Main cast: Daniel Gillies (Jack Miller), Ryo Ishibashi (Eiji Saito), Yoshino Kimura (Yuri), Ethan Amis (Sean Miller), and Miho Ninagawa (Naomi)
Director: Norio Tsuruta
The final episode of the second season – of course, now we know it’s the final final episode – presents another Japanese horror story, but Dream Cruise is a derivative, formulaic fare hard to feel enthusiastic about.
It starts out like a soap opera. Jack Miller, a lawyer working in Tokyo, embarked on an affair with a client’s wife, Yuri, but, as he tells her, he has since developed genuine feelings for her. She warns him that how he feels doesn’t matter, because she suspects that her husband, Eiji, is on to them. Eiji badgers Jack to come join him and Yuri on a trip in his yacht if Jack wants him to close an important deal, and Jack reluctantly agrees. Jack doesn’t like water because when he was a kid, he couldn’t save his brother Sean from drowning. Oh, and on the yacht, we soon have ghosts of not only Sean but also Eiji’s angry dead first wife, Naomi. Yes, Eiji has some secrets of his own that can come with deadly repercussions on this trip.
I know this episode is going to be a tough swallow when it opens with a dream scene that segues to another dream scene that segues into another dream scene… you get the idea. And then there is the scene of Jack being unable to save Sean – that one keeps showing up so often that it’s as if they had run out of money halfway through the shoot and needed to reuse scenes several times over to pad the length of the episode. And then there are the plethora of tired old Japanese/Korean horror clichés: predictable jump scares, creepy long-haired ghost women, tedious soap-opera style back stories, and so forth. Oh, and these people are in Japan – why are the Japanese characters speaking in English? It would feel more realistic if everyone speaks Japanese here and lets the subtitles clue in viewers who can’t understand the language.
And they had Daniel Gillies kept his shirt on, sigh. Some eye candy could have at least elevated the tedium of watching what seems like every cliché in the Japanese/Korean horror handbook condensed into a lackluster episode.