Doppelganger (2003)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Black Comedy, Psychological Thriller  |   Run Time - 113 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Synopsis by Josh Ralske

Yuka (Hiromi Nagasaku) is an attractive young woman whose brother has recently died under mysterious circumstances. Shortly before his untimely death, Yuka got her first glimpse of his double, who has since moved into their apartment and taken his place. Hayasaki (Koji Yakusho) is a brilliant but mercurial scientist obsessed with perfecting a robot chair for the disabled, with wheels and mechanical arms that are supposed to function according to the "will" of the user. In his single-mindedness, he harangues his underlings and aggravates his employer, who is focused on the bottom line. After a co-worker tells Hayasaki about Yuka's experience, he finds himself being stalked by a doppelganger. At first, he thinks he is doomed, like Yuka's brother, and tries to avoid his double. Eventually, he loses his job, and control of his invention, and the doppelganger steps in to take care of everything. The double trashes Hayasaki's former lab, stealing the robot chair so the scientist can continue his work. The double also hires a young thug, Kimishima (Yusuke Santamaria), to work for them. The double says Kimishima is "just dumb enough not to find us alarming." But Hayasaki's fears come to the fore when the double takes advantage of Yuka's interest in him. And when his former employer, Aoki (Masahiro Toda), now disgraced, comes looking for a piece of the robot-chair action, the scientist finds himself uncertain who to trust. Doppelganger, a dark comedy directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure) from a script by Kurosawa and Ken Furusawa, was shown at the 2004 Rotterdam Film Festival.



chair, doppelganger, invention, laboratory, scientist, stalking