RETRIBUTION | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
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RETRIBUTION

In "Retribution," Detective Yoshioka (Koji Yakusho) heads a serial murder investigation. When Yoshioka`s own fingerprints and some of his personal items are found at the location of the murders as well as on the victims, he begins to wonder if he may be the very murderer that he is pursuing. Even his own memory cannot save him from his suspicions.

Language: Japanese
Subtitle: NA
Classification: 18PL
Release Date: 26 Jul 2007
Genre: Horror / Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN SCREEN CINEMAS
Cast:
Director:
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Watch this if you liked: "Audition", "The Cure"

Whoa - what just happened there?! J-horror maestro Kiyoshi Kurosawa ("The Cure") makes "Retribution" one of the best psychological horrors to have reached us this year outside the art house screens.

The skinny: Yashioka (Koji Yakusho) plays a highly-strung Tokyo detective who is faced with strange murders - all victims die by drowning in salt water, although they may be found in shallow puddles of mud. His mental state gets worse when evidence from the crime scenes, like a trench coat button and yellow electrical wires, seem to suggest that he is the killer. His police colleagues even dismiss his fingerprints being found on one corpse as a procedural error. Things get a little harder to deny when an apparition haunts him, claiming to be the ghost of the dead woman he first investigated.

I'll have to stop there because this is not your standard spook fest like "The Ring" which gives the audience clear solutions and easy access to the story. On one level you could say it's an offbeat thriller in the same vein as "Audition", a sort of ambiguous horror with long and unusually quiet takes. Yet another way to look at it would be to view it as a Bergman-esque character study, a sort of meditative depiction of a man plagued by guilt and stress. Are ghosts merely hallucinations of a frail, damaged mind? Or supernatural entities which are attracted to disbelieving cynics?

The Japanese title for this translates into "The Scream" and you can expect to be disturbed by loud screeching wails in the film. There are many excellent scenes for film students to marvel at - how situations are often resolved in the unlikeliest manner by an anti-climax. The recurring metaphor of stagnant water isn't easy to put a finger on either. In terms of effects, I'd like to think that the apparitions are necessarily cliched and unconvincing, so as to lend credit to the 'is-that-a-ghost' motif. The women in "Retribution" are beautiful but very creepy, if only because they never fit in with their surroundings. Koji Yakusho (best known to Malaysian audiences for his roles in "Babel" and "Memoirs Of A Geisha") turns in another detachedly intense performance as the haunted detective.

Do not expect a thrill-a-minute horror like the recent Thai "Alone". You won't have to think much for that one. In "Retribution", you can expect something uneasy, peculiar and sometimes very, very clever.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008

   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P12 - Parental guidance required for audiences under the age of 12.
13 - For audiences aged 13 years old and above.
16 - For audiences aged 16 years old and above.
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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