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Nightmare Detective 2

(Akumu Tantei 2)
Sponsored by: Soundbeat Radio

Canadian Premiere

  • Japan 2008
  • 102 min
  • 35mm
  • Japanese with English subtitles
Official Selection, Pusan International Film Festival 2008
Official Selection, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2009

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“Gives an extraordinary view on both fear and grief, managing not only to move me out of my seat but also to, you know, MOVE me” — Ard Vijn, TWITCH

"Caméra portée et éclairage blafard amplifient une ambiance déjà pesante et malsaine en conférant au métrage l’aspect d’un bad trip" — Evil Seb, CINEMAFANTASTIQUE.NET

“Tsukamoto relentlessly shakes the audience out of its objectivity and into his phantasmagorical world” — Mark Schilling, THE JAPAN TIMES


Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Screenplay: Shinya Tsukamoto, Hisakatsu Kuroki
Cast: Ryuhei Matsuda, Yui Miura, Hanae Kan, Hatsune Matsushima, Wako Ando
Producers: Shinya Tsukamoto, Takeshi Koide
Distributor: Movie Eye Entertainment


If you find yourself, every night, with a busload of ghosts drifting around your abode, and a woman’s floating phantom tormenting you in your bed, who are you going to call? That’s right, Kyoichi Kagemuna, better known as the Nightmare Detective! Problem is, it’s Kyoichi himself who’s plagued by these bad dreams. His buried past has caught up with him—and how. His was a particularly traumatic childhood—around the age of 4, sitting at the dinner table with his parents one night, his mother suddenly stiffened, stared straight at him and exclaimed, “I’m afraid!” What followed was a bout of violent hysteria, and later, she would hang herself. Thus, when Yukie solicits Kyoichi’s help in ridding herself of nightmares in which she’s bedevilled by Kikukawa, a classmate she and her friends once did wrong by, the sleuth quickly turns her down. Given her persistence, and moreover the evidence that Kikukawa and Kyoichi’s own late mother shared particular behaviour, he allows himself to be drawn in—but when mixes business and serious personal troubles, things rarely work out as planned.

Shinya Tsukamoto is a filmmaker who’s loomed large through Fantasia’s history. From TOKYO FIST through NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE, he’s thrilled and delighted our crowds and helped bring us to where we are today. It’s therefore with great honour that we present NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 2, but please be advised, this sequel is about as much like its predecessor as Quebec’s Carnival is like that of Rio. Tsukamoto delivers a profound psychoanalysis of his character, blurring the distinction between horror him and incisive psychological drama. Which isn’t to say that NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 2 isn’t intensely frightening. It digs deep into the tropes of J-horror while bringing in touches of the experimental, the symbolic and the grotesque—it’s Tsukamoto, after all. It even manages to match RINGU at points, and boasts hallucinatory sound effects and nervous camera work. The sound work deserves special note, as does the performance of Ryuhei Matsuda as the film’s difficult antihero. Don’t miss this chance to witness Tsukamoto’s latest self-reinvention!

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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