Audition came along during a golden era of Asian horror, which also brought us The Ring, The Grudge and Ichi The Killer. If you accidently started watching Audition you might think it’s a sweet romance about a lonely man meeting a sweet woman; it takes quite a nosedive from there.
It turns out this sweet woman has deep rooted psychological issues from an abusive childhood, and enjoys nothing more than dismembering and torturing people she thinks have wronged her. Unfortunately for the lead she feels this way about him, leading to an extensive torture scene in the climax that makes for queasy viewing.
Even when she’s torturing him she’s quite calm and sweet, making it all the more unbearable. While Audition had a lasting effect on the genre, influencing the likes of Wolf Creek and Hostel, it thankfully failed to launch a planned American remake.