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Onibaba (1964)

Drama | 103 minutes
3,78 212 votes

Genre: Drama / Horror

Duration: 103 minuten

Alternative titles: The Hole / 鬼婆

Country: Japan

Directed by: Kaneto Shindô

Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura and Kei Satō

IMDb score: 7,9 (21.984)

Releasedate: 21 November 1964

Onibaba plot

"The most daring film import ever ... from Japan!"

Warrior Kichi's mother and wife wait in poverty for his return from the battlefield. They live by luring lost soldiers through the tall grass and then kill them. They sell their weaponry for food. Then an old comrade of Kichi's comes along...

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avatar van maxcomthrilla


  • 15565 messages
  • 2761 votes

The glittering rays of the sun bounce off the surface of a pool of water, idyllically situated between reeds and booby traps. A shadow looms from the horizon, someone swimming closer. After completing the crossing of the lake, 'he' is at the end of his rope.

In the middle of the war, two women try to survive. Besides the fact that there is a war going on, there are several complicated elements of life that are presenting themselves. From the sketch described in my 1st paragraph, I was in the middle of the film and couldn't get out.

The black and white effects in this film are incredibly strong and everything works to turn an originally somewhat simple story into a great ghost story. Would you rather lust or believe in that one legend? The visit of that soldier with the mask gave me chills, at first I thought the daughter's suitor was behind it. However, the story unfolded differently, resulting in beautiful nocturnal escapades and beautiful (nocturnal) images of waving reeds. During that scene where the 2 lovebirds were running around naked in the water my jaw dropped in amazement. This film was from 1964 and by that director whose film Hadaka no Shima disappointed me at the time because of poorly timed, unlistenable music?!

The music wasn't the best part here either, these were the images and the chilling ending that this film left its viewers with. Still, luckily the music here was of a high standard and I can't wait to conquer Shindo`s next ghost story.

So far also the best Asian classic I have seen and a film that created an insatiable lust for other Japanese classics in me. 4.5*

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avatar van Sir Djuke

Sir Djuke

  • 343 messages
  • 958 votes

'Onibaba' from 1964 by Kaneto Shindo is an alienating, rather bizarre film on the border between samourai film and horror. The leading role is played by the decor: an impenetrable swampy area with lots of waving reeds that Shindo uses masterfully to alternately conceal and reveal the scenes. The violence is raw, the sex is raw, the characters are raw and the story is raw.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8559 messages
  • 4799 votes

Not full-blooded horror. That's why it's anything but scary or gross enough. A film that is particularly atmospheric and maintains a certain mystery with a kind of karma or penance. Dramatically strong and entertaining. Particularly atmospheric with the waving reeds and pouring rain showers.

What a great trailer that immediately puts you in the mood. Interference, selfishness and jealousy are central here, which the demon does not miss. And yet the behavior is understandable out of the grief of the deceased son.

Excellent acting and cinematography very strong. That erotic undertone made it all extra stimulating and intriguing. Special!

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original