Global Voices

Watch a Short History of Japan's Frighteningly Good Horror Films

A YouTube channel offers an excellent introduction to Japanese horror cinema.

A still from the 1964 horror film Onibaba. Screencap from YouTube.

If you're interested in Japanese horror movies, YouTube channel One Hundred Years of Cinema‘s short 15-minute documentary-style overview of the genre is for you.

A Short History of Japanese Horror” takes a look at horror in Japanese culture, from the genre's roots in folk stories and Kabuki plays throughout the ages.

The video covers many Japanese horror classics, including “Kaidan” and “Onibaba” from Japan's Golden Age of cinema in the 1950s and 1960s to more contemporary landmark horror films such as “Tetsuo: the Iron Man” and “Ringu”.

Other short documentaries on the YouTube channel include “How Metropolis Changed the Way We See the Future”, “The Invention of Cinema (1888 to 1914)” and “What do possessed hand movies tell us about fear?”

If you want to learn more,  “So You Want to Read Japanese Horror: Here’s Where to Start” by Feliza Casano for Unbound Worlds, a website focused on literary coverage of science fiction and fantasy, is also a good place to start.

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