Within the Western horror film industry, many names of famous directors come to mind: Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Dario Argento, and Tobe Hooper. Most of these directors had films in the 1970’s and 80’s that gained tremendous popularity for the hacker, slasher, zombie, blood and gore motifs. These movies contain many elements, but horror is always the main theme.
What is horror? The Merriam Webster dictionary defines horror as: a painful, and intense fear, dread, or dismay; intense aversion or repugnance; the quality of inspiring horror: repulsive, horrible, or dismal quality or character.
Is horror the main theme of Audition 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 cliché 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”. 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.”