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On the surface, Reincarnation AKA Rinne (2005) could be seen as a depressing movie. I can put myself in the shoes of the old woman who survived her family and has missed her children for 35 years, if only because I have a small child who I have to share with my ex. Every other weekend, every Wednesday night and a few straight weeks per year of missing my kid are hell, so if it gets any sadder than that, I’d probably rather be dead.

It’s heartbreaking to imagine the idea of a father who could murder his own children. It’s even sadder to imagine being born with the soul of the father in your body and being responsible for eleven murders and a twelfth attempted murder that you technically didn’t commit. Sadder still to suddenly become haunted by what seems to be a bunch of ghosts who then kidnap you and take you to an abandoned hotel where you die again as you did in your last life.

*and the needle goes off the record* But damnit, this movie really works for me. It’s not a true story, so fuck it, I own a copy and I’ve watched it at least three times. Granted, I also enjoy the music of Tori Amos so maybe I enjoy being sad. But what is not to love about a movie in which one character can have a vision which becomes the dream of another character who then wakes up and remembers lifelong dreams of a mysterious hotel?

How can I, as a fan of supernatural horror, truly be sad when not only does a script conjure up ghosts who shouldn’t even be walking around as ghosts because they’ve been reincarnated into new bodies, but also the viewing of a 35 year old Super 8 snuff film causes 10 people to drop dead and the main character to go batshit insane without her even having watched it? And to end with that main character smiling in her cell in the nut house because she realizes her evil experiment in a previous life worked? That is a ghoul’s paradise.

As a bonus, there is a room 237 in the hotel in the movie. Many hotels have a room 237, but they weren’t all the scene of a filicide. So don’t forget to check behind the shower curtain, and beware of little girls or dolls (or English pop stars of the 80s) who want to be together forever with you.