'7500' a movie to frighten American audiences

'7500' a movie to frighten American audiences

Takashi Shimizu said he had US audiences in his mind when directing "7500," a horror movie set aboard a jumbo jet.

"Even when a ghost appears, American people don't find it frightening until it begins attacking them," he said in explaining that the perception of fear in Japan is different from that in the United States.

"7500" is the third Hollywood film for Shimizu, a master of Japanese horror movies best known for "Ju-on."

"To me, 'Ju-on' was about a ghost that comes closer and closer. Maybe that worked [in the United States]. This time it's an American film, so I made it with an American audience in mind," he said of the many scenes depicting fear in the film.

Shimizu's previous two Hollywood films, "The Grudge" and "The Grudge 2," were a remake of "Ju-on" and its sequel. Unlike these films, "7500" uses an original script written by Craig Rosenberg.

"I can only speak a little English, so I worked through an interpreter to create the personalities of the characters together with Craig," he said.

A jet plane from Los Angeles to Tokyo is hit by a strong turbulence. Then the death of a passenger triggers a series of strange phenomena.

"I did detailed research on the anxiety everyone feels on a plane, and used it in the film," he said. "I wanted to make a story about a group of people inside a locked room like an airplane, explore how complete strangers experience the same fear and how they affect each other."

The entire film takes place aboard the plane. Shimizu had a mock cabin made in which all of the shooting was done. One of the highlights of the film is a scene in which turbulence shakes the plane so much passengers are slammed against the ceiling.

"It's a huge set that shakes with hydraulics. We did the shot by pulling the passengers up with wires," he said.

Shimizu went to Hollywood on his own, leaving behind his Japanese staff.

"I felt lonely, but it's the same in Japan, too. Directors are lonely people everywhere," he said.

"7500" opens Saturday at Shinjuku Wald 9 and other cinemas. Please visit 7500-movie.com for more information.

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