This efficient but routine thriller from the director of ‘The Ring’ has been sitting on the shelves since 1999. Hitchcockian to the core, it concerns the kidnapping of banker Komiyama’s (Ken Mitsuishi) wife Saori (Miki Nakatani) by a young handyman (Masato Hagiwara), and from that simple premise soon slips into a whirlwind of blackmail, deceit and double-cross, with an undercurrent of psychosexual role-playing. Nakata handles the material dexterously, using unannounced flashbacks to keep the audience on their toes, but never leaving them so far behind the twists that they can’t appreciate an excellent turn by Nakatini as the unhinged, manipulative Saori. Indeed, it all unfolds with such precision that the greatest shock comes when it becomes clear that Nakata doesn’t quite know how to end things. A slack final ten minutes aside, this is a fine, if ultimately unfulfilling, exercise in thrills by rote.
|Release date:||Friday October 22 2004|
Cast and crew