Creepy – original title: クリーピー “Creepy: Fake Neighbour” – is a 2016 Japanese psychological thriller directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi (Sweet Home; Pulse; Cure) from a screenplay co-written with Chihiro Ikeda, based on the 2012 novel of the same title by Yutaka Maekawa.
Criminal psychologist Takakura (Nishijima Hidetoshi) is investigating a family’s disappearance six years earlier. Meanwhile, Takakura and his wife Yasuko (Yûko Takeuchi) have moved into a new house next door to friendly neighbour Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa), his sick wife (Misaki Saisho) and teenage daughter (Ryoko Fujino).
Things take a turn for the strange when the daughter, Mio, one day jumps into Takaura’s house and states that the man she is living with is not her father but a complete stranger…
” … the film becomes more obvious and less psychological as it goes on. Kurosawa is not a gore lover, and there is nothing to cringe over when things heat up. On the other hand, the last-reel revelations, awkwardly doled out as the victims multiply uncontrollably, are more repulsive than scary.” Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
“As the film gets into gear, the direction from Kurosawa begins to come into play, reminding you why he is considered a legend of J-horror. The framing and theatricality shown in some sequences are hypnotic, and constant close-ups of holding hands showing Takakura and Yasuko’s contrived affection are mirrored wonderfully later on when similar shots are shown to reveal a character’s evil intent.” Drew Tinnin, Dread Central
“The horror finally spills out around 90 minutes into the film, and it’s guaranteed to make the sight of any large plastic bag utterly cringe-worthy. Notwithstanding various improbabilities — like how easy it is to evade the police, who never think of calling for reinforcements — the film supplies a headlong rush of tension and cruelty all the way to a gratifying final payoff.” Maggie Lee, Variety
“When the film shifts into territory less Hitchcockian than Lynchian – with a touch of Park Chan-wook’s Asian Gothic – the quiet confidence of Kurosawa’s approach has paid off, allowing him to vault into this more intense register. It’s not all just ghoulish fun, though: there’s a serious subtext here involving everyday evil…” Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
“As with all of Kurosawa’s offerings, Creepy is pristinely shot and scored. Kagawa’s performance as Nishino is often charmingly neurotic, its unsettling nature far more human than most filmic monsters. He is frighteningly similar to those neighbors and acquaintances we’ve all had, and might like to forget.” Teresa Nieman, Screen Anarchy