Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the Japanese prolific filmmaker who is now in his 60s, has made a fine thriller, aptly named Creepy. It follows the story of Koichi Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a former police detective who goes into academia following a disastrous misjudgement while on the job. A year on, Takakura and his wife Yasuko (Yuko Takeuchi) move into a dainty new house in a neighbourhood filled with peculiar people. Meanwhile, Nogami (Masahiro Higashide), a former friend and colleague of Takakura, makes an appeal on him concerning a missing persons case from six years before.
While a two-hour-long movie, Creepy certainly does not get boring, and this is merely proof of how excellent Kurosawa is at provoking tension. The audience gradually becomes aware of the gruelling reality of that Tokyo area and the troubling private spheres of neighbour Nishino’s (Teruyuki Kagawa) life. As Takakura’s suspicions deepen, so do the viewer’s, until they find themself cursing at the incompetence of the police and the utter gullibility of certain people while being suddenly overcome by the grave awareness that the things concerning Takakura privately and professionally are connected.
The acting in this film is of a capable level. Nishijima is good and Takeuchi and he make an attractive pairing. But it is Kagawa as the despicable Nishino whose performance prevails. This man is pure nastiness daubed with charm and audiences will hate him for it; knowing there is something wrong with him though they are uncertain of what exactly – but that will become obvious soon enough.
The style of the movie itself is incredibly urban. Creepy‘s aesthetic is mostly characterised by the whites and greys of concrete, which only contributes to the idea this film seems to propose: that urban life leads to emotional detachment. Ultimately, Kurosawa’s feature is outstanding cinema with a traditional, satisfying ending that is expected of the genre.
Creepy is released nationwide on 25th November 2016.
Watch the trailer for Creepy here: