It no secret that the Japanese have an obsession with hair. Nearly all of their ghost stories feature ghosts with extra long hair draped all over their contorted bodies. Now I don't pretend to understand much of Asian culture, so I don't really understand the symbolism of the hair, and when I viewed the movie 'The Wig', a movie about a haunted hair piece I thought fair enough, just about, perhaps it was just something I didn't really understand. 'Exte' pushes the concept one further in that it is a movie based around haunted hair extensions I wonder if there is any mysticism behind it at all, or is it simply a silly idea.
Most of the Asian movies tend to be quite non linear, and, whilst its true they are all a little formulaic, the stories behind the haunting tend to be quite innovative. 'Exte' is about as subtle, as the subject matter is good idea. Not much. Quite simply, a corpse is spotted for its beautiful hair, something which for some reason wont stop growing. The corrupt coroner cannot believe his luck as he seems to have found a near endless supply of top grade hair extensions to sell onto unsuspecting hairdressers. Naturally when the corpse gets angry, the people wearing its hair get killed.
I will open the main part of the review by clarifying one thing, this movie is not at all scary, and whilst you may suspect it is a spoof of sorts, it ain't that funny either! The plot is OK, but some of the scenes are just plain bizarre, and it never develops into something. For example the ghost never shows up, instead it is the hair which grows uncontrollably killing people, filling up rooms and growing out of body parts like razor sharp tendrils.
The death scenes are quite original to begin with, and at times the CGI is quite impressive as the hair growing out of various holes in the body looks grotesquely surreal. After a while though, no matter how visually impressive the movie is at times, the fact that there is very little gore, and the plot is clearly going no where and there is not a naked breast in sight causes the pace to drag.
With reference to the above, there is very little gore and the killings seem a little clean. The whole movie in fact feels a little over polished, with no creeps to generate atmosphere and the CGI looking very non-prosthetic. The acting isn't bad, but the script offers little in the way of interest.
Overall this movie is one you can afford to miss. I thought initially that it might have gone down the spoof route ala' 'Eye Infinity' but sadly no. The idea of haunted hair extensions just seemed a little abstract, and nothing to be particularly scared of. As I've said, it had its moments here and there but overall the pace dragged a lot, and by the end and once the plot failed to develop, I felt sold short.