Kaneto Shindo directs Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura and Kei Satō in this Japanese folk horror where a mother and daughter-in-law of a missing farmer kill for profit the samurais who get lost in their overgrown fields.
Onibaba translates as “Demon Hag” allegedly. This is a simple, eerie tale – very atmospheric and surprisingly sexed up. The horror is quite real world; starvation, plague, decomposition, loneliness, war. Though the samurai’s mask that has become the keystone image for this classic is quite the spooky piece of iconography. The hole where the bodies is dumped is also such a potently realised location you can see it still echoing throughout J-horror to this day. Nobuko Otowa’s lead performance has to be one of the best pieces of acting in the genre’s history.
Perfect Double Bill: Rashomon (1950)
Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/