Blu-Ray Review: Cure

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is undoubtedly one of the greatest living Japanese directors. With Tokyo Sonata and Journey to the Shore he released two of the most impressive Japanese art-house films of the 21st Century. However, that’s not even half the story. That was just a sabbatical from what he does best; genre cinema. Indeed, my favourite horror film of all time in Kairo (Pulse). In many ways Cure was the precursor to it. It gets inside you and doesn’t let go.

Kenichi Takabe (Kōji Yakusho) is struggling to cope with the needs of his mentally unstable wife (Anna Nakagawa) and carrying out his job as a police detective. His mental state becomes increasingly strained when he starts investigating a series of strange murders. The perpetrators are all found near to the scene of the crime but none of them has a motive. Working alongside a psychologist (Sakuma-Tsuyoshi Ujiki) he determines that the common thread is a mysterious man (Mamiya-Masato Hagiwara) who came into contact with them all shortly before the crime.

Cure is a psychological thriller which gets inside your head and refuses to loosen its grip. Kurosawa shrouds everything in a deep pall of mystery. Kenichi is a progressively more unreliable focal point and as his relationship with Sakuma becomes increasingly fraught, it’s hard to know who to trust. Throw Mamiya’s short-term memory-loss into the mix and he’s made a film which not only disturbs and confounds but also intrigues. Cure is a descent into madness and a remarkable work of genre cinema.

Special features:

  • Limited Edition O-Card (First print run only)
  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray, with a progressive encode on the DVD
  • Original Japanese Stereo audio (Uncompressed LPCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa on Cure (17 mins) – a new video interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • A new video interview with critic & author Kim Newman
  • An archival interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A 24-PAGE booklet featuring an essay by Asian cinema expert Tom Mes

Cure is released on dual format (DVD & Blu-ray) by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on 23 April.

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