Seance (2000) movie poster

director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
viewed: 03/08/2017

Made for Japanese television, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Seance is derived from the same source novel that became the 1962 British film Séance on a Wet Afternoon.

A husband and wife Koji Yakusho and Jun Fubuki are living their lives, totally normally. That is if the husband is a sound engineer and the wife is a psychic with real powers who occasionally works as a waitress. Totally normal.

When a child victim of a kidnapping escapes and stows away in a case for sound recording, the couple find themselves with a problem. First the girl seems dead. Then the girl is alive. What to do? Call the police? That would be insanity! Right? Totally normal.

One thing leads to another, but there are lots of questions, for me at least. Like wouldn’t the case have felt heavier with a little girl inside? Why wouldn’t a normal person take a little girl to the police or hospital? Though later a plan emerges to sort of address the latter question, it troubles the story. Apparently in the British film, the kidnapping was planned by the couple, they didn’t accidentally do it. Which seems to make more sense.

All said, it’s a decent enough film. Well-framed and shot if full of weird plot holes.