‘Tis the season for scary movies and the lineup of J-Horror at The Cinematheque is the perfect way to satisfy your cravings for a good fright.
J-Horror at The Cinematheque
Where: The Cinematheque (1131 Howe St, Vancouver)
When: October 23 to 31, 2020
Tickets: Available online now
There is a haunting lineup of four films that have new restorations, with a digitally refurbished Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) receiving its North American theatrical debut. Here’s the schedule for your nightmare fuel this season:
Ring (Ringu) Japan 1998, Hideo Nakata
Screenings October 23, 24, 26, 29, 31
New Restoration! The film to which the term “J-horror” owes its currency, Hideo Nakata’s seminal spine-tingler is a bona fide classic that ignited an entire new wave in Japanese horror cinema. Ring taps terror by deftly blending traditional Japanese ghostlore with modern-day fears around technology’s unchecked proliferation — a recurring motif in the J-horror canon.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Tetsuo) Japan 1989, Shinya Tsukamoto
Screenings October 23, 26, 30
New Restoration! Cult director Shinya Tsukamoto’s monochrome nightmare of flesh and metal is a J-horror landmark in a deranged league all its own. Inspired by the technophobic body-horror of Cronenberg (think Videodrome) and the surreal grotesqueries of early Lynch (think Eraserhead), this ultra-outré midnight movie tells of a “metal fetishist” (Tsukamoto himself) whose perverse, self-administered experiments include fusing body and machine.
Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara) Japan 2002, Hideo Nakata Screenings October 24, 25, 29, 31
New Restoration! Having changed the tides of horror with his 1998 screamfest Ring, director Hideo Nakata returned to the wellspring of author Kôji Suzuki’s haunting prose for this supremely atmospheric, leaky-condo creeper. With visual homages to horror greats Don’t Look Now and The Shining, Nakata crafts an absorbing, psychological skin-nestler that, much like Ring, summons supernatural heebie-jeebies from the anxieties of single motherdom (a Suzuki pet theme).
House (Hausu) Japan 1977, Nobuhiko Obayashi
Screenings October 24, 25, 28, 31
Prolific Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi, who died in April of this year, would still be virtually unknown in the West had his gloriously demented 1977 freakout not been exhumed and unleashed on dumbfounded Anglo audiences ten years ago. An instant cult classic and riotous arthouse smash, House is a campfire ghost-story told at the peak of a peyote trip, a haunted-house picture book rendered in crayons and jugs of red paint.
Audition (Ôdishon) Japan 1999, Takashi Miike
Screenings October 25, 28, 30
New Restoration! Japanese extremist Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer) exploded onto the international stage with this shocker of a slow-burn, bait-and-switch horror flick. On the heels of Hideo Nakata’s Ring, Audition offered an alternative, decidedly arthouse take on the nascent “J-horror” film — one grounded in human cruelty and doused in surgically severed limbs.
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Related: Vancouver Horror Show Film Festival 2020