Introduction to Japanese Horror Film

Introduction to Japanese Horror Film

Colette Balmain

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 0748624759

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.

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mean that Mitsuko too is going to commit suicide? This ending is, as Iles (2005) points out, ambiguous. The final scene is set in the underground station where the first mass suicide took place. Having been forced to take the matter seriously, the police are now patrolling the platform. As a train pulls in, Mitsuko joins hands with a line of others, thus repeating the opening sequence. Just before the train arrives in the station, a policeman puts his hand on Mitsuko’s shoulder, signifying

is opposed to the death of the fish in the large tank seen earlier when Serizawa demonstrates his invention to Emiko. This visual symbology of death/life, darkness/light and disease/purity structures the filmic imagery, only giving way to purity when Serizawa and Godzilla die. The tension between past and present, tradition and modernity is emphasised visually and thematically in Godzilla, through the direct opposition between the island (Ōdo) and the city (Tokyo). The rural spaces of Ōdo stand

came across her at last, Izanami pleaded with him not to look at her. However, consumed with desire to see her, Izanagi broke a piece off his many-toothed comb and lit it in order to set eyes on his beloved wife: The sight that greeted him was ghastly and horrible in the extreme. His once beautiful wife had now become a swollen and festering creature. Eight varieties of Thunder Gods rested upon her. The Thunder of the Fire, Earth, and Mountain were all there leering upon him, and roaring with

www.riverdesign.co.uk Introduction to Japanese Horror Film This book is dedicated to my parents David and Peggy Balmain Introduction to Japanese Horror Film Colette Balmain Edinburgh University Press © Colette Balmain, 2008 Edinburgh University Press Ltd 22 George Square, Edinburgh Typeset in Monotype Ehrhardt by Koinonia, Manchester, and printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI-Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham, Wilts A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978

explanation of the repetition of traumatic events within an individual for which there seemed to be no resolution. Freud came to the conclusion that desire not only was a consequence of the need of the organism to preserve its life, but also represented a desire (the death drive) to return to a state of undifferentiation and extinction, associated with the everpresent archaic mother (Freud [1920] 1995: 594–628). 74  introduction to japanese horror film Williams argues that the death drive is an

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