Thursday, October 24, 2019

Creepy (2016)

Detective Koichi Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishimjima) feels he has a good grasp of criminal psychology. He attempts to talk down a dangerous killer during a hostage negotiation – and it all goes to hell, Koichi barely survives. He retires from the force and takes up a teaching position, moving to a new home with his wife Yasuko (Yuko Takeuchi). Yasuko wants to be a good neighbor and brings home made sweets to the other two families on the little street. One gives her a cold reception, the other… well he’s just creepy.

Meanwhile Koichi’s old detective buddy asks him to help out on a strange case of a missing family. Koichi goes behind his wife’s back to help (she doesn’t want him in danger any more). And Yasuko starts to see the creepy Mr. Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa) doing off putting and bizarre things. Is he just an awkward man with no social skills, or is there something sinister behind his simpering smile? Things start to spiral out of control as they meet Mr. Nishino’s daughter Mio (Ryoko Fujino) who whispers that she isn’t his actual daughter. Koichi’s investigations start to point to serial killer who uses drugs and manipulation to ensnare his victims. He begins to suspect that Mr. Nishino is much more than just Creepy.

Good Points:
  • Kagawa’s performance is the perfect mix of creepy, cowardly and sinister
  • Very unnerving as the scenes build in a methodical but horrifying way
  • Some moments of unexpected comedy help break up the tension

Bad Points:
  • The slow pacing moves a little too slow at times
  • You are either going to buy into the premise of the killer or find it stupid
  • The ending is going to annoy/disturb some viewers


I really like director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s take on horror. His film Cure is still one of the most unnerving films I’ve ever seen. While this film isn’t as good, it has a lot to recommend. Kagawa is amazing. He’s the most passive aggressive villain I’ve ever seen in a film. He is despicable, funny, and sinister all at once, a difficult combination to pull off, but he does it. His performance makes the film work as well as it does. The rest of the cast does a fine job, especially our lead detective and his wife. We watch as the tension between them slowly tears the relationship apart and drives either one to more and more desperate acts. Like Kurosawa’s other films there are lots of thematic elements you can pull out of the movie and talk about, which is always welcome. It isn’t nearly as obtuse as Cure, but Creepy does have the same slow pacing and measured filming technique. It works well, but isn’t for everyone. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and recommend it as a bit easier to digest over the more abstract (but also more fascinating) Cure.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals:  4
Sound: 4
Acting:  4
Script:  3
Music: 3
Direction: 4
Entertainment: 4
Total:  4

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.

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  1. I've not heard of this movie or Cured, so I'll have to put them on a watch list. The last Korean film I watched was The Chaser. It's another serial killer film, but worthwhile.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.