Film titles generally give you a hint as to what the film is about whereas this week’s new release ‘Creepy’ is more about its atmosphere than the subject matter. This is a Japanese film by director Kiyosha Kurosawa and owes much to both Hitchcock and is heavily influenced by David Lynch and opens with a detective Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) interviewing a recently captured serial killer. It all goes very wrong to such a degree that within a year Takakura has left the police and with his wife Yasuko (Yuko Takeuchi) moves home and starts work as a university lecturer in criminal psychology yet the dedicated cop still remains in him and he can’t resist conducting his own investigation into six year old closed case about a home where the 3 occupants disappeared without trace. Helped by a friend still in the police the film becomes an investigative procedural and whilst he finds himself drawn into the case his wife does her best to make friends with the neighbours one of which is a Mr Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa) whose social skills leave much to be desired and is reluctant for her to meet his own wife. Some of these scenes between Yasuko and Nishino are particularly tense as he veers between nice and just downright odd. Like the incomplete house that Nishino lives in with its ongoing building work that is never being worked on his personality is not fully formed either.
It all becomes ever more Lynchian and well…. creepy….as the story unfolds and the use of a rumbling bass line on the soundtrack makes some scenes unnerving and there are subtle directorial moments which add to the unease. This is extremely well made and Teruyuki Kagawa as Nishino, all puffy faced and baggy, bulging eyes is great in a gift of a role that will be fought over by any western actor when the inevitable Hollywood remake comes around. When that does come though the script will need trimming down because at over two hours this is too long and as psychologically warped as the story becomes its knowledge of police procedure and investigation is not wholly credible. What does work is the obsession of the police officer committed to getting to investigating compared with the obsession of a serial killer both shown to be almost equally cold and clinical in their quest.
The subtitles may put some off and there is a bit of the art house feel to it but if it’s playing near you try to catch what is both creepy by name and creepy by nature.
Here’s the trailer…….