The past two days I’ve watched two movies, as per the plan. The first was Hideo Nakata’s “Kaidan”, based on the works of Japan’s darling detective writer with a penchant for the macabre, Edogawa Rampo (whose name is a derivative of “Edgar Allan Poe”). Like most J-horror movies, the main conflict of the movie revolves around a terrible, terrible Japanese woman turned obsessive after being spurned by a man. On this level, the movie is terrifying. Unfortunately, it falls victim to a handful of terrible CG effects along the way, but nothing so bad as to ruin what is otherwise an entertaining story with lush, well-shot imagery. Not the scariest movie out there, but a good story and worth a watch.

The second was “Rasen”, sequel to Nakata’s “Ring(u)”, but not a Nakata movie, as it happens. Nakata’s sequel, “Ring(u) 2” came out afterward and was apparently intended to cancel out or exist autonomously from “Rasen”. “Ring(u) 2” was decidedly the more frightening of the two (“Rasen” has virtually no shock moments to speak of), but “Rasen” is the one based on Kôji Suzuki’s original follow-up novel to Ring. The story is interesting and ultimately proves much greater in scope than “Ring(u) 2”, but as a horror movie–and the sequel to “Ring(u)”, no less–it falls flat. “Rasen” is arguably not a horror movie at all. The only ghost appearances are sexy ones. Quite the contrast when you consider Sadako’s utter sliminess in the first movie. Hard to recommend this movie to anyone who’s not more than a moderate fan of the series. Only worth it if you’re interested in Ring canon.

Still trying to decide what to watch tonight, but perhaps some real scares are in order.

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