Horror is a main genre that can be found cross- culturally. The story line may differ from movie to movie but the overall paranormal mood remains unchanged. Similar to every other genre, it only appeals to a certain audience. This idea stands out a lot with regard to horror because it is only tolerable to some. The two versions of Pulse (Japanese and American) that we viewed in class ultimately follow the same story line but are executed differently. The variations between the two films are what make the Japanese version more favorable than the American version. I did not have a clue what to expect, but I was extremely intrigued by Kurosawa’s Pulse.

The color red plays a dominant role in both versions of Pulse, as it does in the majority of horror films. However I found it extremely interesting that while red is generally representative of death in most horror movies, in this movie the red tape is what corresponds to safety. In the American version it is explicitly said that the red tape is the only thing that will repel ghosts.

I am not too familiar with Japanese films, let alone Japanese horror films. It is explicitly different from common American horror films. In turn, this elicits a different reaction in the audience. The Japanese version takes a very discreet approach to unfolding the story, insinuating almost everything, opposed to the American version that is extremely explicit and in your face. Kurosawa’s version takes the everyday life and adds an unexpected, unfavorable element. This makes his motion picture scary because the viewer may feel as if the story has potential to occur in his or her own life. The jump cuts commonly used in the American film aid in the scare tactics, while the Japanese version is almost completely devoid of these. The lack of establishing shots in the Japanese picture also enhances the feeling of disarray within the film.


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