Decaying buildings and crumbling infrastructure reveal an insidious history seeping through the cracks of Tokyo society. When the haunted spirit tears a hole through the concrete wall, it becomes directly associated with the (de)construction of the apartment buildings themselves. Homes erected on unsettled grounds, a trampled-upon history slowly beginning to break out of the domestic walls which (cont.)
Completely summarizes Kurosawa's previous work, going so far as to copy, shot-for-shot, a glorious scene from Pulse. But it's not so much a retread as a potent embodiment of the director's obsessions. The murders are merely a parenthesis in a story of urban decay, moral morass (pun intended) and a worldview - closer here than ever before - about to teeter off the edge towards a personal and grand apocalypse.
6 - Somewhat of a spiritual successor to "Cure", integrating ideas from "Pulse" with mixed results. Kiyoshi's technique has only become finer with age, but the storytelling style that made "Cure" such a subtly creepy sit doesn't fit his supernatural jaunts half as well. A handful of great ideas and a whole lotta cheese.
exceptional film-making from kurosawa, one of the great long-take stylists of his generation, here taking a decade of j-horror cliches and transforming them into something strange, even threatening. the coal-black b-side to his 'tokyo sonata,' he looks back on his genre career and a half-century of japanese history to find something steeped in regret and despair. a significant piece of filmmaking post-2000.
I liked this. After watching an interview with Kurosawa it became apparent that Western audiences might not pick up on the symbolism of the 'crumbling Tokyo' setting, and the fear and ignorance of the past - but his renewed vision of ghosts on screen (thankfully unhindered by shlocky jolts from the score) is pretty effective. What though, is with him and bluescreens? Those driving scenes just look silly.
Seems to me that this film is massively underrated! Sure, it blends together elements of "Kairo" and "Cure," so it might feel overly familiar for Kiyoshi Kurosawa fans. But it's still a deeply unsettling ghost story with ramifications on an interpersonal and apocalyptic scale - what Kiyoshi does best!