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(Review originally written at 17 July 2010)

This is a real typical Japanese, black & white, period piece. Its done in the same style as for instance a Kurosawa movie, meaning that its slow, stylish and all about its build up that is leading up to something great.

It's a quite simple story. Once you start analyzing the story there really isn't much to it. It has just a few characters in it and the movie doesn't get over complicated by adding on some over-dramatic or exaggerated story-lines. The story and characters are being kept simple and above all things really human. Girl wants one thing, man wants one thing, mother wants another thing. This is basically how you can break the story down. But of course there is still much more to it. To all get what they want they go trough different ordeals, having different encounters and go through different emotion, during 14th century, war time, Japan.

Listing this movie as purely an horror doesn't seem really right. It's so much more and it isn't even a real pure horror in the first place. No monsters or scare moments in this one. Only real people, doing real stuff, to survive and to get what they want.

It's perhaps only an horror in its atmosphere at times. The entire movie is basically set in a field with high grass, which seems suiting for the movie its atmosphere and its more slow type of build up and storytelling. I say slow but this by no means, means boring. It was an intriguing movie to watch, due to its characters and this very same slow style of build up and great storytelling.

It's one of those movies that benefits from it that it got shot in black & white, despite the fact that this movie got released in 1964, when color was of course already available and affordable for years already. It's cinematography is great, which also gets helped by the movie its great settings.

A great deep, intriguing, simplistic movie.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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