Year of Release: 2016
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Screenplay: Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Chihiro Ikeda, based on the novel by Yutaka Maekawa
Starring: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yuko Takeuchi, Teruyuki Kagawa, Haruna Kawaguchi, Masahiro Higashide, Ryoko Fujino
Running Time: 130 minutes
Genre: Psychological thriller, horror,
A year after being stabbed by a suspected serial killer, police profiler Koichi Takakura (Nishijima) has resigned from the force and is now lecturing about serial killers at a university. He and his wife Yasuko (Takeuchi) move out to a quiet neighbourhood to make a new start. Yasuko soon becomes suspicious of their weird neighbour Nishino (Kagawa) who apparently lives with a wife who never leaves the house, and their teenage daughter Mio (Fujino), who exhibits disturbing behavior. Meanwhile, Takakura becomes drawn into an ex-colleague's investigation of the mysterious disappearance of three members of a one family six years ago, which left only one traumatised witness (Kawaguchi).
Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa came to recognition with horror films, such as Pulse (2001). Despite the title, Creepy isn't really a horror film, it's more of a psychological crime drama, although it does have horror elements, particularly in the second half. It's handsomely made, and well performed (with Teruyuki Kagawa particularly memorable as the sinister neighbour). The problem is the pace is so sedate it just never grips. It also feels to meticulous to really be atmospheric. For most of the film, it's like a mystery drama that feels more like an intellectual puzzle, which probably most viewers will have solved more or less for themselves. There is a detached feel to most of it. My attention drifted several times during the film, but it was still interesting enough to stick with it until the end. Based on a novel, I can see that the story would probably work better as a book than a film. It's main problem is the length and the pacing, and even at it's two hour plus running time, some plot elements just seem to be abandoned.