Is horror the main theme of Audition (1999) which was directed by Takashi Miike Miike doesn't think so and actually feels that he should not be considered as a horror director, as defined by Western horror. Miike, a director from Japan, has been in the film industry for over a decade. He got his start in television and movies that went straight to video. He approaches his films, such as Audition, utilizing different methods than those that are considered standard within Western Horror conventions.
How does Miike view Audition as being billed as a horror film When discussing the film, Miike stated in an interview "I kind of wanted to promote the clich of horror. I think that human beings are far more frightening than any horror film and I wanted to express that point. I was trying to make the story as real as possible. That way it becomes more frightening" (Japanorama series, 2002). He also stated in an interview from his movie Imprint (2005), part of a series on Showtime called Masters of Horror, "Among the horror fans overseas, films like Audition and Ichi the Killer have caused me to be misunderstood as someone who makes horror-like films." He reiterated by saying that his films "found their way abroad, through no intention of mine. Those works had created this false image of 'Takashi Miike'". Miike never states flat out that Audition is not a horror film, but clearly feels that he is not a horror director.
Did Miike really portray this movie as a horror film After viewing the film, there is nothing that stands out as horror, other than of course, when Asami mutilates Aoyama for not loving her and only her. The front cover and even the posters for this movie were very misleading, as they show Asami with the big hypodermic needle she uses to inject Aoyama's tongue. That was not the focal point of the movie. Aoyama was looking for a wife, a suitable replacement, and after holding an "audition", felt that Asami fit his description of the old fashioned wife he was looking for. She presented herself as demure and submissive.
Traditional Western Horror films focus on the supernatural, psychological, and physical horrors experienced by the characters. Western Horror plots maintain the horror theme from the outset of the movie. Classic examples of supernatural horror are: Romero's zombie films [Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), and Diary of the Dead (2007)], The Exorcist (1973), Poltergeist (1982), and Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Psychological horror films include: Last House on the Left (1972), and Silence of the Lambs (1991). Physical horror films include: Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).
Japanese horror, or J-Horror, utilizes many elements of Western horror, but is reputedly known for focusing more on psychological horror. A technique that is used in both J-Horror and Western horror is a sense of anticipation or dramatic build-up. J-Horror also uses many common themes such as ghosts, but many contain references to Japanese folk religion or folklore. Many of the well known J-Horror films have crossed over or have been remade for Western audiences, including Ringu/The Ring