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Kaidan (2007)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Romance  |  4 August 2007 (Japan)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 825 users  
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Japan, 250 years ago. Soetsu is a moneylender who is killed by the cruel samurai Shinzaemon. His body is dumped in the Kasenega-Fuchi river. According to legend, all who drown in the river ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Takaaki Enoki
Leona Hirota ...
(as Reona Hirota)
Teisui Ichiryûsai ...
Storyteller
Mao Inoue
Tae Kimura
Taigi Kobayashi
Hitomi Kuroki
Ken Mitsuishi
Shôji Murakami
Naomasa Musaka
Taeko Nishino
Kikunosuke Onoe
Asaka Seto
Yumi Shimizu
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Storyline

Japan, 250 years ago. Soetsu is a moneylender who is killed by the cruel samurai Shinzaemon. His body is dumped in the Kasenega-Fuchi river. According to legend, all who drown in the river will never surface again. 20 Years later, Shinkichi, the handsome son of Shinzaemon, coincidentally meets Toyoshiga, the daughter of Soetsu. They fall in love. It is a doomed love, as the spirit of Soetsu is far from dead. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

4 August 2007 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Apparition - Amare oltre la morte  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Follows Rinne (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Fated
Performed by Ayumi Hamasaki
Courtesy of avex trax
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User Reviews

 
Draped in Drama and Sympathy, Alongside a Gripping Atmosphere, 'Kaidan' Undoubtedly Keeps Your Attention From Beginning to End
21 February 2015 | by (Melbourne, Victoria) – See all my reviews

Shinkichi (Kunoemon Oroe) is a young, handsome seller of tobacco. Physically, he is the embodiment of a decent suitor, though at the same time he is inexperienced, immature and lacking economic stability. While working one day he meets Oshiga (Hitomi Kuroki), an older woman, who is as beautiful as she is successful, and as well educated as she is professionally gifted. He falls for her upon their first meeting, and Oshiga, who is originally shocked by his affections, discovers that through him, she can finally bring an end to the loneliness she feels.

They unanimously agree to live together, though it doesn't take long for Shinkichi's eyes to wander to other, younger women, Oshiga, through jealousy and grief, being twisted by his cruel inability to remain loyal. Shinkichi's unappreciative attitude, alongside his pretentiousness, and the misfortune that he is too handsome for his own good, makes him a rather unlikable character. Continuously tempted by the beauty of others, he is largely inattentive of the romantic luxuries he is spoiled by, envisioning those who have feelings for him as suffocating his life with their affection.

Unlike most leads in horror films, who we are sympathetic towards, in Kaidan, it is quite the opposite, the audience's sympathy aimed towards those who Shinkichi directly and indirectly wrongs. As we discover over the course of the story, destiny has a large role in the events that transpire, much of this being revealed through occasional narration. The narrator in question has a vital role in developing the story, and notifying viewers of changes in time and other like events that go visually unrecorded.

After an unfortunate occurrence, Oshiga develops an infection that begins to consume not only her beauty, but her life, which inevitably pushes Shinkichi further away. In her last moments, Oshiga leaves him a chilling message: if he ever marries another woman, she shall return and kill her. Immediately it is apparent Shinkichi is unsure whether to put stock in such an eerie message, but like all great ghost stories, some threats really ought to be taken seriously.

Although supernatural events plague the feature from the beginning, the real horror elements do not reveal themselves until a third of the way through the film. This change brings with it a foreboding atmosphere, and a dreadful sense of cold that envelops the viewer, and though on many an occasion subtle, there are other moments of in your face terror. The camera work, especially when from the point of view of the ghost, coupled with the high camera angles during many of these instances, intensifies the morbid feeling of never being truly alone.

These segments would not have been so effective if not for Ms. Kuroki, who is able to brilliantly appear sweet and gentle in some instances, and terrifyingly haunting in others, her presence on screen leaving quite the impression upon the audience. Occasionally the moments of terror are quite predictable, and audiences who are accustomed to horror films may well have seen similar instances before. However, nothing ever feels forced, with every scene having its rightful place within the film.

The score delightfully sets the mood, and the emergence of the film's horror aspects triggers additional tracks that efficaciously bring an extra level of auditory depth to the already tense atmosphere. An opera singer's vocal skills are included in some tracks, which not only fits the feature's tone, but the setting too. Rather than being set in contemporary Japan, Kaidan is presented in a previous stage of the country's history, and the music, alongside the settings and costume brilliantly develops the film's environment, so much so it legitimately looks and feels believable.

A sensual moment delivered on screen, although unrevealing, tastefully articulates the passionate occurrence, though this is just one example of Kaidan's effective ability to capture moments in the storyline. Special effects moreover appear to be rarely implemented, though when these do occur, they offer a stunning treat for the audience. It is the use of make-up effects however that really deserves applause, a great amount of the horror being conveyed visually, and would have thus been lost on the audience if not for the talent shown in this film.

Sometimes Kaidan does become what can only be described as overly reliant on violence, and despite this fitting with the film's desire to paint a realistic world, the feature could have been potentially executed just as efficiently without this particular content. This aside however, the feature brilliantly articulates a dark, romantic thriller, which encompasses the importance of family, honor and love. Aimed not at adolescent audiences, but more specifically for adults, Kaidan is a feature that uses all of its two hours to generate a character driven storyline that is as understandable, as it is engaging, the conclusion fabulously providing a sense of utter completion to the film.


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