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Ghosts, Chills and 'Dark Water' from Japan

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Ghosts, Chills and 'Dark Water' from Japan

Movies

Ghosts, Chills and 'Dark Water' from Japan

Ghosts, Chills and 'Dark Water' from Japan

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4735733/4736014" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A scene from the American version of Dark Water, starring Jennifer Connelly. Rafy hide caption

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Rafy

Koji Suzuki, Japanese author behind 2002's super-creepy The Ring, has two more American film adaptations of his work in theaters this year: The Ring Two opened in March, and Dark Water opens this weekend.

As Neda Ulaby reports, horror films are becoming one of Asia's common exports: at least a half-dozen more remakes are on the way, and the originals have American fans who seek out "J-horror" on video. The novels of Suzuki, who is considered the Japanese Stephen King, have been one source of material. The 2003 Japanese film Ju-On is another; the American version was released last year as The Grudge.

Got Towels?

Two hydrated horror scenes:

Dark Water, starring Jennifer Connelly as a single mom who moves into a suspiciously cheap apartment with her daughter, bears many of the elements that have become hallmarks of the subgenre. Forget zombies, vampires or serial killers: in J-horror, the terror-inducing mechanisms tend to be restless souls, dead wet girls, supernatural forces and plenty of hair.

Coming soon: A U.S. release this summer for Pulse, in which the Internet becomes a conduit for interaction with the dead. In case you thought Hollywood had missed that chance for another remake, don't worry — the American version is slated for release next year.