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Seance (2000)

Cast: Koji Yakusho, Jun Fubuki, Ittoku Kishibe, more...
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Genre: Foreign
Running Time: 97 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
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The Sixth Sense and A Simple Plan by way of Martin Heidegger, this genre-bending thriller is directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Katsuhiko (Koji Yakusho) is a mild-mannered sound-technician who is married to Junco (Jun Fubuki). While at first glance Junco seems to be an average hausfrau, she possesses great clairvoyant powers. Though she has slowly and quietly built a reputation as a medium, she proves to be completely incapable of working in a normal service industry job; she has the unfortunate tendency of being able to see the crimes of her patrons. Katsuhiko is aware of her unusual abilities but prefers to think of her as "normal." Young psychology graduate student Hayakawa (Teuyoshi Kusanagi) invites Junco to join his study on the paranormal. At the same time, the police are desperately searching for a young girl who was kidnapped by an ex-cop turned pervert. At Hayakawa's behest, the cops consult with Junco as to the child's whereabouts. Ironically enough, the girl escapes her captor and takes refuge in Katsuhiko's equipment case while he records sounds in the mountains. The next day, Junco's psychic sonar goes off and she discovers the missing child in their garage. This freak happenstance awakens a long-dormant ambition in Junco: convinced that her discovery was not a striking enough find, she hatches an ill-conceived scheme to make it seem more dramatic. While Katsuhiko tends to the unconscious girl, Junco scatters clues throughout the western suburbs of Tokyo and then informs the police of her psychic "insights." ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Logic Goes Out the Window by talltale June 4, 2005 - 2:47 PM PDT
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Among Japanese scare-fests, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's SÉANCE is one of the worst. It's a not a matter of simply suspending one's disbelief here: Instead, you'll need to take that disbelief, lock it in the closet, and then bomb the house.

The characters behave so stupidly in most ways that the film becomes nearly unbearable. One major example should suffice. A sound technician takes all his equipment, packed in a trunk, into the woods to record. A child, unseen by him, closes herself in the trunk, and he takes the trunk back home. Hello: how unusually heavy would that trunk be when he tries to pick it up? Further, when he goes to reload his equipment into the trunk, what will happen? Don't bother to answer becasue this utterly stupid film dispenses entirely with simple logic in order to proceed with its plot.

Truly, the movie is so irredeemably dumb that it may have you questioning Kurosawa's other work, wondering if his penchant for non-sequiturs and confusion is really less "art" than it is the inability to think straight. Because I have enjoyed many of his other movies, I would like to hold out for art. "Seance" makes this holdout awfully difficult.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.80)
40 Votes
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Dark Wave
SF Horror Festival, 1999-2002, R.I.P. (appears to have moved to LA Film fest in 2004)

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