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A minor cult favourite Stateside but virtually unknown here, Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation) is prolific but erratic, his efforts at endowing genre fare with metaphor and metaphysical speculation often making for incoherence. Here, in a notably depopulated Japanese city, a florist’s assistant is worried when one of her colleagues kills himself and another disappears; meanwhile, a technophobe student befriends a computer expert after receiving spooky images from a website. Cue creepy suspense, often tricky to follow but clearly reflecting concerns about ghosts in the machine, viral infection and different levels of reality; presumably the frequently bizarre behaviour of the young folk is deliberate, underlining an idea of death as literally another form of life. There are nicely uncanny moments – Kurosawa’s use of space and shadow is especially effective – but finally the ruminations on our fundamental solitude (why live? why die?) is the stuff of adolescent angst. Apocalyptic pretensions aside, it remains a tale of youngsters needlessly entering darkened rooms, being trapped by tight framing and menaced by a wailing soundtrack.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday February 3 2006
Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Cast: Haruhiko Kato
Kumiko Aso
Koyuki
Kurume Arisaka
Masatoshi Matsuo
Shinji Takeda
Koji Yakusho
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