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By James Sutherland

GENRE: Thriller, Crime

A family on vacation suffer a sudden car accident and find themselves caught between dense forest and a murderer and his henchmen, frantically looking for a safe escape from where isolation spells immediate execution.


A family drives down through Fukushima Prefecture on vacation. The grandmother Nana wants to visit west Japan and uses the escape of Shiratori, a murderer, from prison to try to persuade her son, Shunsuke, to change his mind. He refuses. The two grandchildren, Yuma and Akari, understand their grandmother and her motives very well. Nana has secretly, brought along her dog and dominates the car ride with self-centered, and shallow conversation.

The family drive through the remains of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, spotting a strangely dressed man wearing a gas mask. Nana persuades Shunsuke to take a road which she imagines will lead by a beautiful old Japanese house. Suddenly the dog escapes its basket jumping on Shunsuke’s neck. The car skids, flips and runs into the ditch. As the family assesses its injuries, a man who is obviously Shiratori drives up with his armed henchmen. Nana immediately feels that she recognizes him as someone she has known all her life, and she tells him that she knows who he is.

Methodically, the henchmen lead first Shunsuke and then the mother and children off to be shot in the woods. Shiratori talks about himself and his life of crime. Nana is terrified; she knows that she, too, will be shot. She stops her empty prayers and meaningless assertions that Shiratori is a “good man,” to utter perhaps the truest words of her life, that he is one of her own children. At that, Shiratori shoots her, but he says that she would have been a good woman if someone had been there to shoot her every minute of her life. She is left in death smiling up at the sky.

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