Halloween Disc-A-Day: Day 27 – Kaidan

For a third year, I’m going to be watching at least one horror DVD per day and writing a short review about them. I’ve acquired a new batch that I haven’t previously seen, so without any further delay. Let’s get to work.

Kaidan (4 August 2007)

Japan, 250 years ago. Soetsu is a moneylender who is killed by the cruel samurai Shinzaemon. His body is dumped in the Kasenega-Fuchi river. According to legend, all who drown in the river will never surface again. 20 Years later, Shinkichi, the handsome son of Shinzaemon, coincidentally meets Toyoshiga, the daughter of Soetsu. They fall in love. It is a doomed love, as the spirit of Soetsu is far from dead.

If you didn’t want this spoiled, you shouldn’t have looked at the cover.  This a web of multi-generational curses and ghost stories.  As you would expect coming from the director of Ringu, it has a lot of the familiar cinematic Japanese ghost tropes.  One that I had not seen before is the baby dissolving into snakes.  Initially I thought the baby was shitting snakes which was even more disturbing.   This worked for me overall, but I think your individual enjoyment is going to be based on your personal taste toward more serious-minded Japanese period pieces.  That’s what it is first and foremost.  If this was to be remade, reframing the situations to where Shinkichi is a serial killer with the supernatural events occurring only in his mind might be an interesting spin.

We haven’t covered any Japanese horror or legitimate samurai movies on Motion Picture Meltdown yet, but we did do Samurai Cop if you’re interested.  So check that out and I’ll be back tomorrow.

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