Review: Kwaidan (1964)

Four Japanese ghost stories of epic proportions!


Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Michiyo Aratama, Tatsuya Nakadai, Katsuo Nakamura
Distributor: Criterion
Runtime: 161 mins

“And the sea and the shore have been haunted for seven hundred years.”

The film is divided into the four folkloric tales: “The Black Hair”, “The Woman of the Snow”, “Hoichi, the Earless” and “In a Cup of Tea”. Four different stories with different length and quality, that all includes ghosts.

A fine, atmospheric and costy epic based on stories from the book “Kwaidan”. It’s not really a b-movie, but it can definitely be categorized as a horror. The cinematography is very nice, and the use of colours is just beautiful. The quality of the four stories varies, but all together this is a masterpiece of Japanese cinematic art.