Onibaba (Kaneta Shindō, 1964)
Kaneta Shindō’s (Kuroneko, The Naked Island) Onibaba is a prime example of how deeply embedded the horror genre is in Japanese cinema.
Set in 14th century Japan, two women accidentally kill a samurai and sell his belongings. When one of them begins an affair, the other uses a bizarre mask to set things right. What begins as a means to scare soon becomes a curse as supernatural forces get involved.
Shindō’s film is simple in plot but a visually attractive nightmare, immensely stylish and symbolic throughout, described in icy monochrome.
Available to watch on BFI Player