Introduction to Japanese Horror Film.pdf
This book updates the historical and cultural overview of the popular genre of Japanese horror. Since the publication of the first edition in 2008, there has been a much talked about decline in Japanese horror cinema. While this is true of the vengeful ghost films that Japan is noted for, there has been an explosion of low-budget gore films, permutations of the traditional Edo Gothic which owes much to the success of Rampo. These films have garnered a large cult following, especially in the West, the primary market for these films. However this perception of decline is largely based upon Western distribution and visibility of the genre, rather than the state of Japanese horror itself. The success of low-budget social issue films such as Kaneko's Claimer: Case 1 and Shimzu's Shock Labyrinth suggests that Japanese horror is a great deal healthier than suggested by reports of its demise. The critical success of Nakshima's Confessions, a variant on the sub-genre of the high school horror film, and Sion Sono's serial killer film Cold Fish also suggests otherwise. The purpose of the second edition is to extend the existing chapters to take more contemporary films into consideration. For example in the chapter on Edo Gothic, the author considers Hideo Nakata's recent period gothic film Kaidan and its relationship to Japanese gothic cinema of the 1970s. It features a discussion of the low-budget gore made by cult directors including Yoshihiro Nishimura, Naoyuki Tomomatsu and Noboru Iguchi. It covers recent successes from Confessions, Cold Fish, Shock Labyrinth and Claimer: Case 1. It includes a new chapter on Ero Guro.
"'Scholars and spectators of world cinema coming to Japanese horror will find much to whet their appetites here, and will take away a solid grounding in the roots of this particular genre, presented accessibly and sincerely throughout.' (Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies)"
Colette Balmain is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Buckinghamshire New University.