The nature of the beast
This new addition in the Gamera franchise is one of the best so far. The creators did their homework. Director Shûsuke Kaneko had worked on Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack in 2001, and both him and returning writer Kazunori Itô made the previous film in this series. Let’s just say we’re in good hands. The editing is tight and the photography, delightful.
This production is handled like a horror movie but doesn’t completely lose the essence of what Gamera films are all about. It is campy to a certain extent, but the effects have significantly improved. We no longer feel limited to the destruction of miniature sets the way we were in the 1960s and 1970s. Anything goes, including vast matte painting and stop motion. And what a score!
The new antagonist is complex. It is a mix of plant and insect. It is both disgusting and beautiful. Gamera is probably still a man in a rubber suit, but the illusion is stunning. The movie gets slow around the middle. Yes, there is a procedural and, yes, it involved the army. Some of the previous films in the franchise were kid-friendly. This is not the case, here. This one is darker.