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Dark Tales Of Japan (Anchor Bay)

Released on 27 February 2006

Featuring: Megumi Asaoka, Shozo Endo & Kanako Fukaura

Format: DVD | Rating: 18 years & over

3.0 out of 5 (4 customer reviews) | Write a review

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A bus hurtles down a pitch-black road at midnight, stopping momentarily to pick up a solitary female passenger. She asks "Want to hear a scary tale?" and in hushed tones begins her morbid monologue...

In this portemanteau of chilling stories, five of Japan's best horror directors including Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On: The Grudge) and Norio Tsuruta (Ring 0) race to reach the outer limits of fear!

In The Spiderwoman an urban legend proves to be more grounded in reality than anybody dared imagine when a pair of journalists set out to investigate the rumours that a mysterious half-woman-half-arachnid is haunting a remote stretch of freeway near the town of Ibaraki.

Crevices concerns the sudden disappearance of a man, Shimizu, and the shocking discovery made by his friend, Kodera, on visiting Shimizu's empty apartment. There, Kodera finds every gap - in the window frames, dresser drawers, between furniture and every other conceivable location - in the place has been covered by red masking tape. On the computer screen, the same message appears over and over again - "They're watching!"

A young woman, Mayu, who believes she once saw a ghost when she was a child is the subject of The Sacrifice. Already troubled by a colleague who stalks her, Maya is further distressed when she receives the news that her mother has collapsed. Returning home, she finds her mother chanting sutras in the room in which Mayu had originally witnessed the appearance of the ghost. Days later, Mayu notices a strange and inexplicable mark on her arm.

Written and directed by Takashi Shimizu, Blonde Kwaidan tells the story of a Japanese businessman, Yoshio Ishiguro, whose trip to Los Angeles takes a sinister turn when he begins reading a book he has found in the room in which he is staying. Although alone, on waking from an alcohol-induced slumber Yoshio senses the presence of a beautiful woman in the room.

In the final tale, Presentiment a data thief named Fukawa, on his way to meet his lover, becomes trapped in an elevator with an elderly couple and a smartly dressed young woman. As Fukawa begins to panic, the others in the elevator appear unconcerned by their predicament. Then, Fukawa receives a call on his mobile phone bearing frightening information.
  • Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By purchasing this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age and over.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (4 reviews)

 Enjoyable, but don't go in expecting J-Horror masterpieces

| | See all Dragonic's reviews (39)

Well I thought I'd write a review on this as I've literally just finished watching this, and the 89 minutes of doing so were well enjoyed (Well most of them anyway).

I'll write the review based on each short story and not the monologue (Which basically just links the storys together). I won't actually go into what each story is about, because I don't want to spoil them in any way or form for you guys.

1) The Spiderwoman
Ok, the thing to do when watching this is to not take it seriously, I have read other reviews of people who really didn't like this story and I can see why as it's more laughable than anything. But I actually enjoyed it, I thought the story was kind of intriguing (I'm sure i'll refer back to this in my head when i'm on a quiet road in the middle of the night).

Definitly not hide behind your sofa kind of scary though, as I said before it's one to really just enjoy the cheese factor of, so for that reason it gets a 3 out of 5 from me.

2) Crevices
The one that maybe should have been longer, at just a fraction over 10 minutes running time I felt the story was kind of rushed and would have liked to have had a little bit of an explanation to the goings on, but then again I suppose the making you think about it yourself to come to the conclusion adds a bit more 'horror' to the proceedings.

Overall a definite thought provoker, 4 out of 5 and one of the best.

3) The Sacrifice
Extremly attractive lead actress saves me from becoming bored with the story, I know I shouldn't really say that but I really felt that this one was way too long and the story was stretched to fit the running time, I would have loved to have seen some minutes shaved off of this and added to 'Crevices' but we can't all get what we want.

2.5 out of 5 for this one, the story was ok but coming off the backend of Crevices it really is a letdown, and as I said before, a little bit too long for my liking.

4) Blonde Kwaidan
The one that brings the DVD down from a 4 star rating to a 3. Slow, boring, and not scary in the slightest. I was happy to see this one end and move onto the final story.

1 out of 5. It's a short one, but there is no redeeming features to even mention about this, apart from maybe the conversation at the beginning, but I'll leave that for you to find out. Shimizu at his worst.

5) Presentiment
I am a big lover of Masayuki Ochiai and his work, particularly on Infection, and this one was a great one to end the DVD on. I really enjoyed this and it had my attention for the whole running time. I won't go into this one anymore, as I do not really want to spoil anything about it, all I urge you to do is to stick with it until the end. Also loved the reference to one of Masayuki Ochiai's other films, I'm sure other people who have seen his work will pick up on it just like I did.

4 out of 5 for this chapter, a nice way for it to end.

Overall the DVD is well worth the £2.99 I paid for it, as the title says, do not go in expecting anything groundbreaking to the genre, just enjoy them for what they are. I can definitly say that I can and will rewatch these because I did enjoy them (Most of them anyways).

3 out of 5 overall, was leaning towards a 4th star but the Shimizu chapter really does bring it down a notch.

Hope my review is helpful :)

 not a good one.

| | See all jumroni's reviews (1)

not one of the best one to come out from asian horror.stories no where near scary infact makes you laugh.stories are boring.and that goes for all the short stories.i didnt even bother to watch all of them as it would have been waste of time.

 Bought for the love of interesting plots

| | See all Fylgja's reviews (1)

I've seen this before, and well bought it just so i could have "Crevices" and "Presentiment ". These two have some very original and interesting versions of the j-horror style.
Also it's worth buying just to watch the old lady who is the narrator, her acting is probaly one of the best things in this film.

 Worth a Watch for Fans of Japanese Weirdness

| | See all thebbfcfanclub's reviews (33)

This is a querky collection of stories well worth a watch for J-Horror fans. Although the stories vary in quality there is the definite eerie feel about the collection which often distinguishes the J-Horror from their Hollywood counterparts. That combined with the portmanteau style makes this an interesting collection well worth the price. Admittedly I have given this 4 stars when it maybe only deserves three but this is to offset the one star given by someone earlier who confessed to not even watching it!

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ActorsMegumi Asaoka, Shozo Endo, Kanako Fukaura, Teruyuki Kagawa, Hijiri Kojima, Yoko Maki, Moro Morooka, Shunsuke Nakamura, Yoshinori Okada, Kayoko Shiraishi, Yu Yamada, Miyako Yamaguchi, Shigenori Yamazaki, Anri Sugihara & Tetta Sugimoto
DirectorYoshihiro Nakamura, Masayuki Ochiai, Takashi Shimizu, Koji Shiraishi & Norio Tsuruta
Certificate18 years and over
Year2004
ScreenWidescreen 16:9 Anamorphic
LanguagesJapanese - Dolby Digital (5.1) ; DTS ; Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo
SubtitlesEnglish
Duration1 hour and 30 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.