Audition illustrates how our expectations and interests color what we perceive. There seems to be a lot of debate about whether it's horror or romance, but really it's both - and an excellent example of both genres at the same time. I don't believe there's really a sucker punch here either, as it's clear throughout that something doesn't add up about the woman, and the man is too blind to listen to reason. What happens, though, is your emotional investment in the characters in the first two thirds of the film makes you hope against hope that there can be a happy ending. We're used to the Hollywood kid-glove treatment. The gore, violence, etc. isn't as bad as most reviewers would lead you to believe; watch Jack torture suspects on the USA television show 24, or see some episodes of Oz, and you'll find scenes as bad as this. What makes the snakes slither in your gut and bite your spleen is the emotionally crushing element, which - in this era of anything-goes desensitization - is a testament to Miike's directorial prowess. There's also a wonderfully bizarro sequence where Miike finally pulls out all the stops and plunges you into the pain, skillfully show you the what and why without "explaning" things in the typical dumbed-down Hollywood way. Audition is a must-see film, especially if you're into cross-genre work.