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Tales from the Dead

Tales from the Dead (2008)

July. 25,2008
| Horror

Tales From The Dead is anthology of four stories that looks at the quiet terror lurking inside the human soul, showing us that evil does not end when life departs. These original stories ...


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Tamika, a young woman who claims she can commune with the dead, picks up a hitchhiker named Shoko whose car's tire was flat. Tamika, while driving, weaves four tales each concerning greed, life and death.The first tale concerns a family whose house is haunted by the angry spirits who were murdered in this place a year prior to the Takahashi's purchase, a demise at the hands of a burglar who drinks a glass of wine containing poison meant for the husband shot dead! Their son is paralyzed in a wheel chair, mute, and was found by them after disappearing for a while. How he is associated with the vengeful spirits is quite a whopper.The second tale is about a celebrated detective, Minehiro(Toshiya Agata), battling a head cold, cough, and foul temperament, working on the case of an accountant, who had planned, it seems, to turn over state's evidence regarding financial matters concerning the Yakuza. The accountant, found shot point blank to the face with a chalk line around his body, may've hidden financial records some place and Minehiro wishes to find them. The one responsible for the crime will return to the scene, finding what he is looking for, and discover that life indeed was nothing more than a chalk outline of dust. The third tale focuses on Yoshi(Masayuki Yonezawa), who considers his life a failure, recently unemployed after reporting late for work multiple times, drowning his sorrow in liquor, treating his ex-girlfriend Mai(Kazumi Zatkin)with disregard despite her attempts to console him, his mother at death's door just wanting to see him before she passes away, contemplating suicide, wallowing in self-pity, just desiring wealth and money. He might just get his wish in a "salesman" offering him moments of life with money if he will sign a contract turning over his time! You see there's big business in selling time to the dead who yearn desperately for minutes, seconds to enjoy time with loved ones they should've spent with when alive. This business proposal Yoshi will "live" to regret.The fourth tale is associated with the wraparound story, regarding a "Black Widow's Club" whose members killed their husband's for their money! A new member must accomplish her duties to remain a part of this club..Shoko! Jason Cuadrado's "Tales from the Dead" focuses primarily of greed and how avarice leads to destruction..petty burglary, a wish to remain anonymous since you are supposed to be a crime-fighter not criminal that you would be willing to kill in order to do so, giving up most of your life just for a moments with wealth, and murder just because you weren't given a life of luxury, promises made regarding material things and how poison could provide you with such gratification if only for a little while. Surprisingly old-fashioned anthology..some horror fans might find some of these tales rather silly in how they are developed to their conclusions. I perceive that if you like the old Twilight Zone shows, you might enjoy "Tales from the Dead". Leni Ito is Tamika, who died at 14 from a spider bite, returning with a sixth sense, able to not only communicate with the dead, but actually helping them find peace. Nikki Takei is Shoko, Tamika's traveling companion, introduced at the opening as having escaped prosecution due to a lack of evidence, entering the wrong car, fate unkind. I felt the weakest of the tales was the one dealing with Yoshi just because it really should be a little longer, but, in an anthology format, isn't able to be due to time constraints. It's always satisfying seeing rotten souls getting their comeuppance, even if it's through preposterous means(..a victim literally turning into chalk, another having lost his time, selling it away so that dead people could purchase it for moments to spend with loved ones they didn't appreciate while alive).


Tales from the Dead features four short stories about revenge and learning to appreciate life while you can. It is told from the viewpoint of a young medium, telling tales of her real-life experiences speaking with the dead to a woman she picks up hitchhiking after her car breaks down. This film is unique in that it is an American production but with Japanese characters and language (it is sub-titled in English). In fact, it has that Asian-Horror feel to it like The Ring or The Grudge in that it is excellent story-telling without the need to add a ton of gore or violence. If you are a fan of Asian horror, definitely add this to your list!