December 4, 2019 6:30 PM - Subscribe
After having narrowly escaped an attempt on his life at the hands of a psychopath, detective inspector Takakura quits active service in the police force and takes up a position as a university lecturer in criminal psychology. He can't quite leave his old work behind, and something about the neighborhood seems... off. Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Pulse/Kairo).
Kurosawa’s spatial, ambient style creates ambiguities out of sharp-edged frames. He is a complete classicist in the importance he puts on staging, and the influence of the tough-guy genre movies of Don Siegel, Richard Fleischer, and Robert Aldrich—often cited by Kurosawa as personal favorites—is plainly obvious in the way he frames Takakura and his former colleagues. But his sense of emphasis is inverted: What other filmmakers do with close-ups or shadows, he does with wide shots, ellipses, and empty space. And the more successfully Creepy rationalizes itself, the more irrational it becomes, until it descends into one of those decrepit subterranean spaces that have stood in for the recesses of the psyche in Kurosawa’s movies.
We know there’s more to it than that, of course, and Kurosawa knows we do. In not even bothering to subvert genre conventions, however, he’s able to make the most of them — little that happens in “Creepy” is surprising, but even less is unsatisfying.Rotten Tomatoes score 91/58. Currently on Amazon Prime.
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There's also a good trick that the detective husband is aggravating, and kinda incompetent, and so the wife becomes the actual relatable protagonist of the movie for awhile. Then the movie takes her away and the feeling for me as a viewer was in sync with the husband.. NO, this shouldn't happen, why is she gone, I don't know if I can go on with this damaged diminished story without her.
I saw Kairo years ago and loved it, but it wasn't until recently I saw this, and then Cure. I like how Kiyoshi Kurosawa movies have a kind of Silent Hill -like industrial hellworld that can exist just around the corner from the safe seeming domestic world. When he does it best it's not the shabby aesthetic that makes it scary, it's just that the actual physical layout feels wrong. Like in Cure the detective goes into the prison cell, but it has a corner where the camera won't look right away... You're not supposed to have out-of-sight things around corners in prison cells where you are keeping your weird demon-possessed killer! That's just fucking terrifying.
posted by fleacircus at 11:08 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]