A man barely touches his dinner. Later he eats at the same restaurant and finishes his meal. It sounds simple but for viewers who pay attention and think about what they have seen, it is the stuff of nightmares.
The man is a detective investigating a series of seemingly random murders committed by different killers. Each murderer is caught at or near the scene of the crime. None of the perpetrators has killed before and none seems to have motive to have done it now. They can't explain why they killed or why they carved the figure X into their victims' throats.
Cure (1997, in Japanese with English subtitles) might be about hypnotism and so it is fitting that it proceeds at a leisurely pace. The movie can lull a viewer into relaxing and waiting for writer-director Kiyoshi Kurosawa to make everything clear.
But Cure might not be about hypnotism at all. It is best to pay attention. One of the most revealing images -- and perhaps the scariest -- lasts only about as long as two blinks.
At the center of the subtly powerful horror movie are the detective and a young man who seems to suffer amnesia. The detective suspects that the young man might be forcing people to kill by hypnotizing them. But how is such a thing possible? Experts believe we cannot be hypnotized into doing something that violates our morality. And why do the killings not stop when the suspect is no longer able to influence the killers?
Anyone willing to decipher Cure will find a disturbing thriller that can linger long in memory. Perhaps longer than one wants it to.
a series of very similar murders don't make sense. all the ordinary explanations - a serial killer, a few copycats - don't pan out, since the killers are all different and none seemed to have a motive. an enigmatic drifter, an amnesiac and hypnotist, seems to be responsible. the real explanation is that murder never makes much sense. what's scary is that maybe nothing much else makes sense. if the great russian filmmaker tarkovsky examines the fragility of meaning but the … more
In the hands of director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, a serial-killer movie is not merely a serial-killer movie.Curedoesn't so much scream and shout as drive the audience slowly crazy--much like Kurosawa's subsequent creepfests,SeanceandPulse(a.k.a.Kairo). Koji Yakusho, the happy-foot husband inShall We Dance, plays a weary detective on a baffling murder case, which paradoxically becomes even more puzzling as the solution begins to emerge. Kurosawa's use of empty spaces, and his uncanny command of the soundtrack (the eerie collection of hums and drones would win David Lynch's approval) makes for a shivery experience... though not one interested in resolving itself in a conventional manner. And why should it? At some terrible point in this movie you realize that catching the bad guy isn't going to make Kurosawa's poisoned world any cleaner or safer. Stick with the director's elliptical style, andCurewill leave dread in its tainted wake.--Robert Horton