Retribution (aka Sakebi, 2006): 4/5
I always get a kick out of watching Japanese horror films for the sole reason that they are almost always consistently weird. The Japanese do the most marvelous things with horror movies these days. Take this film Retribution, for instance, by Kurosawa Kiyoshi. (I am always reminded of the girl who falls from the building all in a single take every time I hear about the guy).
Retribution is a modern-day ghost story/serial-killer mystery about a detective who soon becomes the subject of his own investigation. It’s a simple premise, really, a typical whodunit but Kurosawa skews it with haunting sequences and weirdo twists and turns along the way. The camera assumes a sort of voyeuristic role with long long takes taken from long shots with sound effects and music at a minimum. There’s an obvious eerieness throughout the whole film but I am unsure of how to feel. Am I supposed to find it funny when the randomly-appearing-ghost-woman-in-red-dress exits doors, hovers about, and then flies into the horizon just like Neo? It’s consistently surreal- watch it till the end (the part involving a water pan), trust me, the final twist reveals everything that you’ll think is seen far from the truth.
You can hate or love this film, but you’d have to agree it works on so many levels. But it doesn’t really matter, does it? Kurosawa ties it all up and makes the film into what it ought to be- a freakish ghost movie,.. whoohoooo! ;p