"Three American tourists follow a mysterious map deep into the jungles of Japan searching for an ancient temple. When spirits entrap them, their adventure quickly becomes a horrific nightmare." -IMDB
The second film I chose to review was one that had been sitting on my Netflix watch list for a few months - Michael Barrett's Temple. I'm not sure why I added it to my list in the first place, other than the fact it's a Japanese-American film, so I expected it to have some elements of j-horror.
Temple actually sounded like the type of film I generally tend to stay away from - tourists ignore locals' warnings to avoid haunted temple and have the scare of their lives. Films like this make me antsy because they always include people making stupid decisions and disrespecting the cultures they are visiting. I was pleasantly surprised to find Temple did not include any obnoxious American tourists, no gratuitous sex or partying scenes, or any blatant disregard for the rules. In fact, the whole premise of the film was that the three main characters were visiting Japan to learn more about some of the local shrines. And they were actually fairly respectful about it.
That was probably the only thing I liked about the film, however. The story took some time getting off the ground and had some inconsistencies throughout. The characters were dense, poorly developed, and their relationships were hard to follow: the main character invited her childhood friend on a trip with her and her boyfriend, though the two men had never met prior, and the three shared several close quarters throughout their trip, at times joking around and other times clearly showing signs of trying to outdo the other. It's like Temple wanted there to be a heavy love triangle in the mix but instead it was just 78 minutes of awkward third wheeling followed by an abrupt ending that made little to almost no sense.
Honestly, there's really nothing redeeming about this film except for little Seita, but if you're someone who is easily scared or startled, perhaps you'll get a thrill or two out of this film.