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    "X" and violence

    The Japanese mystery thriller "Cure" features a killer who leaves his victims marked with an "X" — even after he's been arrested.


    In this Japanese film, a mysterious young drifter (played by Masato Hagiwara) hypnotizes people and compels them to commit grisly murders.

    Written and directed by: Kiyoshi Kurosawa.
    Cast: Yoriko Douguchi, Masato Hagiwara, Anna Nakagawa, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Koji Yakusho.
    In Japanese with English subtitles.
    2001 Asian American International Film Festival

    Chinatown Files
    Joint Security Area
    Official site
    In each case, the murder victim is slashed with a large, deep "X" across their neck and chest. The murderer always remains near the scene of the crime but cannot recall what happened. The drifter's method of hypnotism is to ask the subject questions about themselves — an innocent "Who are you?" is the first step into the trap.

    The detective investigating the case (played by Koji Yakusho of "Shall We Dance?") is tormented by the drifter's hypnotic abilities at the same time he is disturbed by his wife's downward spiral into mental illness (she turns the washing machine on when it's empty, serves him a raw steak for dinner and gets lost on the way home from the convenience store).

    When the detective tries to interrogate the drifter, his questions are only met with more questions, which frustrates the detective into a rage. Although the drifter is in custody, the murders still happen and the mystery increases as does the ire of the detective.

    Tense and engrossing, "Cure" is an involving crime drama and a moody thriller. The performances have depth and color: Masato Hagiwara's drifter exudes a spacey pallor and Koji Yakusho's detective has a hard-boiled broodingness which evaporates into a tenderness when he is with his wife. The confrontations between the detective and drifter are explosive and the ending may leave you scratching your head.

    JULY 19, 2001

    Reader comments on Cure:

  • Cure shocked and thrilled me   from Jason, Oct 22, 2001
  • Weird   from Jordan, Dec 7, 2001
  • This is a great film...   from Chris, Mar 7, 2002
  • "The Cure"   from Don, Jun 12, 2002
  • Re: "The Cure"   from Pat McLaughlin, Jun 19, 2003
  • THE WORST IS THE END   from Pat McLaughlin, Jun 19, 2003
  • Re: THE WORST IS THE END   from , Sep 18, 2003
  • THE WORST IS THE END   from dave, Apr 17, 2004
  • Re: THE WORST IS THE END   from medjemme, Jun 28, 2004
  • The question of Identity in "Cure"   from Danuta, Sep 23, 2005
  • So lost!   from james, Jan 17, 2006

  • Post a comment on "Cure"