Kaneto Shindo, Japan 1968, 99 min

In war-torn medieval Japan, a demon haunts the Rajomon Gate, ripping out the throats of samurai in the grove beyond. The governor sends a war hero to confront the spirit, but what the man finds are two beautiful women who look just like his lost mother and wife. Both a chilling ghost story and a meditation on the nature of war and social hypocrisy, Kuroneko is the second horror triumph from director Kaneto Shindo (Naked Island, Onibaba), who mixes stunning visuals, an evocative score, and influences from traditional Japanese theater to create an atmospheric, haunting, and emotionally devastating masterpiece.

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