Zach’s review published on Letterboxd:
High and Low > Seven Samurai, fight me.
There’s almost nothing as cathartic as a good crime thriller.
A couple detectives trying to capture one shady killer, or in this case, kidnapper, is so exciting. The scenes where they analyze voices, questions witnesses and scout out areas are some of the most enjoyable scenes in film.
High and Low, similar to M, is clearly one of the most influential and genre defining crime thrillers ever made. Watching High and Low isn’t like watching an ordinary movie. I felt like I was watching Parasite, Memories of Murder, Zodiac, Se7en, Prisoners, Scream and about a billion other thrillers.
It’s amazing to see Kurosawa tackle something so different than what I’m used to him doing, especially considering this is my favourite from his. He has such an understanding of what makes film compelling, and he flexes these talents constantly. The lighting, cinematography and especially blocking create such a unique visual experience. It feels as though every character is just a piece on a chess board trying to outmaneuver one another.
I’m not sure why I waited so long to see this but I’m glad I finally did. It’s a completely unique and thought-provoking entry into a genre that, nowadays, is filled with stale and repetitive garbage.