Week 12 Blog Post

                Both Kairo and Pulse have similar storylines yet they are two different types of horror films that are typical of each culture. In Kairo the scare element is more a psychological and creepy kind of horror that leaves you wondering what will happen next. In Pulse, the aspect of fear is rooted in the element of surprise and unexpected action that is supposed to immediately scare the audience.

                The acting in Kairo and Pulse were very different in the way that the characters reacted in each situation. In Kairo, when a character saw a ghost, they weren’t immediately scared and didn’t run away as we would expect them to. Rather, they seemed more curious about the ghosts than frightened of them. This is shown in the scene where one of the characters reaches out to grab the ghost and realizing that he can still physically touch him. In Pulse, the reaction to seeing ghosts is typical of what we would expect: screaming in panic and running away from it all. The subtleness of Kairo makes the aura of mystery more strange and eerie, whereas in Pulse there are more fast-paced, scary action scenes.

                Both films were similar in that the lighting was low-key which played up the contrast and accentuates the shadows. In both films, the weather was always cloudy or gloomy, never fully sunny. This foreshadows the bad events that are going to occur and makes the mood more eerie. Although these two films are similar in the storyline, the way the plot is set is very different. The plot of Kairo is slower paced and the fear is purely psychological which makes the mood more somber and gives us a feeling of helplessness. In Pulse, the plot is very climactic and fast-paced with lots of action scenes and surprise scares.

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5 thoughts on “Week 12 Blog Post

  1. It is interesting to think about the different ways we can get scared. American horror films have characters in your face, popping out of the corners when you least expect it (or expect it the whole movie). Pulse blatantly shows people getting attacked by the system, and in the end the main characters go head on against the ghosts. The film actually shows them getting attacked. On the other hand, Kairo leaves much more of the ghostly danger to the imagination, merely hinting at the danger through shots of oncoming ghost and people screaming. The audience is not scared of what is happening, but of what could happen. Kairo and Pulse are examples of the different techniques different cultures use to create a sense of fear.

  2. Points about the cinematography and lighting and so on were quite accurate. I did happen to find that the lighting was much brighter and natural in Kairo because I believe they wanted to have the effect of a peaceful existence that was disrupted by something foreign, as said in the interview that was given about Kairo. Pulse, on the other hand, makes the mood very quickly with the low key lighting that was going to be scary and the deep shadows outside even enhance during the day. The night and day has very little difference, it seems. Although you are definitely right when it comes to the acting because the acting in Kairo almost seemed fake while the acting in Pulse was just bad although they were actually supposed to be good. The movie was very interesting as it was the first time I became familiar with the genre horror.

  3. I think that the reactions of the characters played a big part in how I viewed each film. In Pulse, the actors over-exaggerated every reaction and every emotion and this just made it seem kind of cheesy and very fake. In contrast, the actors in Kairo were almost unresponsive to scenes that made the viewers jump- such as the person jumping off the top of the building. This had a very interesting affect and it almost made the film creepier because it made the viewers wonder why the characters didn’t react. It was not the response that I would ever expect and it creeped me out a lot because it made everything feel very eerie. It definitely played up the factor of the unknown in the film which was already a big part. I think that this contributed to how good I thought the film was in comparison to Pulse because there was more thought put into the reactions of the characters and helped build a personality for the film rather than just throwing in a lot of jump cuts to surprise the viewers and predictable character interactions to go along with the stereotypical horror movie.

  4. It’s always occurred to me that American Horror is truly based on what is onscreen and how it is presented. For instance, Pulse used a very direct method of cinematography – the sudden jumps cuts, the very fierce and graphic nature of what is onscreen, rapid camera movements, etc. – that are conventional of western horrors. Whereas Kairo had a much more conservative method of camerawork that would be considered almost atypical by western standards; slow panning of cameras that build up suspense whereas Americans horrors use an seemingly unassuming scene with very suspenseful music and -BOOM- shows the scary figure. And as others said, acting played a huge role. American acting was straightforward, face the enemy and find a way to get rid of it or escape from it. But Japanese acting did the complete opposite. Rather than face them completely or run away, characters would be very hesitant and slowly face them, even at one point speak with the creature. This, I found, was very frightening as it was the factor of humanity to face the unknown. And facing something you don’t know is much more frightening than simply facing a creature you know, as seen in the American version which actually regards the creatures.

  5. It is truly remarkable how two movies of the “same” genre can have different effects on the viewer. I agree with your comment on the acting. I know in real life if I were to see a ghost I would walk over water until I couldn’t run any more. However, in Kairo the characters actions give off a very eerie and lingering feeling of sadness and loneliness. Furthermore, in Pulse, the characters have a more “natural” reaction to the site of ghost. But this more due more to the fact that the techniques and demonstration of ghost in both movies are used differently. In Kairo you have a more subtle, long exposure to ghost where in Pulse its more of a fast-paced fast-reaction technique. The lighting also does play an effect in both movies creating a lot of suspension in Pulse and a more creepy feeling in Kairo.

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