-tried to write this but, this film isn’t even a highlight reel of the most interesting events of the story. There’s not enough structure or substance for that. It’s just a bulleted list of events held together by fragments of a pretend plot. The opening was good for setting the mood but ultimately pointless and a waste of time since it was barely referenced later on. The whole story is in-cohesive, poorly plotted, and ultimately results in a net zero when you get to the end in all aspects.

I was really hoping that with such a poorly executed premise with no revisions in the adaptation to add stakes that this would be a character driven story. It was not, because calling these characters is a bit much. They’re stand-in’s for actual characters – aside from appearance I can barely tell you anything about them. Shota is the smart bullied nerd. Takahiro is the popular sports guy. Atsushi is the formerly popular sports guy. Asuka is unpopular girl. Rie is nice popular girl. Rumiko is highschooler seeing older man girl. The biggest crime is that’s ALL we get before they’re killed for the first time, so once we realize it’s undone the following day – it matters even less.

It didn’t help that I know you can get solid performances out of the cast they have. I was banking on that, but it did not happen. Honestly, I’m crediting this to the bad story and unmemorable script rather then the acting this time. The majority of the cast did what they could with what they had: I can’t ask them to give what isn’t there. I will side eye Hashimoto Kanna and Maeda Gordon as the main characters though because dear god their chemistry in particular was awful. Especially in the final third of this film.

The Red Person, Red Girl really could have been an interesting concept if any thought was put into it. There was lore to draw from, very well established lore actually, that could have built the motivation as to why the Red Person was the way they were. Like everything else, no thought was put in so the Red Person was just supernatural baddie that once they spot you, you will die. Boring, and barely scary after the first kill or so.

Production-wise, there are a few positives. For as much as the Red Person is terrible in concept, the actual execution of the character within the film was good. A very solid use of using a body double/practical effects and CGI when needed. I did like that the final form of Red Person seemed to be an actual person/persons in a suit that the actors could interact with. I wish the design read better on screen and made more sense but that’s asking too much here. Similarly the kills were solid the first couple of times, good use of CGI, practical effects, and I’m assuming some stunt doubles too. They were really convincing and pretty terrifying, but that was limited to the first kill per character – afterwards it was just standard fare.

For being filmed in and around a school, the atmosphere difference between day and night was a solid. There was an incredibly creative use of locations within the school to keep the game scenes visually interesting without getting bogged down with repetition. The sound design was consistent and made sense. While I don’t care much for Ado personally, their songs at least suited the mood for what this was going for. Honestly, they deserve a better film to tie-into but I digress…

Overall, when it comes to Find My Body – I would rather not. This one is a huge skip, not even for die-hards.


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