Yabu no naka no kuroneko (Black Cat from the Grove) (1968)
In this Japanese mixture of samurai adventure and supernatural ghost story, two women living alone in a rural hut are raped and murdered by a band of passing mercenaries. As the killers leave, they burn the house; a black cat comes upon the bodies and licks the blood seeping from them. Years later, samurai traveling through the area are found murdered, with their throats ripped out. It seems the women have been turned into vampire cat-ghosts, and are intent on the elimination of every samurai they can get ahold of. A local warlord assigns his best man to find the monsters and kill them. … More
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Critic Reviews for Yabu no naka no kuroneko (Black Cat from the Grove)
An eerie, meticulously plotted samurai ghost story full of gorgeous visual flourishes.
Shind˘'s evocation of the central haunted bamboo grove is all night shadows and luminescent mist.
There's a witchy, atmospheric timelessness to the movie that extends well past the unadorned sets.
A ghost story that's more eerie than unnerving, and often hauntingly lovely.
Nippo-Gothic horror fables have a long tradition of proto-feminist outrage... Kaneto Shind˘'s Kuroneko may take the cake.
Kaneto Shind˘ may be the least namechecked of Japan's go-to Golden Age directors. This ghost story, however, proves that he's ripe for reappraisal...
Kuroneko is one of the best supernatural horror tales ever made, and it has tons of spooky atmosphere to spare.
moves fluidly between the cinematic invisible and the overtly theatrical, mixing impressive tracking shots and dexterous editing with attention-grabbing devices like rear-projection
The relationship between the object of our fear and our comprehension of it might be best described as a sliding scale, and Kuroneko suggests that it is in the realm of the uncanny - of knowing yet not knowing something - that true fear lies.
Because of the film's look and feel it has developed a sort of cult status and will be greeted voraciously by those who like their films politically reactionary
The combination of moody, widescreen, black-and-white cinematography, an unsettling pace, and chilling, hyperbolic performances makes for the sort of horror film that manages to seem classic and fresh at the same time.
Cinematographer Kiyomi Kuroda's silvery atmospheric camerawork in "Onibaba" has taken a turn for the theatrical here, with deep shadows and dramatic lighting that serve this story as beautifully as his more naturalistic work in the prior film.
With an invidious black cat meowing about, Shind˘'s movie, elegantly shot in widescreen black-and-white, melds Edgar Allan Poe and Oedipus Rex, all in sight of the legendary Rash˘mon Gate.
The film morphs into an obsessively regretful dialectic that trips into tragedy after lugubrious, otherworldly speculation.
Serious movie buffs and die-hard horror fans alike will want to see Kaneto Shindo's elegantly dream-like story of earthbound violence and otherworldly revenge, rooted in Japanese folklore and shot in shimmering, widescreen black-and white.
Audience Reviews for Yabu no naka no kuroneko (Black Cat from the Grove)
Creepy old Japanese movie about a woman and her mother in law who live alone in the woods, waiting for the return of the husband/son, who has been sent to war.
One day they are attacked and raped by a group of samurai and their house burned down with them in it.
The pair return as vengeful spirits, vowing to murder all samurai they come across.
And then the husband/ son returns, and he has been made a samurai.
Genuinely creepy and disturbing.
it conjures a great spooky atmosphere but i don't like it quite as much as the director's 'onibaba'. 4 stars for evil dancing cat spiritsMore
Part horror movie, part tragic love story, and part samurai tale, Kuroneko is a beautifully shot black and white ghost tale that any fan of foreign cinema should give a viewing. The cinematography is great and the different aspects of the story come together well. Recommended.More
Kaneto Shindo combines the supernatural with socio-political commentary once more. Crisp gorgeous black and white photography, the real horror here is, once more, not what a ghost can do, but what humans beings do to each other. My favorite thing about this, and other Shindo movies, is how the man always knows how to bring the story to areas you wouldn't consider at all. This movie surprises you more than any given horror film made in the last 10 years.More
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