Cure Movie Review

0
0
Subscribe To:
In and around Tokyo, a series of unrelated murders have an eerie common characteristic: the victims, killed by those well-known to them, are each branded by an X carved into their torso just below the throat. The killers are all unknown to one another and the detail has not been publicized. The only characteristic that the killers share, besides an irreconcilable remorse, is a vague confusion about what took place in the moments leading up to the murder.

The killings haunt detective Takabi (Koji Yakusho), not least because he worries about the safety of his wife, a disturbed woman who is prone to become disoriented and lost when out of the home. The first half of the 1997 thriller Cure, directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation) and now available stateside on DVD, details the crimes themselves, revealing the true culprit in the killings and showing the ways in which this murderous cipher gets inside his subjects' heads. The second half is about the detective, and about his struggle to keep the villain out of his own head.

Cure, like the two Insomnias and such recent Japanese horror as Takashi Miike's Audition, thus presents a battle being fought both in the streets and within the mind. And like little Regan in The Exorcist, the villain here is no less a threat in captivity than on his own. The film's best scares derive from this latter fact; watching our hero interact with his quarry in a jail cell, we're aware of the peril he faces, and we're conscious of the fact that nothing in society could protect anyone from such a foe. And protection is needed, as evidenced by the ways that the violence he inspires erupts in the film with terrifying spontaneity.

This inside/outside horror has been turning up with some regularity in the increasingly strange world of the Japanese thriller. Kurosawa, who is a fairly prolific director and who moves among various visual styles in his work, presents it here within a clean, plainly-observed cinematic framework that renders his hallucinatory subject matter all the more frightening. But the fact is that the approach is not an especially deep one, and in Cure it's given more deliberation than it can bear. The film is longish, as though length were needed to explore the depth of the theme (it's not), and the psychological complexities we're given to ponder in the second half (the detective's guilty ambivalence toward his bipolar wife, for instance) fall somewhere between thin and not there.

Cure occasionally frightens - and very successfully when it does - but it's ambitious beyond the confines of its genre. Kurosawa gives us something to think about when what we want is something that scares.

0
0
Subscribe To:

Comments

Cure Rating

" Weak "

Rating: NR, 1997

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Jennifer Lawrence. Oscar Winning Actress? Check. Top 40 Singer? Check.

Jennifer Lawrence has added Top 40 artist to her list of achievements - just...

Jennifer Lawrence. Oscar Winning Actress? Check. Top 40 Singer? Check.

Angelina Jolie: I Never Planned On Directing

Angelina Jolie is facing some serious award nods for her second stint as a feature film...

Angelina Jolie: I Never Planned On Directing

Kansas Drummer Phil Ehart Recalls Band's Formation

Drummer Phil Ehart of American rock band Kansas maintains that it was he who first brought the...

Kansas Drummer Phil Ehart Recalls Band's Formation

Johnny Depp 'Daunted' By Into The Woods Role

There's an enormous buzz surrounding Rob Marshall and Stephen Sondheim's stage to film musical...

Johnny Depp 'Daunted' By Into The Woods Role

Natalie Portman In Talks For Major Role in Sorkin's Steve Jobs Movie

Despite the loss of Christian Bale and change of studios, it seems there's...

Natalie Portman In Talks For Major Role in Sorkin's Steve Jobs Movie

'Jurassic World' Director Responds to Nervy Fans after Trailer Hits

Colin Trevorrow, the director of the Jurassic Park, has taken to Twitter to...

'Jurassic World' Director Responds to Nervy Fans after Trailer Hits

James Cameron on Avatar Sequels: "You Will Sh*t Yourself, With Your Mouth Open"

James Cameron is really pushing these Avatar sequels. The Oscar-winning director...

James Cameron on Avatar Sequels:

Death to Digital: Vinyl Record Sales at Biggest for 18 Years

More than one million vinyl records have been sold in the UK this year - the first time the...

Death to Digital: Vinyl Record Sales at Biggest for 18 Years

Ridley Scott: "Mohammad So-And-So Isn't Going To Get My Movie Financed"

Ridley Scott has responded to the apparent lack of ethnic diversity in his...

Ridley Scott:
Advertisement