. Today will explain to you a mystery, thriller film from 2010, titled The Incite Mill.Spoilers ahead! This article contains spoilers, Take Care!
Two limousines are taking a group of ten people to the outskirts of the city. In the first car, we find freelancer Yuki, former secretary Shoko, web designer Biyoru, former CEO and drinker Yoshi, and the mysterious Sousuke. In the second car, we find medical intern Takehiro, his girlfriend and nail stylist Wakana, divorced father Munehiro, student Setsuzin, and housewife Sawako. Nobody knows each other except for the couple, plus Yuki and Shoko.
In fact, Yuki is very happy to see Shoko is there and moves to sit next to her as he remembers how he ended up here in the first place. A few days ago, Yuki had been at the grocery store checking out the job ads on the magazine stand when Shoko approached him to ask him if he was also currently unemployed. After he confirmed it, she showed him a mysterious message on her phone that offered a job for the equivalent of eight hundred ninety dollars an hour. As strange as it sounded, both of them ended up applying.
Some hours later, they arrive at the building of the Interactium Foundation Experiment, and a voice on the car speakers reminds them that they will spend seven days there to gather psychological data while being monitored by cameras twenty-four hours a day. When the group enters the building, the same voice continues to give them instructions: no questions will be answered during the experiment, all their belongings must be left inside the lockers by the entrance, and this is their last chance to leave before the experiment starts. The whole group accepts to keep going and goes downstairs to the living area located underground. As soon as they enter the room, the door is locked behind them, officially starting Day One.
They find themselves in a dining room with a clock on the wall that counts how many hours of the experiment are left, a mysterious number under it that keeps going up, a map of the facility, a table with a meal ready, and a set of figurines in the middle of it: they’re ten little Indians, like Agatha Christie’s story. These figurines are five men and five women, matching the participants. While the group has lunch and introduces themselves, one of the figurines begins talking. It welcomes them to the Paranoia House and introduces everyone to Guard, their assistant.
Guard is a floating robot that does odd jobs and will protect them, and right now, it begins projecting the rules on the wall as the figurine explains them. Everyone must stay in their rooms after ten pm, if Guard finds them outside they’ll be eliminated. If a crime occurs, they must solve it: the one person conducting the investigation will be the detective, and once a solution is proposed, everyone must vote on it – if the majority agrees, the criminal will be put in prison by Guard. The experiment ends in seven days or when only two people remain.
The group is weirded out by these rules and all the mention of crimes. Yuki points out they just need to live normally for seven days, but Nishino thinks there may be a psychopath among them. Still not wanting everyone to panic, Yuki requests everyone should agree not to harm each other, but nobody looks very willing to accept the deal until Ando cuts in to back him up and remind everyone that this is an exercise to build trust among strangers. The figurine talks one last time to tell them about the card keys to their rooms on the wall and declares their free time begins now.
Fuchi and Biyoru begin by washing the dishes, and by watching Biyoru’s clothing, Fuchi can guess she’s hiding scars under her sleeves and she’s got a child. Before Biyoru can deny or confirm it, they’re interrupted by Nishino, who accuses Fuchi of being the principal that appeared on the news for behaving inappropriately with a student at her nursery school. Fuchi denies this and Nishino apologizes, but Biyoru is clearly uncomfortable now. Meanwhile, Maki is approached by Osako, who offers him a deal.
In the case of trouble, he and Tachibana will always vote for each other, so they already have an advantage. Osako wants Maki to join their team, and Maki says he’ll think about it. Once again, Nishino interrupts the conversation, claiming Ando looks a lot like the serial killer from Nara and Iwai is too similar to the Aoyama Street attacker, but nobody takes him seriously. After looking around and finding a bloodstain on a wall, Ando goes to the rec room to have a drink.
Yuki approaches him to thank him for backing him up and, guessing Ando is an alcoholic, he stops him from drinking by giving him the tips that his own father who was a former addict used to manage to quit. In this room, they also find a box filled with detective items and a huge collection of mystery novels. When the clock is about to hit ten pm, the voice from the speakers reminds them to go to their rooms. The participants find that there is no lock on the bedroom doors, but there’s a mysterious box for each of them that can only be opened with their card keys.
Yuki opens his box and finds a fire poker with a note referencing a Sherlock Holmes story that used a poker as a murder weapon. Scared, Yuki puts it all back before going to bed. On the morning of Day Two, Yuki wakes up to find Shoko standing next to his bed, asking him if he’s opened his box. But their conversation is suddenly interrupted by screams coming from the hallway: Biyoru has found Nishino dead on the floor from five gunshots nobody heard.
