Retribution (2006) review

Netflix Streaming has really changed the way I watch movies. Before I used to do a little research on a movie and try to find the weirdest and best little movies to watch.
With streaming, I’m now actively searching for films I know nothing about. If the movie is useless or unwatchable, I can move on after 10 minutes or so. The payoff, of course, is when I find a riveting film I knew nothing about. Last week it was the Swedish film, Perfectly Happy, and this week it’s the J-horror film, Retribution.

Like most J-horror a raven-haired pale ghost is involved, but the set-up and tone is pure noir. A detective soon realizes he may have committed the murder he’s investigating, but doesn’t know how or why he did it or even who the victim is. Then, similar murders start piling up and, of course, everything goes strange.
Unlike most films in the genre, the film making is mostly realistic. The dreams are played straight and the setting is post-industrial between the decay of Japan’s better days and the building up of a future that obviously will never really arrive. I like films that seem to take place entirely on the edge of town, no matter how far you go. Yea, the fantastical and blurry happens at the edge of the screen, the drives are needlessly green screened and the red-dressed succubus is often mirrored or partially blocked, but the forefront is drab and persistently downbeat to highlight the psychological over the supernatural.
Also, most of the movie takes place in the day time which is different than most of the muddy and too dark offerings of the genre.
Plot-wise, I saw a lot of the payoff coming, but the movie had enough going on tonally to keep me unsure of the outcomes.

Overall, hoo-ray! The movie has the effect of a slight nyquill overdose or a thick-headed day and that’s a good thing.

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