Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Creepy” (クリーピー) – 2016 NYAFF Review

Although some have hailed “Creepy” (2016) as a return to form for horror master Kiyoshi Kurosawa, his latest still falls short of the brilliance of his past works such as “Cure” (1997).

Yuko Takeuchi (left) and Teruyuki Tagawa in "Creepy." (still © 2016 "CREEPY" FILM PARTNERS)
Yuko Takeuchi (left) and Teruyuki Tagawa in “Creepy.” (still © 2016 “CREEPY” FILM PARTNERS)

Former detective Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and his wife (Yuko Takeuchi) move outside the city to plant new roots, he as a professor who misses the meat and potatoes of investigative work, she as an eager-to-please neighbor in a community that isn’t what it seems.  Before long, Takakura decides to follow up on a cold case and is drawn into a web of some rather convenient coincidences that lead him closer to the answers he seeks.  Two areas sink what could have been a skin crawling work: the character of Takakura’s neighbor Nishino and the conclusion.  Although Teruyuki Tagawa as Nishino would probably be the first thumbnail image one would see for the word “creepy” in a dictionary, he plays it too well from the start, diluting any chance for prolonged suspense.  As for the ending, some will have to suspend belief to make the story work.  For others, doing so still won’t save the story.

“Creepy” made its Asian premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.  It will screen at the New York Asian Film Festival on Wed., June 29, at 6 p.m.