After a wave of disappearances strike a small Japanese town, a disgraced cop-turned-professor begins to harbor suspicions about his socially graceless neighbor. Prepare to feel uneasy about basements for a good long while.

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Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa had a remarkable run of social horror films around the turn of the millennium, most notably the masterful lonesome cyber-ghost story Pulse. Although Creepy can’t entirely shake the mid-movie loginess of his last few projects, it otherwise feels like a monster comeback, finding the collective uncomfortable spot of the audience in the first minutes—dear Lord, that one early overhead shot—and then steadily applying pressure throughout.

While the needle-phobic probably need not apply, the terrific performances (Yūko Takeuchi is exceptional as the teacher’s far-too-gracious wife), subaudible soundtrack drones, and a few discomfiting stabs of gallows humor make this more than live up to its title. With every perfectly composed frame, the sense of something horribly off only grows. recommended