Sunday, May 31, 2015


There's a Caitlín R. Kiernan quote from The Drowning Girl that sums up this film's subject perfectly so I'll let it do the heavy lifting: “Hauntings are memes, especially pernicious thought contagions, social contagions that need no viral or bacterial host and are transmitted in a thousand different ways."

Kiernan goes on to say that one of those methods of transmission is art and if that's so then Kyoshi Kurosawa is probably responsible for more than a few hauntings. Cure has no jump scares whatsoever but it nonetheless conjures an undercurrent of dread by way of otherwise innocuous things: a repeated routine becomes unnerving when shot from a new set of angles, water creeping across the floor becomes unsettling when it begins to trace a connection from antagonist to victim and conversations are made uncalm when their expected rhythms are disrupted.

In comparison the brutal act of murder is often portrayed a rather banal manner. When it's shown at all it occurs in long shots (as, to be fair, most of the action does) which reduces the impact of gore, is over quickly and is perpetrated against victims who never get a chance to cry out or show obvious signs of distress. I'm not sure whether this is intended to make it feel like a natural, expected outcome of the events leading up to it or whether it's intended to make them more unsettling through perverse means, or both. Whichever it is Cure succeeds admirably.

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