10 user 25 critic

Inju: The Beast in the Shadow (2008)

Inju, la bête dans l'ombre (original title)
The writer and college professor, Alexandre Fayard, researches and gives lectures about the gruesome literary work of the mysterious Japanese writer Shundei Oe, considered by him to be the ... See full summary »


Barbet Schroeder


Rampo Edogawa (novel), Jean-Armand Bougrelle (scenario) | 4 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The tempestuous love story between Fernando, an older man who has recently returned to his crime-ridden drug capitol hometown of Medellin, Colombia and the gun-happy 16-year-old assassin ... See full summary »

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Germán Jaramillo, Anderson Ballesteros, Juan David Restrepo
Amnesia I (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Jo has come to Ibiza to be a DJ in the club Amnesia. He befriends a solitary woman who's trying to forget her past. As Jo draws her into techno music, Martha puts everything she had previously lived by into question.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Marthe Keller, Max Riemelt, Bruno Ganz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A view of the religious tensions between Muslims and Buddhist through the portrait of the Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, leader of anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Ashin Wirathu, U. Zanitar, Kyaw Zayar Htun
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary on Jacques Vergès, the controversial lawyer and former Free French Forces guerrilla who has defending unpopular figures such as Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Jacques Vergès, Klaus Barbie, Barbet Schroeder
Tricheurs (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Exploring themes of addiction, sexual power games, and compulsive behavior, Barbet Shroeder's Tricheurs is a powerfully impudent look into the world of gambling addicts, Bulle Ogier is cast... See full summary »

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Jacques Dutronc, Bulle Ogier, Leandro Vale
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Filmmaker Barbet Schroeder explores themes of sexual freedom, mind alteration, and pursuit of paradise against the backdrop of an early 70's encounter with the Mapuga rain forest tribe in upland New Guinea.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Michael Gothard
Maîtresse (1976)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A common thief (Depardieu) breaks into the house of a professional dominatrix (Ogier), and begins to help her "train" her clients. Though this world is alien to his experience, he finds ... See full summary »

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Bulle Ogier, André Rouyer
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Frank Conner is an honest police officer who desperately needs to save his son's life. However, after losing all hope, he finds out that a criminal Peter McCabe in jail is his only savior.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Michael Keaton, Andy Garcia, Brian Cox
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two parents deal with the effects when their son is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Edward Furlong
More (1969)
Drama | Romance | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Stefan, a recent college graduate, hitchhikes from Germany to Paris where he meets American expatriate, Estelle. They chase the sun to Ibiza. An idyllic island life degenerates when she introduces him to heroin and they get addicted.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Mimsy Farmer, Klaus Grünberg, Heinz Engelmann
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A documentary that follows Dr. Penny Patterson's current scientific study of Koko, a gorilla who communicates through American Sign Language.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Koko, Penny Patterson, Saul Kitchener
Barfly (1987)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Alice Krige


Credited cast:
Benoît Magimel ... Alex Fayard
Lika Minamoto ... Tamao
Shun Sugata Shun Sugata ... Inspecteur Fuji
Maurice Bénichou ... L'agent d'Alex Fayard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuna Abe Yuna Abe ... Geiko
Shinpei Asanuma Shinpei Asanuma ... Editeur
Takumi Bando Takumi Bando ... Japanese Pimp
Guillaume Binggeli Guillaume Binggeli ... Etudiant Sorbonne
Jun Era Jun Era ... Chauffeur de taxi
Shiho Fujimura ... Patronne de la maison de thé
Yoriko Fujisaki Yoriko Fujisaki ... Geiko
Toshi Fujiwara Toshi Fujiwara ... Toyama - the interpreter
Tomonobu Fukui Tomonobu Fukui
Kana Harada Kana Harada ... Jeune Maiko
Erika Hirai Erika Hirai ... Geiko


The writer and college professor, Alexandre Fayard, researches and gives lectures about the gruesome literary work of the mysterious Japanese writer Shundei Oe, considered by him to be the master of manipulation. In his underground detective novels, evil always prevails and Shundei Oe has never allowed anyone to see his face. His only image available is a frightening picture on the back of his best-sellers. Alex travels to Kyoto to promote his successful detective story that follows the same style of the Shundei Oe but with a positive message instead. He meets with his publisher, Ken Honda, from the publishing house Hakubunkan. While in an interview in a TV show, Alex receives a phone call from Shundei Oe that advises him to return to Paris, and Alex believes it is a marketing strategy of Ken. Then Alex and Ken go to a tea house where he meets the Masochist geisha Tamao, and Alex has a crush on her. Tamao discloses to Alex that she knows Shundei Oe and his real name is Hichiro Irata; ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Mystery | Thriller


See all certifications »



France | Japan


French | Japanese | English

Release Date:

3 September 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Geheimnis der Geisha See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »


Box Office


EUR12,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

It's all been done before, but what the hell, it's done professionally
15 September 2008 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

Aside from Reversal of Fortune and Single White Female, Barbet Schroeder is probably best known for the two documentaries he made about two controversial figures like Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and French lawyer Jacques Vergès, aka Terror's Advocate. His latest fiction work, Inju, continues in that direction by dealing with another mysterious, possibly evil man.

The man in question is Shundei Oe, a reclusive Japanese writer who has never let anyone see his face, and unlike, say, Terrence Malick, he doesn't even allow his picture to circulate: the only clue readers have as to what he looks like is a disturbing self-portrait (think David Carradine in Kill Bill with a skin disease) he puts on the back cover of his novels, morbid thrillers where evil always prevails. Oe is the subject of the studies of Alex Fayard (Benoit Magimel), a French college lecturer who believes the atrocities in those books reflect the author's own deranged fantasies. When Fayard goes to Kyoto to promote a book of his own, an Oe-style tale minus the sombre ending, he starts having unsettling dreams and receives a menacing phone call during an interview. On top of that, he meets a geisha named Tamao (Minamoto Lika), who claims to be stalked by her former lover: Shundei Oe.

That's the premise: the rest of the film is a succession of murders, mysteries and twists, all delivered following the blueprint set by The Usual Suspects and exploited to the point of self-parody by the Saw franchise. These parallels aren't just predictable, they're downright unavoidable, since Schroeder's blatant intent is to make Shundei Oe a cinematic icon in the same league as Keyser Soze and Jigsaw (the latter is more of a genre icon, but that's beside the point). That this doesn't happen is due to the director mimicking the behavior of the film's protagonist: just like Alex imitates Oe without adding anything personal, Schroeder sets out to be a new Bryan Singer while being handed a ridiculously thin script and a twist ending that some people (most, actually) will find more obvious than the final revelation of The Village.

And yet, despite that, Inju isn't god-awful or even boring. How come? Because Schroeder most likely knew the plot wasn't that strong and put all his energy into the creation of a memorable, perverse atmosphere, and he succeeds: the gloomy mood is adequately complemented by sly visual nods to Cronenberg and Takashi Miike, most notably the weird sexuality that is present in either's body of work. There is nothing too explicit, but what is there is suggestive enough to wonder: what if Schroeder had directed Basic Instinct 2? As for the acting, there is nothing special to write home about, but Magimel deserves some back-slapping for being a better actor here than he was in the abysmal Crimson Rivers 2 (still nowhere near the heights he reached in The Piano Teacher, though).

And then there's the movie's major selling point, one of the best opening sequences in the genre's history: a Tarantino-inspired film-within-the-film that sums up Inju's unconventional charm in ten minutes. The overall picture isn't a masterpiece, that's for sure, but that beginning is worth the ticket price regardless.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed