Kuroneko (1968) — Samurai/Horror (7/10)

April 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Kuroneko (translated Black Cat) is a newly-added title to the Criterion section on Hulu. It is a spooky ghost story set in feudal Japan, where a mother and daughter are raped, murdered and have their house burned to the ground. The daughter is married, but the young man is off fighting at war. The mother and daughter were attacked by a group of evil samurai men, which serves a major plot point for this film. A black cat, which I assume to be a demon of some kind, finds their bodies and gives them a chance to continue living as ghosts if they pledge to use the rest of their existence killing samurai and drinking their blood.

So, it might seem like vampirism, but it is not? I don’t really understand the need to drink their blood, but I assume that is what the demon wants. I believe it is his way of claiming souls for hell. As it turns out, after the years, the daughter’s husband becomes a war hero and is finally allowed to go back to his home, which is burned to the ground. The mother and daughter lure young samurai to their doom, and eventually lead samurai sends the husband to investigate/kill the ghost causing this mayhem. You can imagine where this might lead.

There is a bunch of wire stunts in this movie. People jumping, flying, sliding, etc. I haven’t seen a film like this since perhaps Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and that was a long time ago.

This film is certainly a “horror” film, but it is more atmospheric than in your face. I did enjoy the movie, but about half way through I began to lose interest. My family used to have an all black cat, and so I can’t help that I enjoyed a film called Black Cat.




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