Springing up like the proverbial bamboo shoots after a rain storm in the postwar boom years, when they were hailed as ideal communities for the rising middle class, Japan's danchi (public-housing projects) have since acquired a rather dark image as the older ones molder and decay and the original residents either move out or pass away. One of these, then, makes an unsurprising setting for horrormeister Hideo Nakata's "Kuroyuri Danchi (The Complex)," his first film in his signature genre of J-horror since his 2007 "Kaidan" (though that film is more of a homage to traditional Japanese ghost-story films).

The titular danchi is the sort of dank, crumbling, under-populated dwelling familiar from Nakata's "Honogurai Mizu no Soko Kara (Dark Water)," a 2002 J-horror classic about a single mom and her 6-year-old daughter who take up residence in a creepy, waterlogged apartment building that turns out to be haunted. This time, the action centers on Asuka (Atsuko Maeda), a nursing student who moves into the Kuroyuri Danchi (Black Lily Complex) with her parents and cute little brother.

Before she is properly settled into her new home, however, she hears strange scratching noises from next door. Worried that her neighbor, an elderly man living alone, might be in trouble, she summons the courage to venture into his rat's nest of an apartment and discovers that he is no longer among the living. The noises, however, do not stop, nor do other strange incidents.