Hooptober 4.0 22/31
Part of the appeal of horror, to me, is the sheer creativity that can be put on display. Kwaidan - literally translated to Strange Stories - demonstrates this perfectly through 4 short films anthologized here, adaptations of folklore and old ghost stories from Japan and Asia. These feel like campfire stories, especially the first two, in their simplicity, their morals, and their narration. The third story - my favorite by far - is a chilling myth, one that taps into primal senses in a classic storyteller kind of way. I love storytelling like this, but even more than that I love Kwaidan’s aesthetic design, from the use of sound and silence, to the theatrical set design, particularly the eerie but beautiful background paintings of the second story, to the incredible ghost effects. This is an astonishingly beautiful film with some amazing mythology to boot, and thus far my favorite piece of Japanese horror.