First Advisor

Amy Borden

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Film and University Honors




Motion pictures -- Japan -- History, Horror films -- Japan -- Cross-cultural studies, Film remakes -- United States -- History and criticism, Arts and transnationalism




The purpose of this essay is to examine the cultural and commercial context of the creation of a series of American remakes of Japanese horror films released between 1998 and 2009. These films comprise an American pop cultural phenomenon recognized colloquially as the “J-horror” boom. This essay will also investigate the formal and generic differences of the construction, of these films, and how they relate to their depictions of culturally informed fear, and their status as a culturally reinterpreted product. I will accomplish this by placing these films in the historical context of the Japanese Kaidan film, and explaining the significance in the evolution of the filmic depiction of the yurei figure to incorporate technological elements specific to the time of the films’ release. These elements contribute to the communication of filmic horror’s use of allegory in representing trauma and anxiety on both a social and cultural level.

Note: The presentation slides associated with this thesis are included here as a supplemental file.


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