Tokaido Yotsuya kaidan (Ghost Story of Yotsuya) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tokaido Yotsuya kaidan (Ghost Story of Yotsuya) Reviews

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½ December 4, 2014
Well made, with a rather average script.
October 18, 2014
Now considered a classic, Nakagawa's adaptation of Nanboku Tsuruya's kabuki play went unhailed by critics at the time but was popular enough to prompt at least three remakes in short order (by Tai Kato in 1961, Shiro Toyoda in 1965 and Issei Mori in 1969). Concisely plotted and fast-paced, the film somehow reconciles classical elegance with Nakagawa's patented shock effects. Both the remarkable use of sound and the colour expressionism influenced many other directors. Nakagawa's finest hour.
March 6, 2014
Nasty Tale of murder, betrayal and vengeance set in Japan during Edo era by Shindo Kaneto the director of Onibaba. Shindo seems to affectionate vile characters and twisted situations. Not to be missed.
July 15, 2013
Nobuo Nakagawa vividly brings to life the well-known ghost story (a forerunner to "Ringu" and "Ju-on") in the best screen adaptation of the legends. Problems with the film have to do with a reliance on gore and the overly dramatic Kabuki-style acting.
February 16, 2012
It isn't exactly profound, but this ghost story by Japanese gorehound Nobuo Nakagawa is both creepy and fast-paced, making it a nice little spooker for a cold night. The farfetched story concerns a man named Iemon (Shigeru Amachi) and his lust for a woman named Iwa (Katsuko Wakasugi), which leads him to murder a few people who stand in his way (although his seeming pleasure in said murders lead one to believe that Iwa was just the convenient excuse for blood-let that he had been waiting for). But after she becomes his wife and gives him a child, he loses interest in her and sets his sights on another woman entirely. The man hatches a sinister plan to dump his baggage, but Iwa has a few tricks up her own sleeve. What results is a story of revenge and the supernatural, and it is filled with magnificent special effects, predicting the gore wave that George Romero and Sam Raimi would join many years later. Nakagawa uses color and darkness in eerie ways, and the final twenty minutes of the film are bone-chilling.
February 6, 2012
Awesome ghost story of just revenge filmed with the use of stylized sets and brilliant color.
December 31, 2011
This is one of the best Japanese ghost/revenge stories ever!
½ November 20, 2011
Based on Yotsuya Kaidan, the most famous Japanese folk tale or Kaidan of all time, this wonderfully creepy gem of Gothic J-Horror cinema was directed by Nobuo Nakagawa (the maker of 1960 masterpiece Jigoku aka The Sinners of Hell). Considering its time of release, it was surely quite unbelievably creepy & gory for the audience back at that time. Along with great Nakagawa's fantastic style of film making where we can see Bava like continuously changing colorful screens & brilliant use of lights & shadows, this film also comes with some awesomely creepy set pieces, i.e. freaking ghosts rising from the ground or peering down from the ceiling!

Like its more than hundred years old original story (which mainly written as a Kabuki play), the film is mostly filled with typical Asian melodrama where characters grows in the 1st half but 2nd half strikes with violence & ghostly encounters.

