Reviewed by Martin Scorsese
This is one of the very best films by the extremely talented Kiyoshi Kurosawa for those of you who don't know the name or the work, he's no relation to Akira Kurosawa. He's an absolute master of light, framing and pacing, and he has so much control over all three that there are moments in his movies when the slightest gesture in the corner of the frame will send a shiver down your spine. Kurosawa doesn't exactly work in the horror genre. Rather, his films are filled with a strange dread. In many of them, something has arrived, no one knows exactly what or how or for what purpose: Reality is untouched except for a small, unsettling detail or two, which mutates into violence and irrationality. Kurosawa is a real student of cinema. Along with Shinji Aoyama, Makoto Shinozaki and a few other directors, he's the former pupil of the great Japanese critic and historian Shigehiko Hasumi. Each of them has absorbed the lessons of older American cinema and taken them to interesting and unusual places. Kurosawa, for instance, is a great admirer of Robert Aldrich, and if you didn't know it you'd never guess as much from simply looking at his movies. But it makes sense: They're both making movies about the world in a state of emergency, creating a troubling poetry of violence and upset. I can recommend every Kurosawa movie I've seen: Séance, Charisma, Doppelgänger, Bright Future and the more recent Retribution. Along with Pulse, which is about ghosts on the Internet, Cure is his most terrifying movie. The excellent Kôji Yakusho (he and Kurosawa have worked together many times) is a detective confronted with a seemingly inexplicable phenomenon: a series of murders in which the perpetrators are standing by unaware of how or why they did it, with red X's carved on the necks of the victims. There are startling images and moments in this picture that will haunt you for a long time to come, and I suppose I should say that it's not for the faint of heart. But be brave, because it's worth it. Kurosawa is a major filmmaker.