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Kuroneko (Toho, 1968). Japanese B2

Logline: Two women who were brutally raped and murdered return as vengeful ghosts who vow to drink the blood of all samurai.

Review: I first became acquainted with Kaneto Shindo’s work in Onibaba (1964).  While Kuroneko is not as remarkable as that masterpiece, it is still a strong film in its own right.

Like Onibaba, Kuroneko is full of striking visual compositions that serve to heighten the film’s moody atmosphere.  Kuroneko is more than just a ghost story; it is a film with incredible depth.  Shindo explores love, loss, honor, and death and raises many interesting questions.  Hikaru Hayashi, who also composed the soundtrack for Onibaba, provides the film’s excellent music.

Kuroneko is a moody, atmospheric horror film that emerged from the Japanese New Wave and is worth a look for horror fans and cinema aficionados alike.

Rating (out of ****): ***1/2

See my review for Onibaba here: