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Onibaba
8.5
/10
3,191 Ratings

ONIBABA

鬼婆

Directed by Kaneto Shindô
Japan, 1964
Drama, Horror

Synopsis

In war-torn medieval Japan, weary samurai are drawn towards marshes to hide. There, they are ambushed by a ruthless mother and daughter-in-law team, who throw the bodies into a pit and barter weapons for food. When a neighbor returns from the war with bad news, he threatens the women’s partnership.

Synopsis

In war-torn medieval Japan, weary samurai are drawn towards marshes to hide. There, they are ambushed by a ruthless mother and daughter-in-law team, who throw the bodies into a pit and barter weapons for food. When a neighbor returns from the war with bad news, he threatens the women’s partnership.

Our take

A primal, erotically-charged horror film from Japanese master Kaneto Shindo, this reimagining of a Buddhist folk tale is an expressionistic interrogation of the consequences of war. Uncannily allegorising the trauma of Hiroshima, Onibaba’s creeping unease soon gives way to full-blown demonic terror.