Kiyoshi Kurosawa is very, very good at creating an atmosphere. He makes extremely creepy movies that cling to your brain for a long time, not resorting to shocks and gore to get his scares for the most part. In Retribution, the moments that work best are those that use the eeriness to good effect. When the ghost appears, subtly, in mirrors, in backgrounds, in shadows, it gives me shivers. When it pops out of nowhere in a flash, or slides forward with a pale aura and bug eyes, it just seems cheezy and dull.
Still, I think this is one of his better films--not the masterpiece that Pulse was, but still very good. The central mystery is relatively straight forward, but still intriguing. The urban decay on display sets an effective tone, and the performances are all just slightly off-kilter enough. It's saner than Doppelganger and Bright Future, and about as cold and metaphysically desaturated as Cure.