As the mysterious number in the dining room begins raising pretty fast, Yuki can’t help noticing that Iwai chuckles when he arrives and sees the body. Panicking, Yuki asks the cameras for the experiment to end, but Maki points out it’s actually starting. Ando has found Nishino’s card key on the floor, so they use it to check what is inside his box: a dented green capsule and a note explaining it is cyanide as used in a Gideon Fell story. Some noises outside alert the group again and they run out to find Guard taking Nishino away to a special room with ten coffins, one of which closes as soon as Nishino’s body is put inside.
Osako is realizing all of them must have a killing tool in their boxes when the voice on the speakers reminds them a solution is needed. The detective, the criminal, and the corpse will all receive double pay. Refusing to live six days with a killer, Osako decides to become the detective and accuses Iwai of being the criminal because Nishino had called him the Aoyama Street attacker. Yuki protests, reminding everyone they should be trusting each other and looking at the facts instead of throwing random accusations.
But Osako still calls for a vote and Tachibana, Maki, and Fuchi vote in favor of his theory – especially Fuchi, who points out Iwai arrived late and wasn’t surprised to see the body. Yuki, Ando, and Biyoru vote against it, and because Shoko abstains from voting, Osako’s team wins. This causes Guard to activate, pick up Iwai and take him to the jail room, where he’s locked in after being tased. A few moments later, Yuki checks his box again and is shocked to find the poker has been changed for a gun.
Then the group decides to look into Iwai’s box but they find it empty, making them think the murderer may still be among them. Later, while they’re alone in the kitchen, Yuki decides to trust Shoko and tell her about the gun. She believes him when he says he didn’t do it and apologizes to him for having dragged him into this wicked game.
Afterward, Yuki finds Fuchi entering Shoko’s room. She’s brought the magnet from the detective box and uses it to try to open the box, but it doesn’t work. Unaware that Maki is overhearing them, she starts searching the room for the gun, explaining she’s caught on the Agatha Christie reference on the table and advising Yuki to look after himself because only those with the strongest will to live can survive. When night falls and everyone goes to their rooms, Yuki checks the gun again and discovers it has all its bullets, meaning no shots were fired.
When a light appears outside, both he and Maki take a peek from behind the door, noticing Guard doing its rounds. Meanwhile, Fuchi finishes reading the novel she’s taken with her and is frustrated because the last page is a cliffhanger. Desperate to know how the story ends, Fuchi decides to take a risk and go to the rec room to find the final volume in the series. But she barely takes a couple of steps before Biyoru finds her and kills her with a nail gun.
On the morning of Day Three, the group finds Fuchi’s body, so Ando and Shoko check her box only to find it empty. Tachibana begins panicking while Ando notices the mystery number on the wall getting higher at a very fast speed again. Suddenly, Maki accuses Shoko of being the killer because last night, he saw a woman’s feet fleeing the scene. Trying to protect his girlfriend, Osako lies and says he saw it too, causing Yuki to argue with him again.
But this time, Osako goes further and reveals his weapon – a knife, which he uses to threaten Shoko into showing them her weapon. Yuki rushes to get between her and the knife and Ando comes forward too to try and disarm Osako, but he’s pushed away. Osako finds Ando to be suspicious too, not understanding why a man his age would sign up for this job, so Ando has no choice but to confess. It turns out his son had participated and died in this experiment six months ago, so he came to see for himself what happens here.
Now he’s seen how everyone behaves, he has no doubts his son and the other members of his group tore each other apart. This also means this isn’t the first time they conduct this experiment. Later at night, Ando recruits the others to start patrolling the corridos – he’s memorized Guard’s patrol cycle, so they should be able to avoid it. Yuki and Shoko end up patrolling together, so she takes the chance to thank him for defending her earlier.
She also tells him she’s been watching him all along and that he’s a coward but only because he’s kind. Suddenly, Guard’s alarm starts blaring, so Yuki and Shoko have to run away when they notice it changing its cycle. Once they’re safely hidden in the dining room, Guard calms down and goes away. Then Biyoru shows up for the shift change, but she’s alone because Tachibana hasn’t shown up – she’s actually in the coffin room getting busy with Osako.
When she remembers her shift is up, she rushes out of the room, leaving Osako alone to be crushed by the suspending ceiling. On the morning of Day Four, the group finds Osako’s body and quickly guess what happened when they see the blood on the ceiling, but they can’t see a switch that could’ve activated it anywhere. When the ceiling suddenly shakes a bit, Ando and Yuki run outside and find Maki with a remote control in his hand. He swears it wasn’t him and he just found the control as he runs into his room to grab his own weapon which is a crossbow.
Ando dodges an arrow just in time before Yuki tries to disarm Maki, but at that moment, a grieving Tachibana shows up with an ax and kills Maki before ending things for herself too. The number in the dining room is going up even faster and it’s finally revealed why: the experiment is being streamed and the number indicates the amount of viewers. The four remaining participants check Maki’s box and find the note explaining the crossbow is a reference to a Philo Vance story, which means Maki really did find the remote control around. And since Tachibana obviously wouldn’t kill her boyfriend, that means Osako’s killer is still among them.
