Animazement 2019 – Cursed Tapes: Japanese Horror Films

Howdy, friends! Sorry it took me a little bit longer to get to this one. But, here we are! Thanks for coming out, I had a lot of fun presenting this one this time around, I got to watch a lot of awesome new movies. 🙂

Ringu
When her niece is found dead along with three friends after viewing a supposedly cursed videotape, reporter Reiko Asakawa sets out to investigate. Along with her ex-husband, Ryuji, Reiko finds the tape, watches it — and promptly receives a phone call informing her that she’ll die in a week. Determined to get to the bottom of the curse, Reiko and Ryuji discover the video’s origin and attempt to solve an old murder that could break the spell.
Currently unavailable for streaming, available for purchase second-hand.

Ju-On
Several years prior to the main plot, Takeo Saeki murders his wife Kayako after discovering she is in love with another man, also killing the family cat Mar and possibly his son Toshio. The murders create a curse that revives the family as onryō, with Kayako’s ghost murdering Takeo. Whoever enters the house in Nerima, Tokyo, is eventually consumed by the curse, which spreads to the place they die in and in turn consumes anyone who goes there.
Watch it on Vudu or TubiTV

Kairo
After college student Taguchi commits suicide, a number of young adults living in Tokyo witness terrifying visions transferred across the Internet. As more people disappear throughout the city, the Internet becomes a breeding ground for malevolent spirits. Three seemingly disconnected stories follow Michi ), Ryosuke and Harue as they attempt to solve the mystery behind the ghostly visions that are seeping beyond their computer monitors.
Watch it on TubiTV or Shudder

Noroi
The film focuses on Masafumi Kobayashi, a paranormal expert who produced a series of books and documentaries on supernatural activity around Japan. He disappeared in the process of making his most disturbing documentary, The Curse. His house burnt down and his wife Keiko was found dead in the ruins. The aforementioned movie begins to play, shown mostly through the recordings of Kobayashi’s cameraman Miyajima.
Watch it on Shudder

Tag
A quiet high school girl named Mitsuko survives a gust of wind which slices through her school bus, bisecting everyone else on board. She manages to escape the gust of wind, which chases her and kills all the other girls she comes into contact with. Dazed and surrounded by numerous dead high school girls, she cleans herself off and changes into another schoolgirl’s uniform and stumbles onto a different high school campus. She is greeted by girls named Aki, Sur (short for “Surreal”) and Taeko. Not knowing who they are, Mitsuko confesses to Aki that she cannot remember if she ever attended this school and believes that she had a nightmare about girls being killed by a gust of wind.
Available for rent and purchase on Amazon Video

Bilocation
“Bilocation” is a supernatural phenomenon in which an individual appears in two different places at the same time, which has been reported historically worldwide. What if your alter ego exceeds your experience and ability? And what if he/she tries to prevent you from standing in the way of him/her? Can you accept it, or will you kill the other “you”? Bilocation depicts the nightmare of an alter ego that endangers not only your identity but also your very existence. It is an imaginative psychological thriller unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Currently unavailable for streaming or second-hand purchase

Fatal Frame
Aya, the most popular student of a Catholic all-girls school, suddenly shuts herself in her room. Her admirer, Kasumi Nohara, kisses her photo at midnight and suddenly disappears with her friend Michi as a witness. Her disappearance is quickly attributed to a supposed curse that affects girls who kiss the photo of the person they admire at midnight. Aya’s photo is taken to the attic by Sakuya Itsuki and Risa for safekeeping, but the two alongside three other girls are enticed to kiss the photo. Except for Risa, who is later found dazed but alive, all of them are eventually found dead at a nearby river.
Currently unavailable for streaming or second-hand purchase 

Occult
The film chronicles a documentary filmed by Koji Shiraishi investigating a mysterious mass murder at a Japanese resort called Myogasaki three years ago by a man named Ken Matsuki, whose body is never found after he jumped off the cliff following the act. The murder claimed the lives of two women and injured an unemployed man, Shohei Eno, with a strange petroglyph-like mark on his back. Eno claims that supernatural occurrences, which he calls “miracles”, have been happening to him since the incident, including a UFO-like object hovering in the sky. He also tells the crew that he never blames Matsuki for the stabbing; in fact, he is thankful when he heard Matsuki saying that “it is your turn”, which he interprets as saying that it is Eno’s turn to fulfill a “ceremony” commanded by God, as had been done by Matsuki. Seeing that Eno is financially troubled, the crew agree to pay him on the condition that they are allowed to film the occurrences personally.
Currently unavailable for streaming or second-hand purchase 

Cure
Kenichi Takabe is an emotionally repressed police detective with a mentally unstable wife. Takabe investigates a series of bizarre murders in which each victim is killed in the same way, with a large “X” carved into their neck, but the perpetrator is different each time. In every case the murderers are caught close to the scene of the crime, and although they readily confess to committing the crimes, they never have a substantial motive and cannot explain what drove them to kill.
Watch it on Criterion Collection Streaming

One Cut of The Dead
Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie film in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility when they are attacked by real zombies.
Available on Shudder later 2019

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