“Death Note” American remake disappoints


If you’re looking for a bizarre new horror movie with the gore of “Saw,” the visual appeal of “Donnie Darko” and the ominous devil figure of “The Babadook,” Netflix’s “Death Note” is for you.

Netflix released “Death Note” Aug.25, making a name for itself with big features including Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley and Keith Stanfield. The show becomes even more binge-able for fans of the Japanese manga, which serves as the movie’s basis.

“Death Note” follows a high school boy named Light Turner who comes across a mysterious notebook full of specific death wishes. Turner meets Ryuk, ultimate controller of the book, and learns that he can wish death upon anyone, as long as he can picture their name and face.

Naturally, Turner decides to make himself the hero by killing criminals and real-life villains,

Kira (left) stands holding the iconic apple that signifies Ryuk’s (right), the ruler of the Death Note book, arrival. This art was made by a fan of the original Death Note anime.

but as he kills more and the police get closer to tracking him down, Turner and his girlfriend run into complicated moral situations and have to decide who gets to define good and evil.The film opens with slow-moving shots of a classic American high school and a beautiful, mysterious love interest (A disgruntled cheerleader is the object of a shy, edgy boy’s affections? Who would’ve thought?), characterizing it as a movie that not only thrills its audience with an eerie plot and jump scares but with artistic cinematography and a top-notch soundtrack.“Death Note” definitely delivers on this, but the artistic elements are inconsistent throughout the movie, and gory scenes appear randomly. Even Netflix’s version, which is set in Seattle, is disjointed from the original story, set in Japan. All the elements of a perfect horror movie are there, but “Death Note” may have bitten off more than it can chew, leaving a jumbled hour and 41 minutes of mediocre horror elements.

Featured image courtesy of Creative Commons (License CC-BY 2.0)

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons (CC-BY 3.0)