Horror / Mystery / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6.4 10 2,453


Downloaded times
October 12, 2020


Kôji Yakusho as Noboru Yoshioka
Tsuyoshi Ihara as Tôru Miyaji
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
954.67 MB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
104 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.92 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
104 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by UberNoodle 8 / 10 / 10

Another excellent example of Japanese horror to be misunderstood and rejected by the masses

I am a huge fan of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's work and I also greatly admire Koji Yakusho as well. Ironically it was his performance in Warai no Daigaku cemented my admiration. None the less, seeing both of these talented people partner up for a film filled me with anticipation. Before seeing Sakebi I knew that it would not be along the lines of other genre mates like Juon or Chakushinari. I also knew that the film would be carried over to the West on the wings of Hollywood remake hype and be marketed as the "scariest thing ever". Well those advertising execs have to learn that the definition of "scary" in the West, particularly nowadays, is a heck of a lot more literal and straight to the point: the ghost appears, augmented by all manner of cgi effects, just in case we didn't realise her nature, and then cue loud audio cue, "boo!". Was it as scary for you as it was for me? It also seems that knowing everything that there possibly is to know about a ghost apparently makes the whole situation more frightening. It exasperates me that today's spoon-fed audience chalk up anything inexplicable or mysterious about a film as bad writing and direction. As far as these viewers are concerned, mysteries are OK as long as they are smart enough to work them out, crying out "I didn't pay to be confused" as they eject the DVD in perplexed disgust. Which leads me to the film in question. The tag-line "There is no escape from the ultimate retribution" should have been saved for the next regurgitation of Friday The 13th. A film such as Sakebi deserves promotion targeting a much more sophisticated audience. Where are the people that enjoyed Don't Look Now, one of most effective and haunting supernatural thrillers ever made? They aren't going to see a film with a tag-line that could have been made from some university student's Internet horror tag-line generator. But it seems that I have typed so much and barely touched on the film itself. I won't go into the story more than just to say that it revolves around the investigation into a series of similar murders occurring largely in and around the coastal landfill and reclamation areas of Tokyo. This setting lends the film a strong sense of isolation, and the characters reflect that. Thematically, Sakebi deals with loneliness and abandonment, which while not new for the horror genre, Kurosawa gives them a breath of life. There is much about this film that strays from genre trappings, and there is perhaps equally as much that stays within them. However, ultimately this is a Kiyoshi Kurosawa film and it isn't going to appeal to everyone. Its stillness and reflection will turn off many viewers, as will its unwillingness to lift the curtain and expose the workings of story. Terrible acts shown in long shots give us a feeling of helpless voyeurism, with no fast editing or closeups to remind us that we are watching a film. The film's score is so unobtrusive that I can't really recall even hearing it, and most of the film is on a background of ambient sound. But perhaps it is Kurosawa's trademark of staying with the characters and rejecting the God's Eye View of the story that will perplex and affront viewers the most. There is an expectation that at least we should be let in on the secret and know more than the characters do. We are smarter than they are, aren't we? But why should we know? Life is full of mysteries, irrationality and actions with unknown motives. We can't even explain why a man kills his whole family and them himself, so how can we hope to know the motivations of a restless spirit. I think that this touches on something important: people WANT to know why people do terrible things and the confessions of a ghost are the ultimate revelation. Horror, like science fiction are so often reflections of the fears and insecurities of our time. We can't explain the tragedies around us, but maybe through the genre of horror we can try to come to terms with them. On the other hand, for some reason, more than likely cultural, Japanese horror does away with the naivety that we could somehow fathom the ultimate mysteries of death. Instead it shows us something bleak and inevitable, far beyond our knowledge and understanding. Something that has transcended our existence, yet profoundly affects us. Japanese horror reminds us that we don't have as tight a grip on the universe as we like to believe, and that bothers some people.

Reviewed by Coventry 7 / 10 / 10

Lady in Red ... Is Messing With Me!

Having seen "Cure" and "Kairo", I was prepared for another mildly confusing and oddly structured film from Kiyoshi Kurasawa, but the man really surpassed himself here! "Retribution" is downright freaking weird!! Not just the 'I don't get it' kind of weird, but inexplicably uncanny, haunting and perplexing. Kurasawa's style and stories already were a class above the rest of the Asian supernatural horror-industry, but "Retribution" might even be his absolute best effort to date. It's an engaging thriller with an extremely charismatic protagonist (director's favorite Kôji Yakusho), a continuously tense atmosphere and a handful of genuinely creepy moments that are guaranteed to send cold shivers down your spine. Summarizing the plot accurately is a nearly impossible task to accomplish, but I'll try anyway. In a relatively short span of time, inspector Yoshioka and his colleagues of the Tokyo police have to investigate three macabre murders where the victims were drowned in saltwater. The modus operandi is identical in all three cases, but there's no connection to be found between the victims and – moreover – the culprits aren't difficult to track down. Yoshioka arrests three different killers that immediately confess their crimes, but can't give a proper explanation for what it was that drove them to kill or why they specifically drowned their victims in saltwater. The more Yoshioka investigates the three murders, the more the evidence points out that he himself might be an important suspect. He's definitely guilty of something, as he's soon stalked by the creepy appearance of the first murder victim. The girl is dressed in a bright red dress and produces chilly screams that pierce you to the very marrow. "Retribution" is slow-paced and soberly filmed, but somehow Kurasawa manages to hold your attention simply with great dialogs and intriguing character drawings. There's no gore and not even that much action, but the tone of the film is constantly ominous and the Lady in Red is at least 10 times scarier than all the eerie kids of "Ringu", "Phone", "The Grudge" and all the other phony ghost-appearances in Asian thrillers combined! "Retribution" is an impeccably stylish and well-made film, containing enchanting photography and flawless editing as well as atmospheric music and great acting. The script is stuffed with ingenious little plot-details (like the constant wave of earthquakes and the significance of the saltwater) and the talented Yakusho is always a joy to behold. However, exactly like in "Cure", the exaggeratedly complexity towards the end of the film nearly ruins the whole viewing experience. I said it before and I'll say it again: just ONCE I'd like to see a Japanese occult-thriller that doesn't leave me scratching my head after the final denouement. The events in "Retribution" were fairly comprehensible for about three quarters of the movie, but then suddenly it seemed like everyone involved in the production lost interest and just came up with the most confusing finale imaginable.

Reviewed by super_renske 7 / 10 / 10

A Japanese detective discovers there is more to a series of killings

I saw this movie at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The movie was announced as being "horror for those who did not like horror". I was afraid it would be a typical Japanese horror, with creepy sounds, dark colors and mean ghosts. Now, there was a ghost and annoying sounds (the title in Japanese means "the scream"). But there was more. The main character is a detective, who investigates murders in Tokyo. It seems like there is a serial killer out, because the murders have the same method of killing. But then he gets haunted by what seems to be the first victim. The movie evolves from solving a crime and catching a murderer to a search for mysterious connections. It may not all seem to make sense, there is an explanation in the end. Maybe not satisfying enough for some, but I don't think the explanation is the whole point of the movie. There remains a vibe of mystery. If you come in expecting a typical American horror, you surely will be disappointed. But if you like some dark, Japanese mystery, including some scares, you will certainly enjoy this one.

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