Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Masato Hagiwara, Kôji Yakusho, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa, Yoriko Douguchi
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
In the tradition of Seven and Silence of the Lambs comes this genuinely spine-tingling horror/thriller from one of Japan?s most talked about filmmakers, Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Set in and around a bleak, decaying Tokyo, a series... more »
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Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kyua (Kyoshi Kurosawa, 1997)Veteran director Kyoshi Kurosawa (Serpent's Path, the recently-optioned Pulse) weighs in with this 1997 offering, and the best way to describe it is giallo gone Yakuza. It has all the highlights of good giallo, from an overly gory mystery storyline to broad cinematic shots in the best Argento style to characters who sometimes just say the silliest things imaginable to one particular plot twist that makes absolutely no sense to anyone until you've seen the movie fifty times. And with the Japanese so much farther out on the bleeding edge of extreme horror than the Italians these days, you can bet a Japanese giallo is going to be two hours of bang-up knockdown bloody fun. And oh, my, it is.Cure (the English title) revolves around a series of brutal murders with one thing in common: the throat of each victim is slashed in a large X. Kenichi Takabe (Koji Yakusho of Tampopo, Warm Water Under a Red Bridge, etc.), the inspector assigned to the murders, soon discovers that they all seem to center around an odd amnesiac (Masato Hagiwara). He's not the murderer, but each one of the murderers-yes, they're all different people-came into contact with him not long before killing their victims.While the style is giallo all the way, the pacing is Japanese New Horror. Kurosawa starts things off in the nastiest way possible, then gives us the finding of the amnesiac and some buildup in the characters of Kenichi and his reluctant partner in this, Makoto Sakuma (Tsuyoshi Ujiki of The Eight-Tomb City and Full metal Yakuza fame) before the murders kick off again and everything rolls into high gear. There are more than enough snippets to satisfy gorehounds and a fine, albeit slowly-paced, mystery for fans of more explicit mysteries (I'm sure I'm not the only one who spent the latter half of the film drawing comparisons to Silence of the Lambs). But the true fanatic audience of this film are going to be the giallo lovers, those who eagerly await every new film from Dario Argento. For them, Kurosawa is sure to be a fantastic find. Hopefully, everyone else will come up to speed eventually (perhaps when the American version of Pulse, directed by... ulp... Wes Craven, is released next year). *** ½"
How Can You Be Guilty If You've No Idea You Did It?
Edward Lee | 02/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"CURE is an entirely engrossing cop procedural drama coupled with more than just a healthy hint of THE X FILES that scores kudos for its relentlessly plotted creepiness tied to the intensity of the murders.Inspector Takabe and Criminal Psychologist Sakuma believe they are on the growing trail of a serial killer forcing others to commit grisly murders, but one fact doesn't add up: the killers have no recollection of what they've done. Enter Mamiya, a psychology student turned 'mesmerist' who plants suggestions in the mind -- latent impulses upon which everyone he comes into contact with will eventually act upon.Vindicated by his capture, Takabe and Sakuma begin their quest to understand how Mamiya has accomplished what he's done, risking both their lives and sanity in order to bring the entire bloody affair to an end.Extremely well done and grippingly paced, CURE is a great flick to pop in and sit ready to pull the covers up over your eyes!"
"Sometimes A Crime Has No Meaning": Brilliant And Mesmerizin
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 12/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Cure," by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is one of the most intelligent and brilliant thrillers I have seen in some time. In fact, this is one of the best I have ever seen. This is a film that takes patience, however, it is a rewarding experience to view such a masterfully directed film that makes you think. This is not a mindless and directionless film as so many in the horror/thriller genre are. No, this film is a thinking film. The reviewer Wheelchair Assassin described it as "three exists past brilliant" and he is correct. The film opens with what appears to be a normal man on his way home from work. Picking up a prostitute, he later bludgeons her to death. Not content to merely kill her, he sets about placing and X carving into her body. But why? What has this woman done to him to warrant such a horrible act? Moreover, the murderer hardly knew his victim and he had no reason to kill her.
