With this unnerving work of slow-burn horror, Japanese auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa took the now-familiar premise of the serial killer movie and spun it into a reflection on obsession and self control. A detective (Koji Yakusho) trailing a series of murders in Tokyo finds that a different person has confessed to each gruesome killing—an X has been cut into the throats of the victims. Yet none of them can explain their motives. Kurosawa eschews shock effects for something more hypnotic, keeping his audience at a distance, teasing out tension through unsettlingly calm atmosphere and impeccable sound design.

Playing as part of our Bong Joon Ho retrospective, January 7-14. See showtimes & get tickets.