There are flashes of energetic violence in the early moments of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s excellent Creepy. Even when a seeming sense of serenity makes an appearance, it’s as though violence and danger could easily jump out of the shadows. It seems that this is a very dangerous world indeed. After a brutal encounter with a “perfect psychopath”, police detective Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) turns his back on the force and becomes a university lecturer, moving to the idyllic suburbs with his wife (Yûko Takeuchi).
Kurosawa is capable of distorting this sense of peace and serenity with just a subtle shift of the camera. A slow zoom-out doesn’t reveal anything new, and yet a house suddenly looks quite sinister. Other times his camera pans unexpectedly upwards immediately creating a giddy feeling that someone is going to fall down in life, quite soon.
It would be so easy to lay the sense of unease on with a trowel, and yet Kurosawa’s strength is in the moments that are odd and understated. A neighbour brusquely speaks to Takakura and his wife when they knock on her door to introduce themselves, only to be interrupted by a weird, mournful wail that gently wafts out of her open door. These strange moments cast suspicions on the future of the Takakura’s slice of suburban heaven, and with a movie called Creepy, it’s not a leap to suggest that dark times are ahead. The violence that makes an occasional appearance is wonderfully frantic, but these sometimes abrupt changes of pace feel entirely natural.
Takakura’s professional curiosity is aroused by an old unsolved case which leads to inevitable plot twists. To attempt to foresee these twists would almost be to defeat the entire purpose, although a number of them are heavily alluded to in the most marvellous of ways. It’s much better to just allow the unsettling brilliance of Creepy to unfold at its own unique pace.
Creepy does not yet have a UK release date.
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Watch the trailer for Creepy here: