STARE is a new horror movie from Japan [org. title Shiraisan]. It just had its world premiere at Fantasia 2019 and we can easily imagine a US remake. It definitely held our attention. Read our full Stare review here.

Stare is a new Japanese horror movie world premiering at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, Canada. The opening film at Fantasia 2019 was also a horror movie from Japan. That particular movie was by the director of the iconic Ringu and even built on the character from The Ring franchise.

You might also like: Our review of Sadako (the latest movie in The Ring universe) here >

Unlike the opening movie Sadako at Fantasia 2019, Stare is a Japanese horror movie that offers more innovation. Also, it was pretty damn creepy and surprisingly bloody. I mean, we are litterally talking exploding eyeballs here!

Read more in our Stare review below!

Yes, Stare features exploding eyeballs

I won’t really be giving away anything by talking about these exploding eyeballs. Of course, we don’t see any eyeballs actually exploding (at first!), but we do see the aftermath. People with bloody holes in their skull where their eyes once were.

It’s one hell of a nasty way to die and it’s all connected to Shiraisan. Incidentially, Shiraisan is also the Japanese title of Stare, but I do actually think the English title is perfect as well.

Shiraisan is a girl with abnormaly large eyes. And again, you will not see these eyes that Shiraisan has (at first, anyway), but you will hear her. Also, you will see other parts of her. To me, Shiraisan feels like a breath of fresh air compared to yet another movie in the Ringu franchise. 

Stare (Shiraisan) Horror review

A different kind of horror movie from Japan

Also, I really enjoyed how Stare feels like a sweet and gentle little horror movie at first. But, before you know it, you will end up seeing a lot more blood than what Japanese horror is usually known for. It tends to be more in the scared stiff by a ghost department. This is a lot more violent.

Stare has a runtime around an hour and a half, which tends to be a solid sweet spot for this kind of story. Towards the end, I did feel that maybe it was a bit too long, but it wasn’t much. Also, the build-up was similar to some South Korean movies in terms of presenting us with characters before getting more gory.

In my mind, Stare should definitely be getting a remake. It’s not unlike movies such as It Follows or Truth or Dare. In fact, I’ll even compare it to Final Destination in the sense that once the curse is on you, it’s pretty much over.

And yes, this is the curse that will ultimately make your eye balls explode. Perfect for a US remake with a Halloween release date. Just sayin’.

Horror movie by Otsuichi

On IMDb, Stare can easily be found under the Japanese title of Shiraisan and it’s listed as a movie in the Mystery genre. Sure, it does involve a mystery like any other horror movie that involves a ghost or a curse of some sort. But Stare is very much a horror movie. Especially in terms of the rather graphic exploding eyeballs.

Stare was written and directed by Otsuichi who has done a few productions in the past, but nothing I’m familiar with. With this horror mystery, he definitely deserves a place alongside other internationally recognized Japanese horror directors.

For me, Stare could have been better by spending even more times developing the characters and especially by showing more backstory for the curse. I would love to watch an entire movie that focused even more on Shiraisan herself because that part of the movie was truly fascinating.

Stare does start out as a bit of a slowburner (despite people dying from the get-go), but I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Stare (or Shiraisan) had its world premiere at Fantasia 2019 on July 17, 2019.


Hirotaka Adachi (Otsuichi)

Hirotaka Adachi (Otsuichi)

Marie Iitoyo, Yu Inaba, Shota Sometani


The dead are accumulating at a rate that’s alarming, and the state in which the victims are discovered is even more so. They’ve all died of a heart attack visibly provoked by extreme fear, and their eyes have literally exploded. Mizuki witnessed the death of her friend. Haruo lost her brother in nebulous circumstances. The two students seek to understand the cause of this slaughter, and their investigation leads them to Eiko, who says she knows the origins of this mystery. Unfortunately, she dies under similar circumstances, but with her last breath, she mentions the name Shirai-san. This troubling story draws the attention of Mamiya, a journalist who decides to join Mizuki and Haruo in unraveling Shirai-san’s curse. Little do the know, however, where their investigation will lead them, nor how much visceral horror will confront them at every turn.

I usually keep up-to-date with all the horror news, and make sure Heaven of Horror share the best and latest trailers for upcoming horror movies. I love all kinds of horror. My love affair started when I watched 'Poltergeist' alone around the age of 10. I slept like a baby that night and I haven't stopped watching horror movies since. The crazy slasher stuff isn't really for me, but hey, to each their own. I guess I just like to be scared and get jump scares, more than being disgusted and laughing at the grotesque. Also, Korean and Spanish horror movies made within the past 10-15 years are among my absolute favorites.
Nadja "HorrorDiva" Houmoller
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