Japanese film has long been a favourite of Hollywood. Hollywood’s remakes never seem to attempt to ruin the original but rather to pay tribute, sometimes radically modifying the narratives and other times only translating the dialogue to English. Additionally, American fans adore the flicks.
A great movie is a wonderful movie in whatever language, whether it is the remake of the famous Japanese horror film Kairo into the American film Pulse or the remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon into The Outrage.
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‘Apartment 1303 3D’ (2012)
The 2007 Japanese film Apartment 1303 was remade as the supernatural horror movie Apartment 1303. It tells the story of Lara Slate (Mischa Barton), who looks into her sister’s suicide (Juliane Michelle). To uncover the mystery, she moves into the flat where her sister perished.
A modern ghost story wrapped in a horribly twisted mother-daughter connection is Apartment 13003 3D. There is a lot to be said about the complexity of the relationships that are built between the people, even though it is somewhat disappointing as a true horror movie.
‘Blind Fury’ (1989)
The seventeenth instalment of the movie series that revolves around the character of Zatoichi, from which Blind Fury was adapted, is titled Zatoichi Challenged. The Vietnam War veteran and blind swordsman Nick Parker (Rutger Hauer) meets his friend Frank Deveraux (Terrance O’Quinn), only to find that Deveraux is being taken hostage by criminals in the film Blind Fury. Parker has the choice to assist Billy Deveraux (Brandon Call), Frank’s son, in finding his father.
Hauer masterfully strikes the right balance in Blind Fury, a definitive dramedy. It somewhat reminds me of Daredevil. The story also has a lighthearted element to it that doesn’t compromise Parker’s blindness. Parker is never criticised by the audience for having a disability; instead, they admire him greatly for his exceptional abilities.
‘Dark Water’ (2005)
The Japanese horror movie of the same name was remade in the United States as Dark Water. When Dahlia (Jennifer Connelly) and Ceci (Ariel Gade) move into an apartment, the story follows them. There is an odd dark water leak in the apartment’s ceiling. They ask the landlord of the building (John C. Reilly) to fix the leak, but nothing changes.
Horror film Dark Water was shot with breathtakingly beautiful photography. In addition, the characters can grow significantly throughout the movie, which is uncommon in horror movies. It drives home to the audience the idea that the spooky ghosts are frequently those that reside inside of them.
‘Midnight Sun’ (2018)
The Japanese film A Song to the Sun served as the inspiration for the American teen romance movie “Midnight Sun.” Bella Thorne’s character, Katie Price, a 17-year-old with a potentially fatal sensitivity to sunlight, is the subject of the film Midnight Sun. She ventures outside to play her guitar in the dusk and runs with Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger), whom she tries to hide her problem from.
With the exception of geography and names, the plot of Midnight Sun is fairly similar to that of A Song to the Sun. The film is excruciatingly painful. The film has a lovely original soundtrack, and the characters are endearing and tragic.
‘One Missed Call’ (2008)
One Missed Call is a supernatural horror movie about Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) and detective Jack Andrews that is a remake of the 2003 Japanese film of the same name (Ed Burns). Andrews assists her in solving the mystery of the horrible messages that Raymond’s two pals receive on their cell phones only days before they pass away.
One Missed Call is milder than the original Japanese horror film because of its PG-13 rating, but there are still some unsettling situations. The movie also has a relatability that its Japanese counterpart lacks, which adds to the unsettling atmosphere. The characters are more complex than those in most horror films and are engaging and interesting.
The Wes Craven-penned thriller Pulse centres on psychology student Mattie Webber (Kristen Bell), who begins getting unsettling emails and texts. It is based on the Japanese techno-horror movie Kairo. In an effort to stop whatever is causing computers to crash and wipe out the world, she partners up with computer hacker Dexter (IanSomerhalder).
Kairo advances significantly more quickly than does Pulse. The action can unfold gradually thanks to pulse, which creates wonderful anticipation. The plot is still only loosely based on the same idea as the original, but many of the scenes are far more eerie.
‘Shall We Dance?’ (2004)
Shall We Dance?, a remake of the 1996 Japanese film starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, was inspired by the original. John Clark (Gere) has a great family and a distinguished career. He meets Paulina (Lopez), a ballroom dancing instructor, and starts taking classes, but he still feels like something is lacking.
The movie’s American adaptation stays very true to its Japanese equivalent. The movie is incredibly laid-back, humorous, and enjoyable. The main character embraces dance as a way to change, much like in the Japanese version. He seeks completion through dance.
‘The Grudge’ (2004)
Matthew Williams (William Mapother) and his family are followed by The Grudge as they relocate to Tokyo and start a new life there. They learn their new home is the site of a curse after settling in. The Grudge is based on Takashi Shimizu’s Japanese horror movie Ju-On: The Grudge, which he also wrote and directed.
These films are essentially the same; they are only presented in several languages. The Grudge, on the other hand, moves along more gradually and strikes a more moderate balance between the drama and the terror. But the movie is incredibly unsettling. It is terrible. The Grudge starts off with a lot of suspense and doesn’t let up until the credits start to roll.
‘The Outrage’ (1964)
The Rashomon Effect is the main idea in the movie The Outrage, which is based on the film Rashomon by renowned Japanese director Kurosawa. When people have various perspectives on the same incident, the Rashomon effect occurs. Four individuals tell conflicting accounts of a rape and murder that occurred in the Southwest of the United States in the 1870s, just like Kurosawa’s film The Outrage.
The cast of The Outrage contributes to its enormous appeal. The characters, including Paul Newman’s portrayal of the Mexican bandit Juan Carrasco and William Shatner’s portrayal of a preacher struggling with his faith, are fascinating to watch as they each relate their version of the events.
‘The Yellow Handkerchief’ (2008)
A Japanese movie with the same name was remade in the United States and is titled The Yellow Handkerchief. It tells the tale of Brett Hanson (William Hurt), who was recently released on parole and is returning to Louisiana, as well as his ex-wife (Maria Bello).
The song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon The Ole Oak Tree” served as the model for the Japanese adaptation. In both adaptations, the main character is forced to learn about belonging and forgiveness during a road journey. The emotional relationships between Hanson and the two teenagers he travels with, Martine (Kristen Stewart) and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne), are the most important aspect of the American rendition. It is delightfully contradictory and has a very peaceful atmosphere throughout the entire film.
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