Based on the award-winning novel by Yutaka Maekawa, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s newest film is a return to the horror hallmarks of his early works. After narrowly escaping with his life after encountering a psychopath, cool and brooding detective (is there any other kind in a Kurosawa film?) Koichi Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) turns in his badge for a fresh start in the suburbs with his wife Yasuko (Yuko Takeuchi). Not quite satisfied with his new position as a criminal psychology professor at the local university, Takakura becomes interested in a cold case involving a missing family and the daughter they left behind. Yasuko tries to befriend her neighbors, only to be bluntly rebuffed until she meets the strange Nishino (a scene-stealing Teruyuki Kagawa). As the plot threads converge, and the mysteries of the past bleed into the present, the film becomes a horrific exercise in Kurosawa’s signature atmosphere and dread. Truly skin-crawling, the film delivers on the promise of its title.
Review: Tokyo Sonata