When I explained to a coworker this summer that I didn't "get" this film and that the ending didn't make any sense, she kindly explained to me that I just didn't understand Japanese culture. That may be true, but I wouldn't use it as an excuse; the movie would have sucked either way. I've already explained that I love foreign horror; this was just a bad movie.
As a way to convey the confusion and general lack of any narrative form in this film, I will give an itemized summary of all the plot points that I remember.
1. 40-some school-girls throw themselves in front of a moving train, spraying bystanders with blood and guts (mimicked in Hostel?) Before their weird and fake-looking deaths, they all hold hands and say a little nursery-rhyme. The blood was pink.
2. Everybody starts hearing about the suicides (like in The Happening?) and start committing suicide themselves. Case in point, a bunch of high-schoolers hanging out on the roof of the school (we never got to do that) decide to joke around about forming a Suicide Club (clever, huh?) They all stand in a line like the girls at the train station and hold hands on the very edge of the roof. They all laugh until-oops!-one of them was serious. She jumps and the rest are pulled along with her. Apparently they just weren't intelligent enough to let go of each other's hands. One boy and girl were smart enough. But-oops again!-the girl is traumatized by her friends' deaths (I wonder why?) and she pushes the guy off (because he wasn't smart enough to get down off the ledge) and jumps. They were asking for it.
3. The police receive in the mail a long roll of skin from the victims, implying that the suicides were actually murders, or some ridiculous shit like that. Ooooh, spooky. Also, does the Japanese postal service regularly deliver things of that nature? Besides being just plain gross, the skin was never fully explained (if it was, please explain it to me) and just had nothing to do with anything. There was some nonsense about all the victims having a certain tattoo, but the sheer logic of the whole thing...little school girls?...I just can't even go on.
4. Someone explain the pop band to me, and the numbers they hold up, which when typed into a cell phone, spell "suicide." They all watched these little Japanese girls wearing overalls singing innuendo-laden lyrics. Then they committed suicide. A commentary on the vapid-ness of pop-stars? A warning about consumer culture? Stupidity at its finest? Who knows, and for that matter, who cares; they didn't get the message across.
5. Grossest scene: Definitely the woman slicing carrots going a little too far in her chopping, and cutting all her fingers off, eventually moving up to her wrist before the scene "cuts away" (haha).
So maybe I don't understand Japanese culture. But I'm pretty sure their culture isn't just about carrots and lost fingers. Just a bad movie, no more, no less.