Cure

"OK"

Cure Review


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.



Cure

Facts and Figures

Run time: 42 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 18th October 2007

Box Office Worldwide: $99 thousand

Budget: $20 thousand

Production compaines: Daiei Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Kenichi Takabe, as Kunio Mamiya, as Makoto Sakuma, as Fumie Takabe, Yoriko Dôguchi as Dr. Akiko Miyajima, Yukijirô Hotaru as Ichiro Kuwano, Denden as OIda, as Fujiwara, as Tôru Hanaoka, Misayo Haruki as Tomoko Hanaoka, Shun Nakayama as Kimura, Akira Otaka as Yasukawa, Shôgo Suzuki as Tamura, Toshi Kato as Psychiatrist, Hajime Tanimoto as Takabe no shachô

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.