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Akumu Tantei 2

Nightmare Detective 2

Japan 2008
produced by
Kaijyu Theater, Movie-Eye Entertainment
directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
starring Ryuhei Matsuda, Yui Miura, Hanae Kan, Miwako Ichikawa, Toshiyuki Kitami, Wako Ando, Hatsune Matsushima, Ken Mitsuishi, Shungiku Uchida
written by Shinya Tsukamoto, Hisakatsu Kuroki, music by Shinichi Kawahara, Chu Ishikawa

Nightmare Detective

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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15 year old Yukie (Yui Miura) has been plagued by nightmares lately, just like her best friends at school. But when they start to die, she begins to see a connection, and soon enough she finds a culprit too, Yuko (Hanae Kan), whom she and her friends have been bullying.

Yukie turns to Kyoichi Kagenuma (Ryuhei Matsuda), the nightmare detective who has the unique ability to enter other people's nightmares - but Kagenuma turns her pleas for help down, mainly because he is plagued by nightmares of his own lately, nightmares about his mother (Miwako Ichikawa), who has hanged herself when he still was a little boy but has come back to haunt him ever since. But as time progresses, Yukie's case becomes more and more a subject of his own nightmares as well, and ultimately he offers his help after all, also because Yukie reminds him of his mother.

Entering Yukie's nightmares, Kagenuma can't but notice the similarities between his and her dreams, above all else omnipresent images of water and drowning, but it is when he (in the nightmare) saves Yuko from hanging herself - something he failed to do back in the day when his mother hanged herself and he, a pre-teen boy, didn't have the capabilities of doing - that brings tehe change, and after that, Yukie's safe from her classmate's vengeance. But mommy still appears in his nightmares to haunt Kagenuma ...

 

What's true for the first Nightmare Detective is true here as well: Shinya Tsukamoto is best when he is making movies without narrative constrictions, when he is pinned down by genre formulas on the other hand, like he is here, his work is just average. Sure, Nightmare Detective 2 is competently made as far as the craft of moviemaking goes, but there's nothing beyond that, quite the contrary, the film has very little to distinguish itself from other, similar Japanese horror movies by lesser directors, and sometimes their films are even better than Tsukamoto's.

That said, Nightmare Detective 2 is not too bad a film, but it's definitely not a movie that Tsukamoto could have become famous with either.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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