Peony Lantern (Aka Botan-Doro) - PEONY LANTERN (aka Botan-doro) | RECORD STORE DAY
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This is one of the most haunting Japanese horror films you will ever see engaging, gripping, and absolutely chilling. During the Obon festival of the dead, a samurai is visited by two beautiful women, one of whom he falls deeply in love with. During the next few nights he comes to discover that his new lover and her older companion are ghosts, both of whom died by their own hand. When he confronts his ghostly lover she begs him to return to the underworld with her at the end of the festival. He is torn between his love for her and his responsibilities to the children of the village, to whom he serves as a mentor and educator. The villagers rally around him, though, and decorate his house with charms to keep the ghosts out. Alas, there is a traitor afoot. Becoming more and more desperate, the ghosts become more menacing in nature. Will he be strong enough to resist her ghostly charms? This magnificent film in some ways plays like an Italian horror film from Bava or Margheriti. It is steeped with eloquent yet chilling sequences, all embellished by an outstanding music score. The final 15 minutes are incredible. Way cool! Subtitled in English. Great color, 35mm.