04/101. Pulse (Kairo, 2001)
Dir.: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
eerie (comparative eerier, superlative eeriest)
If any film ever deserved that adjective, this is Kairo. Not spooky, not scary… but eerie, strangely unnerving, bending the notion of natural and supernatural that feels almost too real; with someting too weird to be named always lurking around, hovering in the air, weighing the atmosphere.
With steady, patient direction, and static framing shots, typical of the 2000’s j-horror wave, Kiyoshi Kurosawa might as well have created the absolute masterpiece of the subgenre. You can’t say this movie has a lot of scares; but fear, discomfort, desolation… these we have by lots.
Starting from an obscure premise, Kairo works with the anguishes of interpersonal relationships in the dawn of the Information Age, when nobody quite understood what the Internet was. And what an anguish! It builds from middle to finish and stretches like an elastic strap that’s never gonna break.
Held together by an immersive soundtrack (seminal to later pieces of art, notably Silent Hill), the film digs your subconscious with every scene, for as long as they might extend — and maybe that’s a reason it wouldn’t please every audience.
Carrière, french screenwriter, said that there are films that are dead by birth: they have little, if anything at all, to dialogue with their time. Exact 20 years after it’s release, though, Kairo remains alive and relevant, with all of its ghosts.
How ‘bout you? Would you life to see a real ghost? 🦉🐋
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