Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ancient Stories In An Ancient Land

Ghost stories are as old as time itself, endlessly being spun by different peoples and handed down throughout the ages. Kwaidan (1964) is a collection of such tales, sporting gorgeous cinematography and being relatively creepy throughout. The reason why all of this is eerie is that in some twisted way the ghosts are using people, making them into puppets. Fate and destiny take hold in ways that neither us nor those involved can remotely understand. The intelligent do not believe in ghosts and the supernatural, yet it is the simple minded that realize the true dangers the spirit world and the great beyond can possess, however even they are not well equipped to deal with the perils before them.

Which story is the best is irrelevant, although some are better than others. However a common thread through all of them seems to be treating the dead with respect, and being rather careful in people approach the spiritual. You cannot kill a ghost, as too many in these stories find out, and really there are very few ways to deal with a supernatural entity that has no flesh to attack, no soul to damn. In the end though what truly separates Kwaidan from other ghost story movies that there are no fine lines between reality and fantasy. The ghosts are accepted as real, and are presented as such, a fascinating aspect that I have perhaps only found in a handful of other ghost movies. We are always being haunted, it seems. 92

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