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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 3:51 pm    Post subject: J-Horror Reply with quote
We've talked a bit about Miike, but how about other Japanese horror films and directors? Here are some thoughts about some of the ones I've seen, and I'd be interested in seeing other people's comments on these or discussion of ones not on this list.

Ring (1, 2, Rasen, & 0: Birthday): These are the ones most people have seen. I enjoyed the first one a great deal, especially for the twist at the end. Ring 2 and Rasen were both pretty lame (the sci-fi rationale killed a lot of the creepiness), IMO, but I enjoyed Ring 0: Birthday. Sadako's bones-breaking-and-mending movement was well done, plus it starred the gorgeous Nakama Yukie.

Honogurai Mizu no Soko Kara (Dark Water): This movie had some good scenes and a nice creepy, isolated atmosphere. It's another movie involving damp ghostly Japanese chicks, though, so you might want to skip it if you think Sadako-type villains are played out. The lovely Kuroki Hitomi stars.

Ju-On: The plot was fairly minimal, but the ghostly appearances were rather cool. The American remake was done by the same director and was actually pretty good, I think. I haven't seen the Japanese sequel, but I hear it's more of the same.

Cure: This movie was directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi (who also did Kairo) and deals with a detective investigating a series of mysterious deaths and their association with a strangely hypnotic man with amnesia. It's fairly low-key psychological horror without much action or gore, but I thought the final scene was fairly memorable. Probably the smartest movie on this list.

Shikoku: A love triangle involving a ghost, basically. I wanted to like this movie because I spent my first two years of life in Japan in Shikoku, but it was just too slow and plodding. The plot thread involving a "backwards" pilgrimage to the 88 Shikoku shrines and temples was interesting, but not enough to save the movie for me.

Versus: This movie is pretty popular with foreign gorehounds and involves reincarnated enemies and zombie yakuza. It's trashy, cheesy, and kind of dumb, but it was also fun in an Evil Dead kind of way. Some of the yakuza characters were pretty cool.

Inugami: This movie was set in Ehime prefecture, but the dialect was nothing like the one I'd been exposed to. The plot deals with a hereditary family curse as well as star-crossed love, but like Shikoku it's a pretty slow-moving flick. Not something I could recommend.

Toire no Hanako-san: Be careful when using the school bathroom, or evil animated doll Hanako might getcha. Definitely a B movie intended for high school couples. Cheesy fun with a couple of good moments, but nothing spectacular.
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: J-Horror Reply with quote
Ashigaru wrote:

Shikoku: A love triangle involving a ghost, basically. I wanted to like this movie because I spent my first two years of life in Japan in Shikoku, but it was just too slow and plodding. The plot thread involving a "backwards" pilgrimage to the 88 Shikoku shrines and temples was interesting, but not enough to save the movie for me.


I haven't seen this movie, so I don't know where this movie takes place, but I know the title "Shikoku" is 死国 not 四国 .
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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: J-Horror Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
I haven't seen this movie, so I don't know where this movie takes place, but I know the title "Shikoku" is 死国 not 四国 .


Right, but it's set on the island of Shikoku and directly involves real-life Shikoku landmarks. Smile
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ah, one of the Japanese double entendres. I figured as much.
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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
Ah, one of the Japanese double entendres. I figured as much.


The Japanese language is absolutely lousy with puns and double entendres. Rolling Eyes
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spankoka
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I kind of liked Versus. That was pretty crazy.
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
spankoka wrote:
I kind of liked Versus. That was pretty crazy.


The plot, acting, story, and effects were weak, but the fight scenes were amazingly well done.
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I can't watch Japanese ghost horror. I had to sleep with the lights on for a week after Ju-on. Violence, torture, murder, flying body parts, whatever, doesn't bother me in the least, but I don't like ghosts Just Kidding
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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
Violence, torture, murder, flying body parts, whatever, doesn't bother me in the least, but I don't like ghosts Just Kidding


Seriously? Shocked I'm the exact opposite. Supernatural horror is fine, but I tend to avoid torture-fest movies because it's so easy to imagine stuff like that happening in real life. (Although I like zombie movies more than, say, vampire and werewolf ones because they seem a bit more "realistic" in some weird way.)

There are LOTS of good ghost movies in Japan, going back all the way to stuff like Mizoguchi's Ugetsu Monogatari. Not liking ghosts must limit things somewhat. Wink
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Supernatural horror is fine, but I tend to avoid torture-fest movies because it's so easy to imagine stuff like that happening in real life.


A locked door will (usually) keep out the crazy psychotic serial killer, but a ghost can walk right through it Just Kidding
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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
A locked door will (usually) keep out the crazy psychotic serial killer, but a ghost can walk right through it Just Kidding


Miike's psycho killers must give up easy, then. "What?! He's using the little chain thingie?! No! Foiled again!" Wink
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ashigaru wrote:
kitsuno wrote:
A locked door will (usually) keep out the crazy psychotic serial killer, but a ghost can walk right through it Just Kidding


Miike's psycho killers must give up easy, then. "What?! He's using the little chain thingie?! No! Foiled again!" Wink


Well, at least I'll hear them coming and be able to jump out my window. Them ghosts just appear without notice Just Kidding
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Metsuke
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah, I agree with Ashigaru about supernatural horror. I've only seen a few horror films from Japan, the two Ju-on films and this other called um... Idk it was in a hospital and people were dying and had green blood. It was ok. Point is, Im starting to dig their horror films since they're not all slash horror like over here.
PS-Is it bad that I laughed really hard when the dude from the US version of Ju-on fell off the balcony? He did is so non-chalantly I couldnt help but laugh. Laughing
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Metsuke wrote:

PS-Is it bad that I laughed really hard when the dude from the US version of Ju-on fell off the balcony? He did is so non-chalantly I couldnt help but laugh. Laughing


I thought that was funny too- was that Bill Pulman? That damn movie scared the heck out of me too - I think it was two weeks before I could get to sleep with the lights off Just Kidding I just kept having images of that freaky kid standing next to my bed Shocked Shocked
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Metsuke
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yep, Bill Pullman. The Director's Cut was even freakier. The girl without the jaw.. Shocked
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
After watching Rings (all of them, unfortunately), Dark Water and both parts of Ju-On I could not help notticing that scarriest thing japanese directors can think about is a woman in bed shirt with loose (and uncombed) hair.

On more serious note- honestly I enjoyed most of them, mainly because of avoiding all this popular tricks of US/European horror movies like silence silence BANG... all over again
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