Kaneto Shindo made nearly 50 movies in his 100 years on Earth, none of which have endured like Kuroneko and Onibaba. Two of the best, most unsettling horror films ever to emerge from Japan, both take place during centuries-old civil wars and feature vengeful spirits exacting revenge after being brutally murdered (Kuroneko) and women murdering the soldiers who happen upon their meager home (Onibaba). Shindo evokes the anger of the dead and destitute but also the mournful sadness — his characters are impossible to demonize, even the actual demons.
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