Analyse the conventions and achievements of the Japanese horror genre as represented by Dark Water and Ju-On (The Grudge)
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Analyse the conventions and achievements of the Japanese horror genre as represented by Dark Water and Ju-On (The Grudge) Japanese society is rarely valued as a 'compassionate' society, willing to alleviate suffering of others as oppose to other societies and cultures. The high suicide rate in this country justifies this. The lack of empathy can be portrayed in the media in the form of movies. Japanese horror has become increasingly popular throughout the years and has gained many loyal fans. Many people prefer Japanese horror to Hollywood horror as Japanese horror tends to have a tenser atmosphere. They are different to the typical horror movie and have an 'edge' to them. This is not necessarily because there is more blood or gore; purely because they have a realistic value as well as the 'chill factor'. People often watch horror movies because they are in need of a good thrill; it's a safe, entertaining way to get the blood pumping. Over the last centaury horror movies have progressed rapidly. In the 1930s, Frankenstein became notably popular. Its distinct storyline had movie fans captivated in the latest movie phenomenon.
The establishing shot is of a mother and daughter looking up to a building. The building is presented as a tall, towering construction leaning over the helpless victims entering it. Immediately, the building has an unpleasant stigma attached to it. This building is revealed to be a future home. The building seems to dismiss the true values of a home; it's not a warm, inviting dwelling but a dark, eerie place. This scene is accompanied by non-harmonious, discordant and non-diagetic music. The murmur of deep sounds builds up tension in the atmosphere. The sound is unsettling and unnatural; it is subliminally pushing the connotation of supernaturalism. This effect was created to build up suspense and make the audience feel as though they know something out of the ordinary is going to happen. Mitsuko's presence is displayed in many forms by the movie maker Hideo Nakata throughout the movie before her appearance. The signifiers of Mitsuko are effective because the audience are left in suspense waiting for the mystery to unravel and are constantly captivated by the reoccurring motifs. One of the most lucid motifs of Mitsuko's existence is the yellow coat.
Honour and respect are key points in Japanese society. There is a worry that younger generations will dismiss these values and the older generations will look down upon this. Dark Water presents to us that although Japan seems to come across as an almost 'perfect' society it experiences problems like any other society such as child abuse, neglection, divorce and adultery. In conclusion, I found this movie successful in sustaining the mystery and the build up was good too. This movie was a change to the typical movie in which the evil character is defeated and the good character lives on as a hero. This excited the viewer as they did not know what was coming next. Also, the lack of clarity is effective. Going back to the words of Tzvetan Todorov, there is an uncertainty and the audience do think twice on the happenings of this movie. Hideo Nakata achieved portraying the breakdown of Japanese culture effectivly in the form of child neglection and divorce. This would schock conventional veiwers. All in all, the movie captivates veiwers, keeps them glued to their seats and gives them a whole new insight on Japanese society with a unique twist. SHAISTA!
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