James Blanco

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Sigaw Review


Very Good
Asian horror's recent surge in popularity is indicative of, if anything, ignorance towards world cinema. Truth is, these "ghost movies" have been a fixture of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Filipino, and Indonesian cinema for decades, just as they have been a fixture of human culture since the first campfire and the first campfire tale. Westerners just haven't been exposed to them en masse until now. What has changed is the way in which the stories are presented. Now they're palatable to Americans.

Eastern ghost films from the '60s and '70s were subtle, moodier affairs that relied on atmospherics more than shocks. With the encroachment of Western cinema in the '80s and the introduction of flashy Hollywood style, Eastern horror films adopted some of the excesses that have become standard in traditional Western horror pictures: the POV camerawork, the Dario Argento gel lighting, the quick cut, and the shock-scare. Many young Eastern filmmakers incorporate these styles into their traditional ghost films, and the results have been breaking box office records across the globe.

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