Corpse Party is a franchise that is known throughout almost the entire horror community. When this film was announced, it was definitely a case of either it would be amazing or it would be terrible. Unfortunately, I'm on team terrible.
I've been a fan of Corpse Party for quite a while now, I've gone through nearly all forms of the franchise. The games, the anime series, and now the movies. If you don't know what Corpse Party is; a group of friends who do a small magic ritual to say goodbye to their friend end up trapped in the cursed school of Heavenly Host Elementary, where ghosts haunt the school and kill those who end up there.
Now, my issue with the movie lies within that they kept the exact same plot - but they changed many elements of it. Yet they didn't change enough of it. Instead of it seeming like a fresh new take on the anime and the games, it seems like just a bad market remake for cash in the series. Everything was the same, but nothing was the same if that makes sense - the same plot happened but they weren't separated. Characters died much before their time and it threw the whole timing off. Two specific ghosts instead of three, only one missing item between them both instead of the original three where they should have been two. One of the original villains not showing up (although he makes an appearance in the sequel - which was much better, that's for a review of Book of Shadows).
This entire movie also felt extremely rough paced. They rushed to do in an hour and a half which the anime series did in just under an hour (around 57 minutes) and that was with some of the plot taken out and some of the characters prematurely ended which took time up in the anime in their original deaths. Maybe I am comparing it too much but to change some basic elements and then not enhance anything you've changed just wasn't the best move the scriptwriters and director could have taken.
The casting was really well done - other than Yuka who seemed much younger than her teen years and not in the same way the original lore make her seem - but the reason it's rated low was the acting. Although many characters do their pieces well, some of the scenes were just inherently cringey. It was obvious - for example - where a character is scratching at the floor, the actor was hardly doing it and didn't seem scared at all. It was basic acting in the scenes where it was needed the most. The gore in this was also something that was somewhat atrocious. 2015 had some amazing special effects available to them in makeup and props alone so to see close up, dizzying shots of specific gore scenes where the gore is meant to be the main thing was also just... really eye rolling.
I don't think I could ever rewatch this myself, to be totally honest. The whole thing felt more like a money grab than anything to do with the games or the series or the lore in any sense. Many scenes should have been done better and frankly some of the actors acting ruined crucial scenes of the plot.
This was a live action that was either going to be done amazingly or just terribly and they missed the mark of anywhere near decent by miles. The sequel is a much better movie than this one and I frankly recommend just watching the series with the most basic knowledge of the lore of Corpse Party.