Sunday, October 30

31 Days of Horror: Day 21

Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Starring: Haruhiko Kato and Kumiko Aso

Japanese horror films have always been a favorite of mine. Most of that admiration comes from Japanese film being the first foreign market to garner my attention away from the American style of filmmaking. The storytelling aspect of Japanese horror films is probably the most admired element for me. Stories, which are built around folklore, spirits, and parable, the use of the supernatural element is cautionary, and at it’s best, secondary to the characters in the story. That purpose brought my viewing back to one of my favorite Japanese films in recent years, the stunning Kairo.

  Never have I been more disappointed and angry then when I watched, one of my most disappointing film experiences ever, the American ruined remake of Kairo also known as Pulse. My lovely wife describes it best when she explains, “you’ve never walked out of movie but you almost walked out of Pulse.” Kairo plays on the element of cautionary tale and parable. In the ever-growing technologically isolating world, that we seem to be moving closer too on an hourly basis, the characters in Kairo have isolated themselves to near zero communication. Instead, using instant messenger, video chats, text, and email to connect with the rest of the world, sound familiar? Sudden suicides become rampant, and ghostly images of the dead begin to communicate through technology asking eerily, “Do you want to meet a real ghost?”  In one of the best examples in the horror genre of social commentary, 
the uneasy topic of depression and suicide is examined through the supporting elements of horror. Are we isolating ourselves from a fundamental element of existence? If we try hard enough to disappear from the world, do we inherently lose sight of ourselves? If we have nothing left to hope for than the glimmer of the power button, were have we lead ourselves? Though those questions might be capable to field to some, they remain as questions to many. Day 21 asking for meaningful smiles and positive outlooks, you may never know how many people you affect by doing the little things. 

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