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J-Horror - The Definitive Guide to The Ring, The Grudge, and Beyond by David Kalat
Vertical Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 193223408X
Date: 27 Februaryr 2007 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Publisher's Page / All Day Entertainment (author's horror media site) /

I'm not a horror fan by any stretch of the imagination. But that doesn't keep me from wondering why some folks are and some aren't, what it means to our culture...and what it says about others. So David Kalat's new book on Japanese Horror intrigued me enough to thumb through it. It's extremely well written, researched and referenced, and full of both trivia and insight.

Here's a bit from Ch.4, Junji Ito Will Not Die, where he quotes the creator of the deathless Japanese sex/horror icon Tomie Kawakami.

"I think that the 'desire to see something scary' is a kind of instinct to increase your power to resist the dangers or fears of things that might actually happen to you in the future. I think that people who have a hight sense of anxiety and have a survival instinct like to read horror." This (Kalat continues) is the mission of J-Horror...Japanese society is at a moment of crisis where longstanding traditions of male-female roles are at odds with the modern economy...but few are talking openly or honestly about these wrenching, fundamental transitions...so these issues have been coded into a new context."

From release/information:

Book Description: Navigating the numerous versions released in the U.S. and Japan of The Ring, The Grudge, Tomie and other films and sorting out the finest output of legends like Takashi Miike is an intimidating task. J-Horror breaks down each and every franchise, from the narrative to the talent behind the screen and other trivia, for a greater understanding and appreciation of the genre. Learn about the influence Japanese folklore and ghost stories had on J-Horror, and the influence of J-Horror on American cinema. Just don't forget your copy on the way to the video store!

(Source: Vertical)

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