1 November 2005 | flickhead
Cold, Clinical & Creepy - Highly Recommended!
Tokyo Psycho is a very atmospheric telling of recent events involving the "Otaku" murders in Tokyo, Japan. It benefits from fine performances and chilling set pieces, but most of all from an almost medical sparseness. The cinematography takes full advantage of the very bare set design, which includes a lot of concrete and wood to create a claustrophobic intensity that director Oikawa exploits to maximum effect. I haven't seen a film with such an insidious use of music (which is to say almost none) since Todd Browning's Dracula, and yet the ambient noises that create a sonic background score are both sublime and disturbing, much like the film itself. The story follows a a pretty, young designer who is receiving obsessive love letters from an unknown admirer who she may or may not know. These letters quickly escalate to include body parts and threats, and the author of these valentines quickly becomes her assailant. The use of the DV video format makes the viewer feel like a voyeur to the terrors that unfold, and invokes a David Lynchian atmosphere of dread and suffocation while utilizing mainly daylight locations. In many ways the mood of the film is acid-trippy with sudden bursts of violence & tenderness in places where each is least expected. This is not a film for the "Boo!" crowd, as the disturbing nature of the unfolding narrative is creepier than it is scary, but this serves to indelibly imprint that mood and theme on the viewers psyche for weeks after viewing. Recommended.