Later, Biyoru serves tea for everyone, and Yuki notices the scars on her wrists. Ando confesses he began drinking after he lost his son, and Biyoru finally admits she has a child, so she must survive because he needs her. When night falls, Yuki goes to see Biyoru in her room and asks her about the scars. She explains her parents used to beat her so when she was younger she didn’t want to live, but her son changed her, and now she lives for him.
She’s participating in this experiment because she needs the money to pay for her son’s heart transplant overseas, and her determination to save him makes Yuki remember Fuchi’s words: only those with the strongest will to live can survive. He finally realizes it was Biyoru that killed Fuchi right before he falls to the floor: the muscle relaxant Biyoru took from Fuchi’s box and put in the tea is finally kicking in. As she retrieves the nail gun from the box, Biyoru confesses she had been afraid of Fuchi after Nishino accused her of being an abuser. Now Biyoru has to kill Yuki as well, so she begins chasing him through the corridors as the lights go out.
Yuki has to drag his body through the floor because of the muscle relaxant, making it easy for Biyoru to catch him, but before she can do anything, Guard shows up. Yuki pushes her off him and runs into the nearest room right before Guard shoots Biyoru, which is the final clue Yuki needs to figure out what’s going on before passing out. On the morning of Day Five, Yuki meets with Shoko and Ando, who had also fallen victims to the muscle relaxant. Yuki explains that Guard killed Biyoru and there was no criminal – the same happened to Nishino.
The pill in his box had been dented, meaning he tried to bite it to end things. He wanted the death bonus, so all the money could go to his children. Most likely, he had wanted to die, and the foundation sent him to be the first victim – that’s why he spent the first spreading rumors to rile them up. The group reacted exactly like the foundation wanted, searching for a killer that didn’t exist.
The voice from the speakers accepts Yuki’s solutions, giving him double bonus pay for them. There’s still one killing unexplained though: Osako’s crushing. But Yuki doesn’t want to play anymore, he thinks they should reject the game and wait for time to run out. He leaves his gun on the dining room table to show his trust, so Ando does the same by leaving his graver, but Shoko doesn’t join them.
On the morning of Day Six, Yuki finds Ando inspecting the gun and Shoko making breakfast. Ando has finally figured out that the number on the wall represents viewers, and it becomes higher every time someone dies, so the streaming revenue must be how they pay the participants. Later that night, someone takes the gun from the table. On the morning of the last day, Yuki discovers the gun is gone, so he goes searching for his friends.
He can’t find them in their bedrooms, but the most shocking discovery is finding the jail room open and empty. There are also screens inside that allow prisoners to watch every corner of the building. Then, Yuki finds a trail of blood and follows it to find a bleeding Ando inside an open coffin. Suddenly, someone attacks him from behind: it’s Iwai, who escaped the jail room when the door opened on its own.
He didn’t kill Ando, but he admits to having killed Osako as revenge for sending him to jail. The remote control had been his weapon, so when he saw Osako alone in the coffin room on the cameras, he didn’t hesitate to press the button, then he threw the control out, and that’s how Maki found it. Hearing him laugh, Yuki realizes that of all of Nishino’s accusations, one had been true: Iwai is indeed the Aoyama Street attacker. Iwai begins beating Yuki up, demanding to know where the gun is, then tries to kill him with the graver.
Yuki manages to push him off before running away to the dining room, where he notices there are only five minutes of the experiment left. Iwai quickly finds him, but before he can do anything, Shoko shows up with the gun and points it at his head. Remembering that Ando had messed with the gun, Yuki asks Shoko not to shoot, so Iwai takes advantage of the distraction to push her away and steal the gun.
However, when he shoots it, the gun backfires and kills him instead. Yuki guesses Ando had altered the gun, which makes the figurine announce his pay has been doubled again and Ando also gets a bonus for being the criminal. Furious, Yuki destroys the figurine at the same time it begins announcing game over. At that moment, the doors open, and as Yuki and Shoko leave the building, Ando opens his eyes.
He actually never died, he just put blood on his chest and mouth to pretend to be dead, which explains why his coffin never closed. At the building entrance, a foundation employee is waiting for Yuki to give him the bag with all the money he won. Yuki takes it and asks Shoko to come with him, but she has a final confession to make: she works for the foundation as well. Her job is to increase the number of viewers, which is why she let Iwai out of prison and put the gun in Yuki’s box.
The reason why she invited Yuki to participate is that cowards always do well in the experiment. This doesn’t explain why she helped him though, and when Yuki asks her that, she refuses to answer. After Shoko leaves in a car, Ando joins Yuki and both men begin making their way home on foot. As a final act of refusing to fall under the foundation’s manipulation, Yuki throws the bag of money away.