[31 Days Of Horror ’22] Mini Reviews: One Cut Of The Dead (2017) and Jigoku (1960)

Mini Review
Day 09: ‘Catch Up’
One Cut Of The Dead (2017)

This is a film I’ve waited to watch, it was something I sadly missed out on getting to a couple of years back for 31 Days Of Horror. I am glad I waited for this year’s list to watch One Cut Of The Dead (2017) finally, what a wonderful film this is! If you dear reader have not yet seen this film, go in with as little knowledge as possible, it’s worth it. I knew next to nothing about the film before watching it, what I knew it was from Japan, a rumble about zombies and found footage.

It would feel wrong to divulge any plot points in this review, One Cut Of The Dead is a unique film with twists and turns. There really aren’t any other films that quite compare to this one, it’s a mixture of different elements and genres that somehow come together to work. The characters are intriguing, the performances are spot on for each role and the editing is extremely clever.

There are so many positives about this great film, it’s a really fun and good time. It’s the type of film where you think you know what’s going on but it throws a spanner in the works and hooks it’s audience back in. My words may be slightly incohesive, however to speak about the film without spoilers isn’t an easy task. Please see this film if you haven’t had a chance yet, you likely won’t regret that decision.


Mini Review
Day 10: ‘From the 1960s’
Jigoku (1960)

When venturing into the 60s decade of horror cinema, there is a spot that I personally haven’t seen much of and that is Japanese horror from the 60s. Doing this list of viewing every year is always the perfect opportunity to discover era and types of horror that may have eluded me. The horror from Japan from this time is as unique as it is terrifying and Jigoku (1960) certainly embodies that with a big philosophical element.

The film focuses on a group of individuals, mainly with Shiro (Shigeru Amachi) and those that are around him. Life at first seems good for Shiro but the appearance of the mysterious Tamura (Yôichi Numata) seems to spell doom for the young man as well as those around him. Shiro descends into a nightmare that leads him straight to hell, along with the others who each have sins they are judged for.

Jigoku is a film that truly is a descent into a nightmarish hell, with truly stunning visuals that are reminiscent of the days of silent cinema. There is no hope in Jigoku, it may seem possible at times but true hope gets washed away. There is so much to dissect with the film, the meanings behind certain parts and the very nature of committing a ‘sin’ and those consequences. On every level the film is quite outstanding, at times hard to believe it was released in mid 1960 as it really feels ahead of it’s time. Double this one up with Faust (1926), it might not be a good time in terms of feel good films but the journey through hell that these two films lay out is worth taking.


Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea


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