Creepy (2016)

Earlier this year we were deeply impressed by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s touching ghostly love story Journey to the Shore,  Kurosawa’s latest release Creepy,  is a very different film indeed.

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Former cop Takakura just can’t help himself when he hears about the missing Hondas

Following a suspect’s attempt on his life former cop Takakura (Hideroshi Nishijawa) is making a new start in a new neighbourhood as a lecturer in criminal psychology. However despite his desire to forge a new life away from the force, Takakura can’t resist the temptation of an unsolved missing persons case and tracks down the cop who originally investigated case, Nogami (Masahiro Higashida). Three of the Honda family vanished, the only survivor being the daughter Saki (Haruna Kawaguchi) who was away on a school trip at the time. Nogami arranges for Takakura to interview the now grown up Saki.

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Yasuko Takakura just can’t hide her unease when she meets her new neighbour

Attempting to unearth Saki’s repressed memories, Takakura discovers that the Honda family’s former neighbour bears a striking resemblance to his new neighbour Mr Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa), a man who seems to be exerting a strange influence over Mrs Takakura (Yuko Takeuchi) despite his initial impression of creepiness. Takakura’s worst fears appear to be confirmed when Nishino’s daughter Mio (Ryoko Fujino) confides in tells him that Nishino isn’t her real father.

By now you should have an idea of  where we are heading in Kurasawa’s psychological drama so I won’t spoil the anticipation for you. Creepy has the sort of parallel narrative premise that Alfred Hitchcock would have enjoyed and while Kurosawa has a way to go before he matches the master of suspense  for atmospherics and camera direction, he does have a bloody good go in this movie. As the Takakura’s settle into the domestic bliss of their new home the plot elements are expertly dropped into place before that inevitable penny drop moment when our suspicions concerning Mr Nishino’s identity are confirmed and we discover just what he’s been up to in his cellar and what he has planned for the Takakuras. Despite a run time of over two hours the suspense in Creepy just does not let up and it seems to play out as a much shorter film.

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A suspense filled psychological thriller Creepy is exactly what the name suggests we give it a big 666/666

Creepy is on theatrical release in the UK and Ireland and on Digital HD from 25 November 2016

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