Monday, 16 August 2010
But what have recent Japanese horror movies shown a global audience? A unique way of generating fear by taking on the mundane. I dare you to watch Dark Water (1999) and not get a chill every time the plughole is clogged. Or rent the DVD of The Ring and not jump if the house phone rings during the movie.
Hearn demonstrates in this engaging book that transforming everyday objects into unlikely conduits for supernatural activity appears to reach far back into Japanese literature and folklore. In Kwaidan, mirrors, bells, wells and even insects are supernaturally suspect; cherry blossoms can be inhabited by spirits of dead mid-wives, a monk encounters a corpse-eating demon that is later revealed to be the troubled spirit of another *monk* and those beautiful kimonoed ladies are really snow demons wandering around in human guise.