Saturday, October 25, 2014

Onibaba (Devil Woman) (1964)

Today's film is Onibaba, meaning "demon woman".  Not surprisingly, the demon woman turns out to be the mother-in-law.

A long time ago, in 14th century Japan, a man named Kichi has been forced to fight in some samurai's war.  He leaves behind his wife and mother in the grassy wetlands.  The war has destroyed everyone's livelihoods.  No one can even grow food because the farmers are either fighting in the war or don't want to be killed in the fields while others are fighting.  So, lots of people are starving.

Kichi's wife and mother make a living by ambushing weak soldiers, tossing them in a pit, then selling off their belongings.  One day, Kichi's friend and fellow soldier, Hachi, returns from war.  Unfortunately, Kichi has been killed in war.

Later, Mrs. Kichi, now single, starts going out with Hachi, much to her mother-in-law's disappointment.  She does everything to prevent this relationship, but it doesn't work.  I think she is afraid of being alone.  Mrs. Kichi sneaks out every night to have hot sex with Hachi,

The mother-in-law meets a samurai wearing a demon mask.  She kills him and uses the mask to scare off her daughter-in-law from meeting Hachi.  She truly believes it is a demon and is terrified.  But, soon she finds out the truth about who this demon really is.

The movie overall wasn't scary, but it was creepy and atmospheric.  It also shows that there are other good Japanese films that are not Kurosawa films.  I will give it a 7/10.


  1. I love your opening paragraph.

    I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I went into it to "get it over with" and I ended up liking it.