Horror Movie Review: J-Horror: The Complex (2013)

Asuka, a young student moves into a run-down apartment complex with her family made up of her father, mother & younger brother. The place isn’t the most welcoming & either are the neighbours. Asuka tries to greet their next door neighbour, an elderly man but gets the door slammed in her face.

The Complex Asuka

It’s not long before strange occurrences start all seemingly coming from the next apartment. Scratching at the wall & an alarm clock that does off early in the morning disturbing Asuka. She gets little understanding from her family who seem to be repeating the same morning over & over again.

Asuka meets a young boy, Minoru, playing outside the complex & discovers his guardian is the old man who lives next door to her. Entering his apartment she discovers his dead body pressed up against the wall that borders hers, deep scratch marks in the plaster.

The Complex Scratching

Believing that she let him suffer she becomes convinced that he is now haunting her & meets Shinobu, a cleaner tasked with clearing out the old mans apartment. It would seem as though he has had some experience with the supernatural & directs her to a psychic friend of his.

Can she help Asuka deal with her haunting or is there something much bigger going on?

The Complex Asuka & Shinora

The Complex has 2 major twists that can’t be spoilt for you to enjoy the movie. The first comes about midway through & sets up the second half perfectly. The clues are there throughout so it’s not a major surprise but is still enjoyable. Like most J-horror movies the payoffs are worth it.

There are plenty of decent scares that will get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. Something as simple as a door opening just slightly to reveal nothing but darkness beyond. It’s got a great creepy vibe that also deals with a more common & misunderstood issue, mental health. Asuka’s descent into an almost catatonic state as she struggles to deal with the events unfolding around her is a harrowing watch & is some of the most impressive acting in any J-horror.

The Complex Asuka & Minora

Most of the cast are so-so & unmemorable except for Minoru who is just incredible to watch. The innocence of a child mixed with the terrifying situation results in some impressive moments from the boy.

The film runs for almost 2 hours & frequently drops in pace…it can be a bit frustrating when you think you’re building towards a frantic finale only to see it halted in its tracks again & again. Some moments are dragged out & are borderline boring, you can’t help but feel 20 minutes could have been removed & the film would be no worse for it.

The Complex Asuka 2

An impressive modern J-horror that doesn’t exactly break new ground. However it’s an enjoyable watch that spreads it’s creepiness out well. A dark ending wraps it up nicely.


  • Carl Fisher

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J-Horror: The Complex
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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