Sunday, October 23, 2011


The ghosts of two women who were raped and murdered by a group of samurai get their revenge by luring samurai wandering through the woods back to their home to murder them. A young warrior is sent to do battle with the spirits, and discovers that they are in fact his wife and mother.

I was taken aback for a moment when the translated title of Kuroneko came up on the screen as Black Cat. This couldn't possibly be another adaptation of the Poe story, right? And luckily it wasn't, although I guess resetting a Poe story in Feudal Japan would be novel.

Last year I watched Kaneto Shindo's Onibaba for my October festivities, and it was an offbeat, moody drama/horror that I very much admired. Made by Shindo just a few years later, Kuroneko shares more than a few similarities with the other film, and in fact sometimes feel like a more elaborate (bigger budgeted?) rehash. This one has a great first act and final act, but I thought it floundered too much in the middle, with a little too much focus on melodrama and not as much on the horror and the atmosphere. So I didn't enjoy it as much as Onibaba, but it's still an interesting, sometimes pretty eerie supernatural horror movie with a little bit of revenge drama thrown in for good measure.

Grade: B

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