Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Legend of Ogre|
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
A teacher and two of her students go to a mountain village to learn more of the legend of a red haired ogre who saved the village from a dragon. Upon their arrival, they are warned by a strange old woman of the curse behin... more »
Red-headed step child
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 08/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I follow the Karen Shaub theory of judging low-budget films. Clearly, they aren't going to have the same production levels as multi-million dollar studio backed extravaganzas, so the real test is how well they do with what they have.
By these standards, "Legend of Ogre" (Japanese title "Kijo Densetsu" or "Legend of the Devil Woman") is a pretty nice little horror flick. Part of the made-for-TV Series Kyofu Yawa (Night Tales of Fear), it has a good cast, decent production values, and some genuine chills. Shot entirely on digital video, the special effects are mainly post-production, but without cheesy CGI or anything too jarring. There are some scenes clearly cribbed from other Japanese horror films, such as Ju-on, but other than that there is quite a bit of originality.
The story follows a teacher and her two students as they make a trip to a remote mountain village to investigate the legend of a red-haired ogre who supposedly saved the village by defeating a dragon many years ago. An old village woman warns them of a curse surrounding the legend, and warns them not to open the door to the storehouse where the ogre is said to live. Of course, this is a horror movie, so into the storehouse they go, and out comes the beast itself. But instead of a giant ogre, they find the angry yurei of a red-headed little girl, none too pleased about being locked up all these many years.
The bits I really liked about "Legend of Ogre" were how they delved into traditional Japanese mythology surrounding ghosts and demons, how they are made and how they are exorcised. There is far more Buddhism and Shinto on display here than in your average J-Horror flick, and that gives it a unique feel. For those unfamiliar, there is a lot to learn here about Japanese monster traditions, and they do a good job explaining it.
Like others in the Kyofu Yawa series, such as The Last Coffin, "Legend of Ogre" is a short flick at only 88 minutes. The series is a try-out for new talent, and director Mosaku Nizato is making his first feature here. For the lead actresses, Kyofu Yawa likes to recruit from the world of Japanese bikini models, and here we have the lovely Suho Reiko making her film debut. However, there is no cheesecake and she remains fully dressed."