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Masato Hagiwara , K˘ji Yakusho , Kiyoshi Kurosawa    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. May 20 2004
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cure -- A chilling cinematic experience April 22 2004
A series of grisly murders are committed and they are linked as all victims have a deep "X" cut into their throats. There are strange circumstances with each murder as the murderer is found close to the crime site, and none of the murderers have anything linked to the other besides the carved "X" in the throat. Kenichi Takabe (Koji Yakush) is the detective in charge of the murder investigations and he suspects that the "X" is linked to each murder, but there is no physical evidence to confirm his suspicions. Detective Takabe has help from Makoto Sakuma (Tsuyoshi Ujiki), a clinical psychiatrist, in order to uncover the malevolent truth behind the murderers. Takabe is also suffering from the hardships of having a sick wife and being overworked. These two factors begin to affect Takabe's life and his feelings as he is becoming more involved in the macabre investigations.
Cure provides a suspenseful atmosphere as it dives into the human psyche. This atmosphere is skillfully created by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who opens the door to notions of amnesia, personality disorders, interpersonal relationships, and fear. These psychological aspects are meticulously dissected by Kurosawa as he tells his story about the detective Takabe and his problems with his job and private life. In the end, Cure offers a suspenseful and absorbing cinematic experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it's worth it Feb. 25 2004
Cure is that good. No use repeating all the reasons, which are covered in other reviews. The highest compliment I can give Cure is that it stays with you after you leave the theater. Let's face it, for experienced viewers most horror movies - at best - provide modest suspense and a few jolts, and are forgotten by the time you leave the theater.
Cure will stay with you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars creepy and disturbing masterpiece Feb. 17 2004
This is a serial killer movie, but unlike any you have ever seen before. Before watching this, you should know a few things:
1) It has been compared to a lot of movies, but any resemblance to any of these other movies is brief and superficial in many cases, as this film charts a course of its own.
2) This film proceeds at a deliberate pace. It takes its time developing the story; viewing it requires patience and constant attention. This is not a movie for the attention-deficit crowd.
3) The movie is one big jigsaw puzzle. Virtually every scene is an important piece of the puzzle, and you have to figure out where it fits in. As I said, it requires constant attention and analysis.
4) The last scene in the restaurant is very important. I am not giving anything away by saying that the main person in this scene does something he has never done before, and that this is an important clue. I am also not giving anything away by saying watch what the person in the background does in the last two seconds before the credits roll, as this is also an important clue. Once you have begun to unravel the secrets of this movie, the rest is easy. It may take two or three viewings before things become clear, but the effort is worth it. This is a movie that really gets under your skin, and the more you figure out what is going on, the creepier it gets.
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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!
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