This film contains four distinct, separate stories. "Black Hair": A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife... See full summary »
While their mother is dying in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital, two young children are told a tale by their Icelandic grandmother about Einar the Lonely, his friend Gunnar, and the ... See full summary »
A bag full of symbolic folklore about werewolves, or, rather, their sexual connotation. Granny tells her granddaughter Rosaleen strange, disturbing tales about innocent maidens falling in ... See full summary »
Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.
An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.
Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
This film contains four distinct, separate stories. "Black Hair": A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife, only to discover something eerie about her. "The Woman in the Snow": Stranded in a snowstorm, a woodcutter meets an icy spirit in the form of a woman spares his life on the condition that he never tell anyone about her. A decade later he forgets his promise. "Hoichi the Earless": Hoichi is a blind musician, living in a monastery who sings so well that a ghostly imperial court commands him to perform the epic ballad of their death battle for them. But the ghosts are draining away his life, and the monks set out to protect him by writing a holy mantra over his body to make him invisible to the ghosts. But they've forgotten something. "In a Cup of Tea": a writer tells the story of a man who keep seeing a mysterious face reflected in his cup of tea. Written by
This is one of my favorite horror films, and I daresay one of my favorite films in general as well. Anyone who doubts that a horror film can be great art as well ought to give this one a try.
I will have to revisit this comment after viewing the film again, as it has been a while, but there were a few comments I thought people might find useful regarding the stories the film adapted.
Two of the stories can be found in Lafcadio Hearn's book Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. These are "Hoichi the Earless" ("The Story of Mimi-nashi-Hôïchi") and "The Woman in the Snow" ("Yuki-Onna"). The other two can be found in other books of Hearn's; I'm grateful to Kenji Inadomi for pointing out that "Black Hair" can be found as "The Reconciliation" in Shadowings, and "In a Cup of Tea" is to be found in Kotto: Being Japanese Curios, with Sundry Cobwebs.
Many of Hearn's stories can be found online, including all of the above except "In a Cup of Tea." Attractive early hardcovers of Hearn's books are pretty plentiful, though, and not terribly expensive either.
As some others have noticed, there's an uncredited adaptation of "The Woman in the Snow" as the "Lover's Vow" segment of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990). It's not bad, but Kaidan (1964) is the one that got it right.
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