The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Log in with Facebook
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Already have an account? Log in here
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
No consensus yet.
Tomatometer Not Available...
No consensus yet.
View All Kaidan (Kwaidan) (Ghost Stories) News
All Critics (24)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (21)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (6)
Film is visually and physically stunning but its three tales of the supernatural are more intellectual than visceral.
The first episode builds an effective mood through its elliptical action and long, slow tracks through empty rooms, but this 1965 film soon levels off into academic stylization.
It is a compendium of four ghost stories adapted from Lafcadio Hearn, so determinedly aesthetic in their design and style that horror frissons hardly get a look in. Very beautiful, though.
Couple these sound effects and voices with some remarkable pictorial images and the consequence is a horror picture with an extraordinarily delicate and sensuous quality.
Kwaidan is one of the most beautiful and haunting pieces of art I have ever seen.
A film that captures something deep and real about the remoteness of traditional folklore.
It's not scary or particularly unsettling apart for a few exquisitely created images. It is, however, breathtakingly lovely, visually composed like a painting...
The fairy tale "Woman of Snow" is better than the other three horror segments.
Kwaidan is a psychological horror film for those who are seeking an utterly immersive experience.
Extraordinary as Kwaidan's spectacles are, I'm even more impressed by its soundscape, the work of the great composer Toru Takemitsu.
A colorfully exotic offering but lacks the visceral power to explore the horror genre.
It takes real talent in an artist to make a ghost story scary and poetic, and here are four of them. Before, only in the Powell/Pressburger films I had seen such pictorial beauty.
a film containing four short films that are ghost stories from various points of the samurai era in japan. while all four stories were compelling, my perfect rating is mostly for the third story called "hoichi the earless man". hoichi is easily the greatest ghost story i have ever seen on film, with wonderful acting, flawless cinematography, and a haunting storyline. it was a pleasant suprise to see takashi shimura appear as well. the art direction and cinematography for all four stories was essentially perfect, and these four stories assemble to make one of the greatest films i have ever seen.
Four supernatural Japanese folk tales: a samurai is haunted by regret when he leaves his poor wife for a rich one; a snow-spirit spares the life of a young man on one condition; ghosts demand a blind harpist perform for them; a man sees an apparition in a cup of water. Slow, beautiful, hypnotic, poetic; eye-popping sets and masterfully eerie music. A masterpiece.
Anyone who's ever seen "The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)", or any of his previous films based on Poe's stories, knows Vincent Price's contribution to horror. He seems to specialize in the weird and the offbeat, the creepy and the sometimes trippy. I get the feeling Vincent Price would've felt right at home in Kwaidan (if he had been in Japan at the time), a japanese ghost film that leans toward the avante garde. Kwaidan is actually four short separate movies, each with highly stylized sets and costumes (painted backgrounds with giant eyes in the sky). In story one, a samurai leaves his wife for a rich woman but realizes his mistake as he's constantly haunted by her memory. In the second story, A man trapped in a blizzard is spared by a snow vampire on the condition he never tell a soul the story of meeting her. In the third story, a young blind priest is asked to sing the story of an ancient battle to the ghosts of the participants. In the fourth story, a swordsman goes to get a drink and sees a stranger's face in the cup. All these stories play out almost like silent films, as there is very little dialogue, but there is a jarring, dischordant soundtrack. The art direction is very imaginative, everything looks like a graphic novel, unfortunately, it takes forever to turn each page. The movie is glacially-paced. I hit the fast forward button and it only made the actors move in real time. The stories are all too predictable as well, there's virtually no suspense generated. Perhaps these simple stories were taken from children's fairy tales. Perhaps this film is so inaccessible to me because it was written for another culture at another time. If so, I don't know. You could watch old episodes of Rod Serling's "Night Gallery" and get the same effect in a fraction of the time it takes to watch Kwaidan.
There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.
200 Essential Movies
Chosen by RT staff!
200 Freshest Movies
The best-reviewed since 1998
30 Great Scenes
30 great scenes in Rotten movies
Best of Netflix
Movies and shows to binge now
More News & Features