Japan-O-Ween: THE LIVING SKELETON (1968)
Can I just start by saying right away, this was definitely my speed, and I want you to watch this movie, which has a well deserved place in classic ghost story history.
Directed by Hiroshi Matsuno, this film pulls from so many horror themes, and yet clearly influenced modern ghost girl Japanese horror, particularly JU-ON. A fantastic blend of feeling authentically Japanese horror with a love letter to Alfred Hitchcock. It's not subtle, and I'm glad. The pacing is consistent. It never feels like it lags, and jumps right into the horror. The movie took some unexpected turns. While a bit confusing at the end there, I was super happy about watching this. Unlike some of the other movies I've watched this month for Japan-O-Ween, this was dramatic, but the emotional weight didn't outweigh the horror element. What a relief! Sometimes I just want to be spooked without having to have a personal existential crisis about it!
There is one part that it gets uncomfortable and gross, but this is not uncommon and even desired to a degree in horror. That part was simply triggering for me, but I can validate it because it makes sense in showing the monstrosity of some of these characters. That's all I will say about that.
I'm holding back on sharing a lot of the notes I took because I don't want to spoil anything. But boy, do I wish someone would watch this so we could gush about all my notes together. I am going to have my 14 year old watch it ASAP. Seriously, if anyone has The Criterion Channel, THE LIVING SKELETON is streaming there. There's even a free two week trial. If you love a good solid ghost story, watch this and DM me!
A few non-important random notes:
I loved the miniatures.
Jason and the Argonauts- YES!
The lead actress looks biracial to me, and maybe that's just me wishing. But I liked that I could see myself in her a bit.
The music choices were sometimes odd, and other times perfect. Aggravation and anxiety is a phrase that I'd used to describe a particular repeating theme.
Last but not least, and you know this if you've played Left 4 Dead. There is nothing scarier and more dangerous than a wailing girl in a dark room. Don't go in there, fool!