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Body count: 12, but they’re technically pre-movie.
Entertainment factor: 3/5
Eek factor: 3/5
Ooh factor: 1/5
Ouch factor: 1/5
Film Elements
  • ghosties
Everyone has at least a vague idea of what reincarnation is. When one is reincarnated, the theory goes, the memories of one's lives remain separate. Or they're supposed to. Rinne is about what happens when past and present lives start blurring together.

Matsumara Ikuo, a chain-smoking film director who somehow wears his glasses on a string without looking like a dork, has a great idea. His next project is a movie about a set of murders that happened in the ‘70s at a hotel. (A college professor went crazy, killing eleven people, including his son and daughter.)
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Enter Sugiura Nagisa, an aspiring actress. She lands the part of the professor’s daughter—the role has been altered a bit to make the daughter an adult. With the casting done, it’s time to get started.

What better way to have the actors prepare for their roles than to take them to the real hotel and have them reenact how their characters died? Sugiura, Matsumara, and the seemingly unrelated Morita (who didn’t get a part) all start having visions of the hotel and of the murders which, for Sugiura and Matsumara, seem to be confirmed on this visit. At the same time, Morita gets her own spooky encounter in the library.
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One could easily imagine this degenerating into another ghosts-after-revenge movie—except that we’re not talking ghosts. Yes, the ghosts of the other victims are running around, but the three souls that the film is concerned with are no longer ghosts. Or are they? Revenge seems to play a part—but who and what, exactly, are after it? Nor is this a haunted building movie, as the characters’ physical location is mostly irrelevant to the scary happenings.
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This film seems to draw on two Western movies: The Shining (which I’ve seen) and Child’s Play (which I’ve only heard about). Evil dolls have become so mainstream in (Western, at least) pop culture that they’re almost cliché, but Rinne manages to incorporate both an evil doll and spooky children without, for the most part, just rehashing what other films have done. (It doesn’t come up with anything terribly unique, but it’s not a complete carbon copy of the other films I’ve seen.)
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The story starts out interestingly enough (with I-was-strangled-in-a-past-life Morita contrasted with innocent Sugiura) but gets soggy before it finally thickens up. Yeah, the ghosts and visions are somewhat creepy, but they don’t actually do anything besides indicate that strangeness is afoot. They don’t move the plot along, and they’re not unique enough to keep the eyes entertained for long.
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The acting is pretty good overall, but Yuuka as Sugiura really takes it away at the end when her character goes nuts. Considering that she has to spend most of the film looking afraid and confused, it was a much-needed change of pace. As for the rest of the actors–-well, they’re there. They’re not bad, but there’s not much particularly memorable here, either.
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Some might say that the ending is predictable. Of course the three characters are all reincarnations of the people killed in the hotel. You can infer that much from the title of the film. The interesting part is finding out who’s been reincarnated as whom, and I think you’ll be in for a surprise there. The very end, however, strikes me as unnecessarily cruel. Can you really hold someone accountable for what he/she did in a past life?
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Rinne could use some tightening up, but as long as you don’t expect too much from it, it’s an entertaining film. I don’t feel like it was a waste of my life, and I’d be willing to watch it again.