Welcome to the Ending Explained for Re/member, a new Netflix Japanese film arriving on the streaming service directly from Japan. The movie is based on the manga written by Welzard and illustrated by Katsutoshi Murase. The film adapts the manga very faithfully, but because it needs to compress a lot of the story into a movie that runs over two hours, many details from the lore get glossed over. What remains is just essential for the audience to understand what is happening.
Re/member is clearly a low-budget effort, but even within those constraints, director Eiichiro Hasumi and his team manage to create something quite entertaining. Some of the visual effects are not that good, and the last version of the creature towards the end of the movie looks quite terrible, but it all helps to maintain the creepy vibes the movie establishes from the beginning. This might look like a horror movie, and it does have elements from the genre, but it is more of a teen drama and a story about friendship and loneliness.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Re/member. Read at your own risk.
Who Is The Red Person?
The film begins with the introduction of Asuka, a young girl waking up to go to high school. Her mother makes her a lunch box with tons of food and tells her that she can share it with her friends. Asuka’s expression changes when she hears that, and you can definitely feel that something is wrong. On the way to school, you can see that everyone is talking with their friends, but Asuka is all alone. A cat gets run down by a car, and people crash into her as if she were not even there.
It seems like Asuka is not very popular at all. In the classroom, we meet some other characters, including Takahiro, the hot guy in the class. She seems to have a crush on him, but he doesn’t talk to her at all. We also meet Rie, the class president; Rumiko, a pretty tough girl, Shota, the nerd of the class, who is constantly being bullied. We also get glimpses of Atsushi, a Takahiro friend who has stopped attending school. The day goes by normally until the lunch break arrives.
Asuka, of course, doesn’t share her food with anybody. She goes out of the class and sits down in front of an old well on the school grounds. She gets ready to eat but sees something horrible coming out of the well; dozens of bloody hands shake and reach for something. A group of men come and stop Asuka’s vision. However, that is not all because later that night, as Asuka prepares to sleep, she receives some creepy text messages from an unknown number. The text says something about a Red Person. She ignores them and goes to sleep.
When she falls asleep, Asuka wakes up at the school chapel, along with the rest of the characters. They soon get attacked by the Red Person from the messages, a young girl covered in blood and without eyes. The creature chases them through the school and kills them all. They wake up, and it is the same day as yesterday. At school, they come together and realize they are trapped inside a time loop. Shota tells them they are now part of a Body Search and that the Red Person could be a girl killed more than 30 years ago.
How Can The Students Escape The Time Loop?
Shota informs the group that they are part of the Body Search and that they will need to find Red Person’s body parts. This person was killed, and her body was cut into pieces. Now they need to put it back and place the pieces inside the coffin in the chapel. They tried searching through the school that night. Asuka finds one of the arms but gets killed. Thankfully, Rie manages to place the arm inside the coffin. Everybody is terrified of dying but hopeful because there is a way to escape the loop.
At school, the group begins to get closer to each other. The days pass, and they start becoming friends. It seems like the experience of dying each night has established a powerful bond between them. Even Atsushi, who was not helping during the first night, became an important part of the team. They keep collecting pieces of the body at night and stop going to school during the day, as it basically doesn’t matter anyway. They go to the place where the girl was killed and find the doll that the Red Person is always carrying.
The team manages to find all the pieces except the head. No one knows where it is. Asuka concludes that the head is inside the doll The Read Person carries everywhere. They try to get it, but it becomes impossible when the Red Person transforms into a giant monster who kills them all again. The next morning, Rie is nowhere to be found, and they realize she doesn’t exist because last night, she was not simply killed but eaten by the monster.
The team creates one last plan to corner the creature and take its head. However, things don’t go as planned, and they start falling to the creature’s power one by one. Rumiko even manages to use a chainsaw against it, but it is futile. In the end, Asuka manages to grab the head with the help of a very wounded Takahiro, who is now in love with her and sacrifices himself so that she can place the head in the coffin. She does, and when she dies, she wakes up finally on the next day. However, it seems she is the only one who remembers what happens. Asuka has lost her friends.
However, destiny is at play, and when the class randomly chooses the members of the festival committee, they are the same members of our group. Asuka is sad, but when she drops a pin that Takahiro gave to her before, he remembers everything that happened. The film ends with only Takahiro and Asuka remembering the events of the Body Search, but it seems the group is meant to become friends anyway.