A wave of gruesome murders is sweeping Tokyo. The only connection is a bloody X carved into the neck of each of the victims. In each case, the murderer is found near the victim and remembers nothing of the crime. Detective Takabe and psychologist Sakuma are called in to figure out the connection, but their investigation goes nowhere. An odd young man is arrested near the scene of the latest murder, who has a strange effect on everyone who comes into contact with him. Detective Takabe starts a series of interrogations to determine the man's connection with the killings.Written by
Todd K. Bowman <email@example.com>
(at around 51 mins) In Japan, they drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. In every scene in this picture that's the case - except one. When the detective leaves in his car to go to the hospital because Mamiya has turned up there, the steering wheel is on the left and he drives on the right side of the road. See more »
There are no opening credits, with the exception of the movie's title. See more »
In the wake of the sarin-gas attack mounted by the Aum Shinrikyo cult on the Tokyo subway system in 1995, horror films enjoyed a sudden spurt of popularity in Japan. Many of the films focus on hypnosis or media-induced violence, the fragile normalcy of modern life, and grisly deeds committed by seemingly ordinary citizens. This unnerving 1997 thriller, which seems like a direct response to the Aum Shinrikyo incident, offers a glimpse of how our own national cinema may absorb the blow of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A rash of senseless murders wracks Tokyo; the victims have deep X-shaped gashes across their throats, and the killers (often their loved ones) are found in a daze. The only connection appears to be a mysterious drifter (Masato Hagiwara) who gets into random strangers' heads with a single, oft-repeated question: "Who are you?" What makes this subtle, quiet shocker so unsettling is the idea that everyone has secret resentments that render him or her hypnotically pliable--that everyone harbors some glimmer of murderous rage that can be exploited, whether by a drifter or by religious extremists. The writer-director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, a prolific Japanese filmmaker who's developing a large cult following here, heightens the unease with buzzing soundtrack noise and eerie long takes that leave us consistently unprepared for the violence to come. And the last sequence will leave people arguing--it requires close attention, culminating in an ending even more disturbing in its implications than the conclusion of SEVEN.
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