This chapter details how the mid-1990s saw a substantial increase in the number of horror films being produced in Asian countries, and in particular Japan and Korea. At the same time, globalisation and the introduction of worldwide distribution channels meant that such films became much more accessible to western audiences, with the surprise success of Hideo Nakata's Ringu (1998) bringing Japanese horror into the mainstream of western cinema. Often used to describe genre films from across Asia, so-called 'J-Horror' is now a recognised sub-genre in the west, with a number of scholarly books dedicated to its analysis. Although many of the more recent films feature modern trappings and a preoccupation with technology, they draw heavily from Japan's long tradition of folklore and ghost stories, while stylistically referencing the aesthetics of traditional Japanese theatre. The chapter considers Masaki Kobayashi's Kaidan (Kwaidan, 1964). It traces the evolution of Japan's unique national film industry and examines how cultural differences can affect genre production and consumption.
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