J- Horror and its american remakes

Jim Harper jimharper666
Sun Dec 3 12:35:49 EST 2006

Most of the Japanese horror remakes are done simply to have a non-subtitled (or even non-foreign) version available. Although slightly less pacy than their American counterparts, I think Ring et al are entirely suitable for the US market in their Japanese-language versions anyway. Even though I prefer the original, I don't have anything against Gore Verbinski's take on the material, but it is largely pointless.
  It's interesting- although far from surprising- to note that the worst remake (Pulse) is the one that was least suitable for mainstream audiences in its original form. Kurosawa's film is excellent, but it's not going to appeal to the same audience as the Juon series, so it's hardly surprising the US version had to be extensively (and unsuccessfully) messed about with.
  Jim Harper.
Peter Larson <peter_larson2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
          Exactly. I am often disappointed that the American versions (Ring, Grudge, Dark Water for example) aren't more Americanized. It often seems like they take the original film and recreate it shot by shot, not putting a new spin on the material. If I have the original what do I need the remake for if they are almost indistinguishable. There have been many very clever remakes in the past that have changed the entire contxt of the film and made it into something exciting and original (Fist Full of Dollars, being one that comes to mind). Horror is a very fluid medium with an arbitrary set of rules and requirements, it seems that someone could step up to the plate and do something new with these movies.

  ----- Original Message ----
From: Jim Harper <jimharper666 at yahoo.co.uk>
To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2006 9:05:57 AM
Subject: Re: J- Horror and its american remakes

  Hi Stephanie
  Finding written work on Japanese horror films is very difficult indeed, I agree. Some of the existing ones are out of date, and almost all of them focus on only a handful of films.
  The question of American-Japanese influence in the Japanese originals is a debatable one; it's not hard to find commentators claiming that Ring is simply a contemporary-set 'kaidan', a slight tweaking of the traditional classics. Myself, I think the modern Japanese horror film is at least 50% 'westernised', drawing equally upon western and Japanese traditions of horror cinema, so the changes made in the remakes aren't quite as substantial as they might be.
stefanie simon <stefanie.simon at gmx.at> wrote:
    st1\:*{}          Hello!
  My name is Stefanie and I?m a student in Vienna , just writing on my degree dissertation. I got this mailing list from a friend who told me, that you could help me to solve a few problems concerning my writings.
  First of all, I want you to explain my subject: I?m making an empiric study about the Japanese horror films ?The Ring?, ?The Grudge? and ?Dark Water? and am comparing them with their American remakes. In my film analyses I want to look how much of the Japanese tradition can be found in their films, and how the Americans deal with this different tradition in their remake. I?m also interested in finding formal differences like the proportion between image and sound, the shot sizes
, but also in exploring the different use of music, dialogue and silence, the different presentation of the characters in the films especially of the female part, the presentation of the ghosts, the tradition of uchi/soto, family system and so on.
  I hope I could explain it good enough, so you can understand the subject of my degree dissertation. Now why I am writing to you is, that I hope that you can help me in finding some literature to these different parts of my work. It?s very hard for example to find something about the Japanese film in Vienna , but more different is finding something about the Japanese horror film in special. Although I need for my theoretical part a short history of the Japanese horror film. You might have some titles of books, which could help me out of this problem. I only have ?The Japanese horror cinema? from Jay McRoy, its good, but unfortunately not enough. What I also need are books about specifics of the Japanese society for example the use of silence, symbols and the difference between the tight social rules and the detonation of these rules in films like those of the horror genre. There might also be books about new influences on the Japanese society, especially for the youth, 
 that mix up with the existing tradition.
  You might also have some advice for me, where I can find differences between the Japanese horror films and its remakes furthermore. 
  I would be very thankful if you could help me with your advices and knowledge in this topic. I?m happy to have the opportunity to write my concern to you. 
  Thank you for reading this mail and I wish you a nice day.
  Stefanie Simon.

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