Introduction to Japanese Horror Film
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
This book is a major historical and cultural overview of an increasingly popular genre. Starting with the cultural phenomenon of Godzilla, it explores the evolution of Japanese horror from the 1950s through to contemporary classics of Japanese horror cinema such as Ringu and Ju-On: The Grudge. Divided thematically, the book explores key motifs such as the vengeful virgin, the demonic child, the doomed lovers and the supernatural serial killer, situating them within traditional Japanese mythology and folk-tales. The book also considers the aesthetics of the Japanese horror film, and the mechanisms through which horror is expressed at a visceral level through the use of setting, lighting, music and mise-en-scene. It concludes by considering the impact of Japanese horror on contemporary American cinema by examining the remakes of Ringu, Dark Water and Ju-On: The Grudge.The emphasis is on accessibility, and whilst the book is primarily marketed towards film and media students, it will also be of interest to anyone interested in Japanese horror film, cultural mythology and folk-tales, cinematic aesthetics and film theory.
well known for embellishing narratives and thus transforming their meanings. In these terms, early Japanese cinema, before sound, was presentational rather than representational. It was, however, the outbreak of the Second World War which would ultimately have the biggest impact on the direction that Japanese cinema would take in the 1940s and 1950s. laying the foundations 21 In 1939, in response to the German invasion of Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany, marking the
personal ambitions are situated as threatening to the very structures of Japanese society according to which the individual should put duty and obedience before personal desire. Further, as in Tales of Ugetsu, Ghost Story of Yotsuya meditates on the socio-economic pressures that cause men to sink into brutality. It is poverty and lack of status that are causational factors both in the original murder and Iemon’s subsequent betrayal of Iwa. This is clearly demonstrated in the first scene in Edo,
woman is raped first by Tetsurō and then passed over to Kajima. During the rape, the motorbikes are strategically placed as to ensure that the actual act itself remains hidden, as necessitated by Japanese censorship regulations at the time. Both men keep their motorcycle helmets on during the rape, which means that there is no point of identification for the spectator. The motorcycle helmets also work to set Tetsurō and Kajima apart from Sadakuni visually. Sadakuni wears sunglasses instead. This
key concept of the karmic cycle, which creates a temporal and spatial connection between EUP_Balmain_07_Ch6.indd 115 12/9/08 10:06:40 116 introduction to japanese horror film the past, present and future. Further, the karmic cycle is an eternal cycle of rebirth, in which good (selfless) and bad (selfish) actions in this life determine our karma in the next. The Dark Hero and his nemesis, the Man, in Versus are forced to repeat their encounter throughout eternity. There is no escape for any
following. In this sequence, the water tank can be interpreted as symbolic of the archaic mother’s womb. A sound of banging can be heard, accompanied by bulges in the wall of the tank as if something inside is trying to get out. The metaphor of pregnancy and birth is further solidified by the gushing water coming through the ceiling and out of the taps in the apartment where Ikuko is alone. The water in the bath is dark and muddy, and as Ikuko leans over to try and turn the taps off, a pair of