Seance (2000)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller, Supernatural Thriller  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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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 unfortunately 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." As the film progresses, their plan goes awry and the child meets a bad end. Junco's abilities boomerang on her, and soon she and Katsuhiko are haunted by the ghost of the girl. Noted stars Yukari Ishida and Show Aikawa make cameos. This film was screened at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.




medium [psychic], clairvoyance, con-artist, kidnapping