Movie: Audition (1999)
Writer: Ryu Murakami (original novel), Daisuke Tengan (screenplay)

It's actually not that bad of an idea: In order to bypass all of the hardships and trickery that comes with dating, you hold a fake “audition” and tell the female hopefuls that they're all competing for a movie role as “the wife.” The winner, unbeknownst to her, scores a date with you.

For, Shigeharu (Ryo Ishibashi), the protagonist in Takashi Miike's unexpectedly savage Audition, the plan goes swimmingly, leading to some face-to-face time with the sweet and reserved Asami (Eihi Shiina). And when Shigeharu gives Asami a phone call, he thinks that their conversation is totally innocent; what he doesn't realize, however, is that Asami has been sitting by the telephone like a crazy person, desperately awaiting his call. Oh, and there's also a giant burlap sack in her living room, and it suddenly convulses and emits a man's shrieking sound.

Without the slightest warning, Audition devolves from a charming romance into sadistic horror, and, yes, Miike's cult classic is all the better for it.