I'm a big fan of horror movies and since the American horror industry turned into cheap scares and softcore porn, the Japanese scene is much more suited to my tastes. My favourite Japanese horrors are Chakushin Ari (One Missed Call) and Imprint, both by the visionary director Takashi Miike. Ju-On: The Curse is fantastic too but the sequels aren't as good. Jisatsu Sâkuru (Suicide Club) is worth seeing but I think Ringu is a little bit overrated.
andycarmenjapanese8100-san, Japanese horror......indeed, I agree with you. Most of them are really well made (and that's why I don't want to watch them Too scary... )
Do Japanese horror movies have many cultural aspects or words which are difficult for you to understand? Typical and/or traditional horror stories are often described as "very Japanese" in terms of background and cultural issues. In a way, it's really a good (and interesting) material to discover the "Japanese world". Don't you think?
community.japanese wrote:Do Japanese horror movies have many cultural aspects or words which are difficult for you to understand?
There's a moment in Ju-On 2 and Chakushin Ari where a character looks in the mirror and instead of their own reflection, sees a ghost in their place. It indicates that the spirit of the ghost is possessing the character. I'd never seen the effect take that meaning before. I thought it was a clever trick.
andycarmenjapanese8100-san, wow That's deeper than I imagined! That kind of cultural aspect is too normal for us Japanese to realise foreign people might not understand. It seems Japanese horror movies have quite a volume of "good information" about Japanese culture! Good material for study
Besides video games, horror movies were one of the many ways I was introduced to Japan. Battle Royale, Ringu, Ju-on, and so on. Horror is one of my favorite genres, because it has the potential to show us what really matters, and a lot of the times, these stories have subtle social commentary or a cultural link.
I don't really want to spoil it for those who have seen it, but in Ringu Zero/Birthday, SPOILERS ahead, Sadako's (as I intrepreted it) soul is split into many, leaving a good Sadako, and a bad one. I always thought that concept was interesting and unique, because I was raised to believe in only having one soul or persona in the afterlife. When I watched it, I thought it was an interesting take on inner conflict and outside conflict.
There's also usually a lot of burial customs shown in these movies too, which is so different from how I was raised to view death in the states. Japan opened my mind to alternate religions, practices, customs, and traditions, so it's always neat seeing that, even if it's only in a movie sometimes.
Universally I think horror can be summed up with a John Carpenter quote, "There are two kinds of horror stories. One where the evil comes from the outside, and the evil from within." I think that a lot of Japanese (and some non Japanese) horror movies will have a third story that has both of types of horror combined. That's where you'll get the revenge story, which can show the horror of taking such a path.
It's not a movie, and I'm not sure how accurate it is, but Fatal Frame seemed to have a fairly good presentation on a traditional ghost story from Japan, but I could go on forever. Actually, would this be an accurate way of saying the ghosts are spooky?
幽霊は不気味です yurei wa bukimidesu
I'm definitely enjoying reading about the Yurei folklore in the books I have. The story of Okiku and the Nine Plates seems to have inspired Sadako's own story in the Ringu series. In a way, it could be a retelling of that, I think.
Last edited by watertommyz9255 on February 8th, 2014 3:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.