Mr. Movie

Battelle presents historic horror film 'Kwaidan'

Kwaidan is the Battelle Film Club'soffering this Friday.

It is four short ghost stories. The 1965 Japanese horror flick is directed by Masaki Kobayashi. It has huge positives, but even bigger negatives.

The stories are about a samurai who divorces his true love to seek fortune; a woodcutter who meets death in a snow storm; a blind monk sings songs for ghosts from an ancient battle, and a man ingests the soul of another.

Freaky stuff. At the time, maybe even scary.

Not now. Not today. Kwaidan is slow. Painfully so. There were times I nearly fell asleep waiting for something to happen. The stories are long, drawn out and just not that interesting.

The positives — the movie is gorgeous. Even by today’s standards, the cinematography, sets and backdrops are superb.

A look at the style of cinema that inspired the more modern, and quite superb Japanese horror films such as Ringu is all that makes this one worth catching.