Séance Kourei こうれい 高齢 (2001)

This is a TV film made on a whim for Kansai TV execs who wanted to cash-in on the J-horror craze started by Hideo Nakata’s Ringu, it says a lot about the quality of its director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, that Séance uses intellectual and cinematic rigorousness to create a compelling character study light on scares and more about a seemingly normal couple buffeted by the supernatural and feelings of alienation and aimlessness borne from their frustrated ambitions and failed family life.

Junko Sato (Jun Fubuki) is a psychic medium who is married to a sound effects engineer named Koji (Koji Yakusho). After a university turns down the opportunity to test her abilities, Junko finds herself returning to normality doing occasional séances for others. When a girl named Yoko is kidnapped the police call upon Junko to assist their investigation. Meanwhile Koji is in the woods collecting sound effects, his equipment surrounding him. Also in the woods is Yoko who, whilst fleeing her kidnapper, locks herself in Koji’s equipment case. Koji returns home transporting the girl home with him. He leaves the case in the garage for some days and it isn’t until Junko senses Yoko that they find her unconscious. Fearing that the police would never believe the coincidence and sensing an opportunity to exercise her psychic abilities in a far grander manner, Junko hatches a plot to keep Yoko in their home whilst she feeds information and evidence to the police leading to Yoko’s eventual rescue. The plan soon goes wrong.

Jun Fubuki conducts a Seance

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