The story follows former detective Koichi Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) as he takes a job as a university professor after leaving the police force. He and his wife Yasuko (Yuko Takeuchi) start a new life in a new neighborhood. Their efforts to befriend their neighbors gets off to a rocky start when they introduce themselves to the awkward and weird Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa). Still having the urges of a detective, Takakura and Nogami (Masahiro Higashide), a former colleague, begin to look into an unsolved case of a missing family. The further they progress in their investigation, the more Takakura notices similarities between elements of the old case and his new neighbor.
“How can you be so inhuman?”
Creepy is a cross between a David Fincher film and The ‘Burbs, minus the pacing and charm. It’s an homage to the type of mid-90s thrillers most notably associated with David Spader or David Duchovny. At best, the story pokes along. Thirty minutes in and the viewer isn’t much further along than when the film began. And when the story does start to unfold, it makes little sense.
The plot is tenuously hung on coincidence. For example, there is one scene in which Takakura and Nogami visit the house of the family who mysteriously disappeared. The daughter, and sole living family member, who hasn’t lived there in a half dozen years or more, just happens to be standing outside the residence staring at it at the same time they randomly pull up to investigate. (Cue eye roll.)
The film barfs out the revelation of what is actually happening at about the 90-minute marker. It makes no sense. As in, ZERO. A character makes a leap from A to Z that is utterly illogical and baffling. (I must say, however, I enjoyed the film quite a bit more from this point on because I stopped attempting to figure it out and simply laughed at it.)
There is nothing subtle about this movie. From the on the nose title to the ham-handed performance by suspected baddie Teruyuki Kagawa, Creepy slowly chokes on its own obviousness. Kagawa certainly looks the part of a villain. Unfortunately, he also plays it at 100 MPH. There is no nuance or grace to the performance. He is so over-the-top with his portrayal of the…wait for it…creepy Nishino that it reads as a swerve.
Historically, thrillers like Basic Instinct or Se7en are viewed as a ton of fun. It’s hard not to love a little murder and intrigue. Creepy, however, comes up short. Instead of compelling, it’s mostly just, well, dumb.
-Zep the Bear