Magazine article Screen International

'Creepy': Berlin Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Creepy': Berlin Review

Article excerpt

Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Japan, 2016, 130 mins

Kiyoshi Kurosawa recently appeared in cinephile documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut commenting on the lessons of the Master of Suspense. He puts them to good use in Creepy, a film that not only amply merits its name, but would make Norman Bates scratch his head at the sheer weirdness of what goes on here behind closed doors.

Ostensibly a sleek investigative thriller, Creepy later takes a detour into macabre and surreal territory, returning to the outré register of Kurosawa films such as Pulse and Charisma, following his recent, gently emotive take on the supernatural, Journey to the Shore. Hugely entertaining, Creepy's genre pleasures should make this novel adaptation one of the more exportable Japanese films of recent years, and arguably prime remake material – although Western multiplex audiences might prefer a revision that is slightly less cavalier in its use of outrageous coincidence.

A bravura opening shows detective Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) coming a cropper in an encounter with a captured killer. A year later, he has leftthe force, moved home with wife Yasuko (Yuko Takeuchi) and started work as a university lecturer in criminal psychology – but he can't give up sleuthing, and finds himself delving into a cold case from six years back, involving a family's disappearance. Meanwhile Yasuko is keen to make friends with her new neighbours, but draws a blank until the initially recalcitrant and decidedly odd Mr Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa) seems to thaw. …

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