Saturday, 25 May 2013

Just watched: The Ghost in the Well

The story of a woman who haunts a well is so well known in Japanese folklore that sooner or later, you’re bound to come across it. In fact, there’s a good chance that it was the story that lead you into Japanese culture in the first place, thanks to the film Ring.

This film from 1957 is based much more closely on the original folk tale: a woman throws herself down a well rather than face punishment from her lover, a samurai.

At only forty-five minutes long, it spends most of that time explaining the story behind the haunting and when she finally does come back as a ghost, she doesn’t do much except make him feel a bit guilty.

Perhaps I was expecting too much. I was kind of hoping for an early version of Ring, or some proto-version of J-horror. Instead, I got a nice but unremarkable folk tale. Although the shot of wet footprints through a corridor was quite chilling.

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