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?
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 6:49 am, edited 2 times in total.