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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.Read more ›
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.
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.
A smooth, controlled descent into madness, one of the most haunting films I've seen.
Most recent customer reviews
It seems that all Japanese screenwriters have needed to do in the last 10-15 years to win the praise of 'artistiques' and commoners alike is ask "who am i? Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by A. Highsmith
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... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2004 by Amazon Customer
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... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2004 by Edward L Zimmerman
To the moronic reviewer and the people that mistakedly marked the release date of this film as 2001, Cure is not a Ringu rip off at all. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2004 by Kevin P.
Astonishing. This film has not one original or interesting idea it it. There is absolutely nothing frightening about this movie. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004
Cure is the perfect horror movie; the only one I've yet seen. That's an odd thing to say about a movie that isn't exactly scary at any given moment, but it's true. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2004
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