DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema
Director - Kiyoshi Kurosawa - 2016

"Dirty gem"
Don't go into the basement! The Japanese hold very dark secrets in their cellar, and it's not mommy's stuffed corpse - new horror flick from veteran Kurosawa at the BFI London Film Festival investigates fears of conviviality and trust

Storing food with vaccum packaging may never be same after you’ve watch this 130-minute long Japanese horror flick. After dabbling with other genres (including thrillers and drama, such Tokyo Sonata from 2008), Kiyoshi Kurosawa returns to what he does best and cataculped him to fame in the 1980s: nail-biting horror. Despite sharing his surname, the 61-year old has no relation to the late Akira Kurosawa.

The film is an adaptation of the eponymous mystery novel by Yutaka Maekawa’s. Senior detective Koichi Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) quits his job after failing to use his psychopath theory to stop a hostage situation, which instead ended up in a carnage. He becomes a lecturer and moves to a large house in the suburbs with his young and beautiful wife Yasuko (Yuko Takeuchi).

Yasuko insistently attempts to befriend her eccentric neighbour Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa, pictured above, and also in Tokyo Sonata), who rapidly swings from a friendly and obsequious mood to a frantic and erratic one. Most of the time, he is secluded at home with his equally creepy and ambiguous teenage daughter Mio (Ryoko Fujino) and a very mysterious never-to-be-seen wife, who apparently suffers from profound depression.

Fears of conviviliaty prevail in the movie. Japanese etiquette when dealing neighbours and strangers is so tense and prescriptive that it may come across as wooden acting to those less familiar with the culture. Kurosawa creates an equally taut setting: bleak and sterile landscapes, claustrophobic houses with narrow entranceways, gardens cluttered with junk and weed, surrounded by tall glass and metal buildings. The lighting is consistently dim. Everything looks soulless and dull, inhabited by human beings uncapable or establishing a relationship with each other.

Nishino is a very unusual psychopath. Instead of killing his own victims, he persuades other to do it for him, thereby keeping his hands and perhaps his consciousness clean. He has a long terrifying history to be unveiled, and his family is not quite what it seems. It is unclear, however, how he manipulates people to commit crimes on his behalf: is it pure psychology, is it a drug or does he ultimately have other powers? Paranormality here is replaced by some sort of mysteriously infectious insanity, raising the questions: is psychotic behaviour contagious, and are we all latent serial killers?

The house where Nishino lives is some sort of Bates Motel with some very Japanese perversions: somber, full of corridors and with a cellar teeming with secrets. Most people who go in there end up dead, just like the detective Arbogast in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). In fact, Kurosawa is such a big fan of the British director that he appears in the 2015 documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut (directed by Kent Jones).

Ultimately, Creepy is a film about the ephemerity of trust in the ones you love. How much can you kill a parent, a spouse or a friend? Can the evil powers and twsited seduction skills of a stranger supersede such loving relationships? How do you fend off servility when confronted by a very powerful, borderline inhuman force. The answers could be in Nishino’s basement. Cellars and sadistic psychokillers are creepy by default, but what’s really disturbing is how near they could be. Perhaps the psychokiller is even inside you.

Creepy is showing as part of the BFI London Film Festival soon, just click here for more information.

The movie trailer is to be viewed below:

.



"Dirty gem"

By Victor Fraga - 29-09-2016

By Victor Fraga - 29-09-2016

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years of involvement i...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

History repeats itself again and again. Ex-Shaman portrays [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
For me, film festivals are exciting because they [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
When people die, they are taken to the [Read More...]
John (Costas Mandylor) says, “your mother didn’t like [Read More...]

Read More

How about a new Cleopatra movie?

 

Tim Werner - 18-04-2019

It is a movie that has been speculated about for almost a decade, but rumours have once again emerged this year regarding the prospect of a new big-screen take on the story of Cleopatra! [Read More...]

Where Hands Touch

Amma Asante
2019

Lucas Pistilli - 17-04-2019

Black girl meets white boy in Nazi Germany, what could go wrong? Romantic war drama raises questions about unshakeable national identity, in a story with many parallels to the Brexit narrative - in cinemas Friday, May 10th [Read More...]

Dragged Across Concrete

S. Craig Zahler
2018

Jeremy Clarke - 15-04-2019

Refrigerator. Dead rat. Dirty characters exhibit misogyny and racism in this bleak vision and slow burning, edge-of-the-seat thriller - in cinemas from Friday, April 19th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *