Japanese horror director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa returns with a tense and dark atmospheric psychological thriller. Koichi Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a detective who specialises in criminal psychology. After a disastrous encounter with the “perfect psychopath” – resulting in a frenetic opening scene – Takakura retires to the suburbs with his wife Yasuko (Yûko Takeuchi) and becomes a university lecturer. Old habits die hard though, and it’s not long before our protagonist is investigating the mysterious disappearance of a family. Add to this Takura’s somewhat strange neighbour Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa), and there is the catalyst for a surrealistic journey of suspense.
Based on the mystery novel by Yutaka Maekawa, Creepy fuses together two chilling plot lines that hint at marital problems and the collapse of the family unit. The usual psychological thriller elements are all here: the burnt-out cop, the neglected wife, the sinister stranger and the opportunity for redemption. Kurosawa uses all of these elements and builds the tension skilfully. The use of lighting throughout the feature really adds to the mood, switching from filtered light to sombre for some of the tone and pace changes.
Nishijima brings intelligence and suaveness to the lead role of Takakura. He’s an expert on serial killers, and the scenes where he lectures his class asks the question of when the characteristics of a serial killer can be spotted: “Most dangerous criminals seem super nice to their neighbours”. It’s easy to piece together where the film is heading, but it’s never fully explained how some aspects of the story are possible. For all of Takakura’s intellect and savvy, there are times when the viewer will question how it is conceivable for him to miss the obvious. Kagawa portrays the unpredictable neighbour Nishino by alternating between timid and threatening with a skilful display of acting. It all adds up to a disturbing movie that has an anxious climax.
A must see for any fan of the psychological thriller genre.
Creepy is released nationwide on 25th November 2016.
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Watch the trailer for Creepy here: