The Japanese know how to put together a good horror movie and, whilst Hollywood has tried to replicate and remake films such as The Grudge and Pulse with varying degrees of success, there’s nothing quite like the real thing. This Halloween weekend, Liverpool Small Cinema present a double-bill celebrating the breadth of myths, folk and ghost tales that have dominated Japanese horror cinema.
First up is 1998’s Ringu, the quietly terrifying account of a haunted videotape that causes those who watch it to die within a week. Originally only available outside of Japan on bootleg VHS, director Hideo Nakata’s film is essential viewing – especially for those who may have only seen the more polished American remake.
Second is Hausu, the 1977 psychedelic cult-classic from Toho, the studio behind the Godzilla films. The film follows a girl and her classmates on a summer trip to a creaky country home, bringing them face-to-face with evil spirits, a demonic house cat, a bloodthirsty piano and other ghoulish visions. Full of experimental animation and surrealist imagery, Hausu should prove perfect Halloween entertainment.