“The Real Exorcist,” a supernatural movie starring Yoshiko Sengen, was theatrically released on Friday, May 15 and topped the weekend box office in Japan.
With the spread of the new coronavirus infection, the film industry has postponed releases of almost all new movies. “The Real Exorcist” was the only newly released movie on a nationwide scale over the May 16 weekend in 66 theaters across Japan.
“The Real Exorcist” was released on May 15, as originally scheduled, albeit in a limited number of theaters outside of the special alert regions. “We decided to release this film despite the difficult situation” one of the film producers said, “because we wanted to deliver bright, positive, and encouraging messages to those who are feeling uneasy of the coronavirus peril. I sincerely hope that the release of “The Real Exorcist” will help revive the film industry.”
Those who watched the film voiced their feedback online; they include, “It moved me to tears and felt fulfilled,” “I’ve never watched a hear-warming horror film!” “Not it makes sense that this film won so many awards overseas!” “Yoshiko looks so cool in the Japanese Shinto outfit,” and “It was an encouraging and thought-provoking film.” There were also many posts anticipating the releases in other cities.
The film takes place at “Extra,” a small coffee shop that stands in the hustle and bustle of the big city. Every day, customers who suffer from mysterious psychic phenomena come to the café to seek help. The lead actress, Yoshiko Sengen, plays the role of Sayuri, who works as a part-time waitress at the café while using her mystical powers to help solve people’s problems.
“The Real Exorcist” has already won 21 awards in 6 countries including the Best Film Feature Film award (Angel Trophy Award) and Best Female Actor award in The Angel Film Awards―Monaco International Film Festival in February. In March, the film won two awards including the Best Picture Award at EKO International Film Festival in Nigeria. In April, t won the Gold award in the Fantasy/Horror category at the 53rd Annual WorldFest―Houston International Film Festival.
The film is scheduled to come to theaters outside of Japan in Summer 2020.