Home > Film, Reviews > DVD/Blu-ray Review: It’s A Beautiful Day (Kuso subarashii kono sekai)

DVD/Blu-ray Review: It’s A Beautiful Day (Kuso subarashii kono sekai)

An Asian/American horror film directed by Kayoko Asakura!

It's a Beautiful daySet in California, It’s a Beautiful Day (‘Kuso subarashii kono sekai’), directed by Kayoko Asakura (‘Hide and Seek’), is an infusion of Asian and American horror with ample gory and brutal moments involving disfigurement that will gratify the most hardened splatter fan.

Ah-Jung, played by Kkobbi Kim, is a Korean student studying in America. She’s been invited by her Japanese friend Takako (Amagi Chika) to accompany her and a group of four other Japanese students on a trip to a remote area of California. Unable to communicate with her fellow travellers directly because they are unable to speak English, Ah-Jung can only converse with Takako and it’s not long before she realises that the only reason she’s been invited is so she can help pay towards the cost of the trip.

It's a Beautiful Day

(Copyright Kayoko Asakura. All rights reserved)

It's a Beautiful Day

(Copyright Kayoko Asakura. All rights reserved)

Once they reach their destination the group, aside from Ah-Jung, is only interested in getting high and partying all day and all night. During a drunken evening by campfire things take a horrible turn for the worse. As Hirono (Shijimi formally known as AV actress Akane Mochida) heads back to the van to get some more supplies, the demented killer brothers Henry (Adam LaFramboise) and Victor (Julian Curtis) show up. Mistaking Hirono for Erika (Nanako Ohata), whom Victor believes saw him earlier disposing of the bodies of a couple we see at the start of the film get viciously killed, Henry kidnaps her. Meanwhile, when the rest of the party head back to the lodge they are surprised, but not overly concerned, that Hirono hasn’t returned. Outside, Ah-Jung and Erika try to converse but with little success. Misunderstanding Ah-Jung, Erika goes to get her a beer from the outside cooler but is attacked by Victor. She manages to break free and runs into the woods with her pursuer close behind. Hearing the commotion Ah-Jung runs after them. Victor catches up with Erika who tries to stun him with a stun gun. As they struggle they fall in to a grubby neglected pool. The whole ordeal leads to a strange turn of events which results in a body swap.

It's a Beautiful Day

(Copyright Kayoko Asakura. All rights reserved)

It's a Beautiful Day

(Copyright Kayoko Asakura. All rights reserved)

“It’s a Beautiful Day” premiered at the Yubari International Film Festival in Japan on 22 February 2013 and had its UK screening at the Bram Stoker Festival on 27 October where it came in a close second to ReCycle (both represented by Silk Purse Enterprises) for the Best Film award. It has a mixed international cast comprising of Korean, Japanese and American actors. Kim and Nanako are especially competent, both underplaying their roles thus making their characters more realistic and believable. However, we don’t have much warmth or compassion for the other characters simply because we don’t really get to know much about them except that they are spoilt rich kids who care only about themselves and having a good time. However, without giving too much away our pity soon shifts to Hirono.

It's a Beautiful Day

(Copyright Kayoko Asakura. All rights reserved)

It's a Beautiful Day

(Copyright Kayoko Asakura. All rights reserved)

Although the film was made on a budget of less than £100,000, it is wonderfully shot. The vast remote Californian landscape is symbolic of the detachment Ah-Jung feels, be it by choice, towards her travelling companions brought on by the language barrier and the lack of interest from the group to try and interact with her. It’s here where the film reveals another layer of skin making social commentary on alienation and the need to be heard and understood. It also touches on racism and ignorance and how the two can potentially destroy lives – no good ever came from either one. But make no mistake: Even though the narrative discreetly raises some social issues, the film is first and foremost a gorefest. Aside from a few questionable moments and a rather pointless character in the form of the killers’ uncle Sean (Marty Hrejsa), the film is well made and effortlessly executed.

It's a Beautiful Day

(Copyright Kayoko Asakura. All rights reserved)

Asakura’s love and understanding of the horror genre, both from an American and Asian perspective, is evident throughout. She directs the convincing graphic scenes involving savage attacks with awareness of just how far she can push the boundaries. Asaukara doesn’t hold back though, and thus it’s a film most certainly not for the faint-hearted.

It's a Beautiful Day poster

(Copyright Kayoko Asakura. All rights reserved)

Details: 

Label: King Records Co., Ltd.

Release date: 6th November 2013

Certificate: 18

Running time: 78 mins

Genre: Horror

Cast: Kkobbi Kim, Nanako Ohata, Adam LaFramboise, Julian Curtis, Chika Amagi (Takako), Tomoyasu Abe, Akihiro Kitamura, Shijimi Marty Hrejsa, Tiffany Pulvino, Andy Maloo, Michael Villar

Writer/Director: Kayoko Asakura

Related Posts:

Two Films By Director Kayoko Asakura To Premiere At Bram Stoker International Film Festival

DVD Review: TOMIE Unlimited – A J-Horror Film By Noboru Iguchi

DVD Review: Helldriver – A J-Horror Film By Yoshihiro Nishimura

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