Overall, a must see for the fans of Gothic horror & J-Horror.
½ September 16, 2011
A kaidan a week will ruin your sleep.
September 6, 2011
Classic Japanese horror/ghost story from the late 50's based on a kabuki play which has stood the test of time very well and still has the power to give anyone the chills whilst watching it. Excellent visual effects throughout and even has some great horror effects too such as showing a just-poisoned wife catching a glimpse of her hideously disfigured face in a mirror. That has to be one of most striking horror images of all time. The story takes it's time for actual ghosts to appear but once they do they are a sight to behold. The director Nobuo Nakagawa wanted to build the mood and atmosphere of the movie by showing evil and how low the protagonist would go before retribution comes his way. Excellent acting by all the cast. If you want to watch a brilliant adaptation of one of Japan's well known ghost stories then this is the one to watch. Recommended.
June 22, 2011
This is one of the best Japanese ghost/revenge stories ever!
½ June 18, 2011
A find prequel of sorts to Jingoku, where the tangentially doomed are sentenced to torment, here you have a self-serving samurai who is horrible for a couple acts before psychotic vengeance visits him. Very gothic and surreal in its third act, but the pacing over the whole is a bit off.
½ February 7, 2011
It may start out like a fairly conventional Japanese melodrama, but as the story gets darker and the horror elements kick in, it deliriously goes over the edge. Director Nobuo Nakagawa infuses what could be a familiar story with great style and atmosphere, cementing his reputation as a pioneer of the horror genre. A classic.
½ February 6, 2011
This is a good, offbeat Japanese horror film about a ruthless man and his suffering wife. Amarchi gives an excellent performance as the evil husband, he nails the role pretty well. Everyone else is also good but he stands out perhaps because the film mostly follows him. The film does seem a bit stagey but that might be because of the story's origins and it's on the slow side....the pace doesn't pick up till the last 30 minutes or so as our main character is haunted by his dead wife who seeks revenge. We are treated to some scary and gortesque imagery of the ghosts. It's photographed beautifully with colors of green, red and blue. Still, the film is quite shocking and intriguing. Worth watching for a good introduction to Japanese horror.
½ January 26, 2011
'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.' Take that old quote and just make it way cooler by setting it in Feudal Japan with samurai everywhere and you got yourself a winner. From the opening 'clapping wooden block noises' (ya know, the Japanese noise thing...), I was game. It's a pretty simple and at times even indistinguishable samurai drama until the shit hits the fan. Here is where Ghost Story really shows it's worth, showing truly haunting imagery of a wife's revenge against her confused/pansy husband. I'm telling you folks, some of the shots of death and haunting in this film equal anything on screen today; add that eerie period music, and, well, f**k... It's just a combination for sending chills up your spine. However, it's minimal; which seems to be lost in most horror films. I think it's so powerful because the haunting images are only shown for a moment and not very often, which gives them their weight and power. One drawback about the version I watched was that the character names sometimes switched between their first and last names, which, when watching Japanese film, is mega-confusing (notice that I did not say that they all look alike... until now... awww...). Maybe avoid the TCM version?
January 15, 2011
I love Japanese ghost stories. They are unlike any other style of ghost story I've seen. This one was really good. I would also recommend Kwaiden if you want creepy atmosphere.
January 15, 2011
This is a really interesting movie. Japanese classics are normally hit or miss with me, but this one falls somewhere in the middle. I need to watch it again.
November 12, 2010
Lemon is a wondering samurai with little to live for. He spends the majority of his days gambling and borrowing money. Lemon tries to talk a middleclass noble into giving him his daughter's hands in marriage; however, the nobleman denies Lemon's request. Lemon kills the nobleman and convinces others that the dying nobleman gave Lemon his daughter with his dying words. Lemon marries the nobleman's daughter but is far from a worthy husband. After meeting a woman in Ito, Lemon kills his wife and baby. The wife returns to haunt Lemon.

"[color=white]The fury of a woman driven mad is surely the greatest horror of them all."[/color]

Nobuo Nakagawa, director of Quick Draw Okatsu, Okatsu the Fugitive, Black Cat Mansion, and Rivals, delivers The Ghost of Yotsuga. The storyline for this series is brilliant and well delivered. It was easy to see where the current Japanese horror pictures (Ring-u, Ju-on, The Eye, and Reincarnation) got their inspiration from. The acting was fabulous and the cinematography was stunning.

"I won't tolerate you haunting my grounds like a stray cat."

The Ghost of Yotsuga recently aired on the Independent Film Channel (IFC). This old school samurai horror picture has a lot going for it: stunning settings, fantastic cinematography, perfectly depicted characters, and a fascinating storyline. This is a smart horror picture with many intricate facets. This film could have been a little better paced and contained more gore, but it is definitely worth watching.

"You won't escape my vengeance."

Grade: B
May 2, 2009
i really liked this old horror flick!nit had a weird vibe of something bad is gonna happen thru the wole movie...
December 28, 2008
Nakagawa creates the film's mood by beautifully photographing the environment in which the characters familiarize themselves in. The audience is meant to as well and when the final act begins he turns everything into a dream like hell (just like... Jigoku) when vengeful spirits begin to take shape and haunt the characters who have done evil. And to think, J-Horror has gone from old fashioned imaginative storytelling to haunted cellphones.
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