Onibaba Directed by Kaneto Shindô (1964)- Onibaba is an old Japanese folk tale brought to life. Set entirely in a mammoth field of reeds, it’s about the rising tensions between two female thieves (a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) as a brutish man gets introduced into their dynamic. Repressed feelings come bubbling to the surface as the lust for youthful pleasure propels one of them while the fear of losing those things propels the other. Envy, betrayal, anger, and lust envelops the lives of these three people as their desires torment them. Suspense builds steadily as the situation slowly morphs into something more and more insidious. Labeling it as “horror” kind of undersells it too as it straddles genres. It’s an atmospheric horror/drama/art-house/fable, thing. Shindo really manages to make this one somewhat-sparse environment always look interesting whether it’s luscious and magical or completely foreboding. There were also a couple of moments that were clearly inspirational on one of my favourite films of the past few years, Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England. Japanese horror from this time always feels so distinct and singular, and Onibaba is one of the best examples of this.