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Creepy aka "Kurīpī: Itsuwari no rinjin" [Blu-ray]
(Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2016)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Asmik Ace Entertainment
Video: Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine #159
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 49,353,749,009 bytes
Feature Size: 42,429,705,792 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.88 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 23rd, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 4057 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4057 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), none
• A new interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (37:46)
• Trailer (1:32)
Description:Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa first came to prominence in the West with his J-Horror masterpieces Cure and Pulse [Kairo]. Now he makes a triumphant return to the horror genre with Creepy, a macabre and deeply unsettling thriller that has left audiences around the world shivering in fear.
Based on a novel by Yutaka Maekawa, Creepy follows ex-police detective and criminal psychologist Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima, Dolls), who moves to a quiet suburban town seeking peace and quiet. When a former colleague asks for his assistance on a case involving a disappearing family his investigation leads him to suspect that his neighbour is a psychopath who comes into peoples households and takes over their lives.
With a stunning cast made up of many of Japans leading actors including Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yuko Takeuchi (Ring) and Teruyuki Kagawa (Tokyo Sonata, Rurouni Kenshin), Creepy expertly mixes the genre conventions of the American thriller and Japanese horror to create this breath taking thriller. The Masters of Cinema series is proud to present the films UK home video debut in a dual-format edition.
In any normal week, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s almost self-deprecatingly titled film would be a shoo-in for most unnerving watch. But what he concedes to Na Hong-jin’s The Wailing in sheer unrelenting devilry, Kurosawa almost makes up for in virtuosic technique. After a few relatively benign years with the likes of Tokyo Sonata and Journey to the Shore, he makes a return to the goosepimpled values of classic J-horror. Traumatised former homicide detective Hidetoshi Nishijima looks to wipe the slate clean with a new job as a criminology professor and a new home, but when his wife delivers homemade chocolates to the neighbours, there’s something off about Mr Nishino next door. Amazingly attuned to ambience and liminal emotional textures, Kurosawa conveys them with immense subtlety: the soundless crowds, for instance, present behind floor-to-ceiling windows in the backdrops of his interrogation scenes, churning up subconscious unease. Teruyuki Kagawa, superb as Nishino, pupates from leering nuisance to a malignant force in a gripping study of urban isolation and vulnerability: Michael Haneke with a raging migraine.
A spine-tingler about love and death, the allure of mystery and its perils, “Creepy” is the latest from the prolific Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa. True to its English-language title, the movie is thoroughly and utterly creepy, partly because Mr. Kurosawa knows how to slither under your skin, but also because his movies transcend the classifications (and limits) valued by critics and content providers. “Creepy” certainly works — looks and feels — like a horror movie, but it also has the conundrums of a detective story, the emotional currents of a domestic drama and the quickening pulse of a psychological thriller, a combination that creates a kind of destabilization.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Creepy arrives on Blu-ray from The Masters of Cinema group in the UK. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate but the visuals, shot with Arri Alexa XT, are quite dark and green - especially interior shots - which may well be an accurate representation of the production process for all I know. It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp and can look fairly flat. Exteriors are more impressive and better lit scenes show increased vibrant, lush, colors and the 2.39:1 aspect ratio dampened image actually seems to suit the film. This Blu-ray offers an image quality that matches the film's edgy horror elements.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is transferred via a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround with the option of a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (both 24-bit.) There are screams, guns and other effects that carry significant weight in the surround although the separations weren't always crisp head-turners. The film's music is by Yuri Habuka, who has done a lot of TV work in Japan, and it subtly adds another layer to the film's tension. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Extras include a new, 39-minute, interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, entitled Light in a Dark Corner, where he discusses the production (In Japanese with English subtitles.) There is also a Japanese trailer and the package contains a booklet featuring new writings on the film. Being Dual-format a second disc DVD is included.
December 20th, 2016
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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