Enter detective Kenichi Takabe (Koji Yakusho) who has been investigating a series of grisly and bizarre murders, where each of the victims have had an 'X' cut into their bodies after they have been killed. What do each of these victims have in common with their killers? That is what Detective Takabe is trying to discover. Moreover, what makes the murders so bizarre is that all of the murderer's are found close to the crime scene. Plus, all of the murders have nothing in common except the 'X' carved on their bodies. Detective Takabe (Koji Yakushi) begins to explore a possible connection to the killers and a third party involved. Nothing about the killings make sense, however, Detective Takabe believes that each of the murders are linked together somehow. And with this, director Kiyoshi Kurosawa takes the viewer into an unsettling and mind boggling world of suspense.
Detective Takabe teams up with Makato Sakuma (Tsuyoshi Ujiki) who is a clinical psychologist. The atmosphere in the film is terrific and suspenseful, as Takabe himself is going through his own personal problems. While detective Takabe believes that there is a hypnotist behind these killings, he has a hard time convincing Dr. Sakuma. Dr. Sakuma believes that there is no connection, and even tells the detective that "Sometimes a crime has no meaning." Sakuma informs Detective Takabe that it would take a genius to do such an act. Plus, what would be the purpose of such a terrible crime. Vanity perhaps? Or something more sinister? This is where the viewer is introduced to Mamiya (Masato Hagiwara). Not much is known about Mamiya other than he is a former psychology student who has studied the writings of Mesmer, an 18th-century Austrian doctor, who first theorized about the use of hypnotism. I am not giving anything away in this, as the film explores this in the beginning as the viewer is introduced to Mamiya.
Detective Takabe knows that Mamiya has had some interaction with most of the killers. However, how is Mamiya able to get others to kill? This film comes at you from all angles: Suspenseful, atmospheric, creepy, nuanced, everything I like about thrillers. And this is what makes this film so great, in that there is the ever present suspense and the constant buildup of the unknown made known, and made unknown again. What is Mamiya's reasons behind his actions? He has amnesia and as such, has no recollection what he is doing. Or does he? And for that matter, is he the only one behind these hypnotic killings. This film is very ambiguous and will not hand you the answers to all the questions you seek. And I liked this aspect of the film. I will not give out anything in this film which will ruin the viewing experience for those who have not seen it, but the beginning, middle and ending are great. The whole film is suspenseful and atmospheric in every way. There are more questions than answers in this terrific thriller.
When Sakuma eventually comes to the conclusion that Mamiya poses a danger to detective Takabe and others, he warns the detective to stay away from the suspect. But is there more to Detective Takabe than Sakuma realizes? Furthermore, is it Sakuma who is in more danger from Mamiya? Or is there someone else who poses a greater threat to him? I find each time I view this film, I have more answers than I had the first time. I believe I know what occurs in the ending, and why, and yet I am not 100 percent sure. And maybe thats a good thing. As I wrote earlier, this is a thinking persons thriller/suspense film.
As Detective Takabe and the psychologist Sukuma begin to unravel the mystery surrounding Mamiya they come away with more questions that answers. This is a very intelligently done film, and probably Kurosawa's best to date. The films creepy atmosphere, and great soundtrack really enhance the film. This film is not about gratuitous violence and gore. Moreover, if ambiguity is not one of those traits in films you like, then this may not be the film for you. However, I recommend that you rent the film and see if it is your kind of film. I believe it is one of the greatest crime thrillers I have ever seen. I would have given this film 5 stars, but each time I have done so, only 4 stars show up on the review. This is a 5-star film, and it is highly, highly recommended. [Stars: 5]"
Grigory's Girl | NYC | 12/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really love this film. I love horror films that get into your head quietly, and then stay there for days. This film is one of those films. It's similar in tone and style to Kwaidan, Vampyr, and The Sixth Sense. The director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, directs the film with a beautiful langorous pace, with very long takes, incredible atmosphere, a superbly renedered soundtrack, understated performances, and a very ambiguous plot. It's nice to see a horror film without gratuitous gore, stupid teenage characters, idiotic language, and plot holes that are there because the writers/director are lazy, not because they're trying to be ambiguous. Some people haven't liked this film very much, arguing that it was too boring and vague. It's supposed to be ambiguous and vague; that's what makes it as good as it is."