films seen
10
average score
2.85*
nationality
Japan - 63 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

A slightly lesser known horror director, but those with a taste for Japanese horror are sure to have come across some of his more infamous work. His oeuvre lacks a true stand-out film, but it's a real treasure trove for genre fans.

Solid pieces

Infection

by Masayuki Ochiai
Also known as
Kansen
Specifics
2004 / 98m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Infection poster

Tales of the Unusual

by Mamoru Hoshi, Masayuki Ochiai, Hisao Ogura, Masayuki Suzuki
Also known as
Yo ni mo Kimyo na Monogatari - Eiga no Tokubetsuhen
Specifics
2000 / 126m - Japan
Genre
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Tales of the Unusual poster

Yo Ni Mo Kimyo Na Monogatari (Tales of the Unusual) is one of the many Japanese anthology films out there, though it's not just your average horror anthology. Instead the stories focus more on mystery and weirdness, at times resembling a condensed version of The Outer Limits (if anyone still remembers that series). Masayuki Ochiai (Kansen) and Mamoru Hoshi ((Boku To Tsuma No 1778 No Monogatari) are the directors to keep an eye on, Masayuki Suzuki (GTO) and Hisao Ogura complete the quartet.

Ochiai kicks off this anthology with "One Snowy Night", a pretty straight-forward horror short about a small group of plain crash survivors stuck high up the mountains. With a fierce blizzard running wild and only a small cabin to protect them from the cold, it doesn't take too long before cabin fever takes over. Or at least, that's what seems to be happening. Ochiai is clearly in his element here and delivers a moody, somewhat twisted short that serves as a good introduction for the anthology.

The second short is Suzuki's "Samurai Cellular", a rather odd tale about a samurai who one day finds a cellular phone. The man on the other side is a desk clerk burdened with the task to verify the accuracy of certain historic events. As he walks the samurai through the events, history is being shaped. A bright and funny short, Samurai Cellular makes it clear that this isn't just a horror anthology, but directors were given enough room to take the concept wherever they pleased.

With Chess, Mamoru Hoshi delivers the best of the bunch. His short is high on concept, sharply executed and boasts an impressive finale. A lauded chess champion loses his championship match against a computer, in front of a large, dismissive audience. He can't cope with his defeat and falls in a dark void. Until one day a wealthy businessman kidnaps his wife and forces the champ to play against him. Hoshi flaunts his skills and demonstrates just why I like watching these kind of anthology films.

The final segment is Ogura's The Marriage Simulator, a more romantic take on the concept. The title pretty much gives it all away. A young couple who's about to get married is offered a unique chance. They can peak at their own future using a special machine, giving them a glimpse of their married life. Of course things turn out sour when the bluntness of everyday life hits the young couple, the question is whether they can survive the coming hardships. Ogura's attempt isn't half bad, but the romance never really catches fire and it's probably the weakest offering of the anthology.

Still, Yo Ni Mo Kimyo Na Monogatari is definitely worth a gander if you can handle these type of anthology films. Hoshi's Chess alone is worth the gamble, but the other ones aren't find behind and offer a nice variety of styles and genres.

Parasite Eve

by Masayuki Ochiai
Also known as
Parasaito Ivu
Specifics
1997 / 120m - Japan
Genre
Sci-fi, Horror
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Parasite Eve poster

The inoffensive

Ju-On: Beginning of the End

by Masayuki Ochiai
Also known as
Ju-On: Owari no Hajimari
Specifics
2014 / 91m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Ju-On: Beginning of the End poster

Kaidan Horror Classics

by Masayuki Ochiai, Shinya Tsukamoto, Sang-il Lee, Hirokazu Koreeda
Also known as
Ayashiki Bungo Kaidan
Specifics
2010 / 163m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Kaidan Horror Classics poster

Decent anthology, sadly without stand-out entries. Kaidan stories aren't very scary or gory, so don't expect any modern horror action. Tsukamoto and Koreeda deliver the best entries, Lee's one is decent, the only subpar short is coming from Ochiai. Ironically, the only true horror director present.

Dark Tales of Japan

by Yoshihiro Nakamura, Masayuki Ochiai, Takashi Shimizu, Koji Shiraishi, Norio Tsuruta
Also known as
Suiyô Puremia: Sekai Saikyô J Horâ SP Nihon no Kowai Yoru
Specifics
2004 / 92m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Dark Tales of Japan poster

Hypnosis

by Masayuki Ochiai
Also known as
Saimin
Specifics
1999 / 110m - Japan
Genre
Fantasy, Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Hypnosis poster

Worthy but flawed

Haunted School: The Curse of the Word Spirit

by Masayuki Ochiai
Also known as
Gakkô no Kaidan: Noroi no Kotodama
Specifics
2014 / 105m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Haunted School: The Curse of the Word Spirit poster

A pretty basic Japanese horror film that doesn't really attempt to push the boundaries. The nature of the ghost is somewhat original, but the hauntings feel very familiar and the cheapish look fails to give much weight to the horror. It's simple filler, amusing enough for genre fans but forgettable and lacking true ambition.

Dubious filler

Shutter

by Masayuki Ochiai
Specifics
2008 / 85m - USA
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Shutter poster

Plain forgettable

Ju-on: The Final

by Masayuki Ochiai
Also known as
Ju-on: Za Fainaru
Specifics
2015 / 90m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Ju-on: The Final poster

Unnecessary. Unless you're completely up to speed on the Ju-on lore, this film is almost impossible to follow. What remains are some detached scares that haven't evolved one bit in 16 years time. White Toshio standing around and Kayako crawling down the stairs, you've seen it all before.