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Nightmare Detective 2 (2008)
"Akumu tantei 2" (original title)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 404 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 27 critic

Still haunted by his unwanted abilities, which allows him to enter other people's dreams, and memories of his mother dying when he was a child, Kyoichi Kagenuma (Ryuhei Matsuda) ... See full summary »

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Title: Nightmare Detective 2 (2008)

Nightmare Detective 2 (2008) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ryûhei Matsuda ...
Kyoichi Kagenuma
Yui Miura ...
Yukie Mashiro
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wako Andô ...
Mutsumi
Miwako Ichikawa ...
Itsuko Kagenuma
Hanae Kan ...
Yuko Kikugawa
Toshiyuki Kitami ...
Tetsuji Kikugawa
Hatsune Matsushima ...
Akiko
Ken Mitsuishi ...
Takio Kagenuma
Hinata Sasaki
Shungiku Uchida ...
Kiriko
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Storyline

Still haunted by his unwanted abilities, which allows him to enter other people's dreams, and memories of his mother dying when he was a child, Kyoichi Kagenuma (Ryuhei Matsuda) contemplates suicide while slowly drowns in his world of misery. Yukie Mashiro (Yui Miura), having heard rumors about Kagenuma's extraordinary abilities, visits his home to beg for his help. She tells him she suffers from nightly nightmares that are getting scarier. The murderous ghost in the dreams has already killed two of her friends and she's afraid she's the next to die. She believes that only Kagenuma could save her. Kagenuma ignores her pleas for help. Yukie, refusing to give up, returns every day to change his mind. Kagenuma finally decides to take on Yukie's case to understand the circumstances of his mother's death. It, however, demands from Kagenuma more than he expected to give while it leads him into the darkest corners of dream scape. Written by MaLynn

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Drama | Horror

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20 December 2008 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Akumu tantei 2  »

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Follows Nightmare Detective (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Horror grief
21 March 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

I'm usually wary of IMDb consensus but in this case I must agree, the sequel completely trumps the first Nightmare Detective. It's still very much Paprika made as a J-horror but Tsukamoto here is trying to reach outside of the comic book panel.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa presented us in Kairo with the stage of a grand guignol theatre where the horror came from the dissolution of the self, but the horror was distant, observed from behind screens. Here, grief and horror flow from one another in a touching cause and effect. It's a jittery, vivid, film, and Tsukamoto's nervous camera makes sense in context, unlike the previous film.

At least on one level, it's an easy film to like or dislike. It plays like a best-of showreel of archetypal J-horror moments, we know them almost by heart and they pose little challenge. If they work for the viewer elsewhere, they should work here too. If we find in J-horror a cinema of scares and foreboding, Nightmare Detective 2 is a scary film.

Lesser directors like Shimizu and Nakata have been there, so what does Tsukamoto add to the heady brew? In a sense, the film works for me in how it eschews J-horror. Tsukamoto draws on broad ideas and explores them only in general directions, but it's that effort to reach from beyond the pale, the supernatural, back into what is essentially human about suffering that marks him separate.

In Vital he asks where does the soul reside. Here he is confounded with human suffering, where does this war inside us come from. The abstractions of this he uses, two separate characters who are inexplicably mortified of life, are rather naive, lack the complexity of a human portrait, but in this exaggeration he builds earnestly.

Love heals, he tells us. It's a shockingly humane conclusion to arrive at for the director of Tetsuo, but I welcome the emotional clarity. It's poignant for me then that he gives us this with a shot of the Nightmare Detective hugging in a dream the mother that scarred him so much as a child. The mother is dead now and the absolution exists only in the dreamer's mind, but it's enough that forgiveness exists there.

Another moment brilliantly exemplifies this. When the Nightmare Detective mercifully strangles a young girl to set her free from her traumatized life, we see his reflection in a mirror and in place of a head we see a yawning void. Ultimately he stops, this is not his choice to make and if we can't do anything for others, it's enough to be close.

Dreams within dreams, dreams where the dreamer is sinking into a bottomless sea, unable to wake up, these work as metaphors of souls in disconnect, in solitary struggle with inner demons, yearning to wake up to a life of peace.


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