Kobayashi's remarkable 'ghost' stories are a beautiful amalgam of traditional Japanese art and subtle direction. The four stories are adaptations of 18th century ghost stories by Lafcadio Hearn and are eerily compelling. Their dramatic impact is all due to subtle visual nuances. Excellent.

A couple of English tourists rent a boat to visit the fictitious island of Almanzora, just off the southern Spanish coast. When they arrive, they find the town deserted of adults, there's only children who don't speak but stare at them with eerie smiles. They soon discover that all the children of the island have been posessed by a mysterious force or madness which they can pass from one to another, and which makes them attack and murder their elders, who can't defend themselves because nobody dares to kill a child...

Laughton is magnificently repellent as the fiendish Doc, on whose island a sailor is marooned after escaping a watery death, whose painful vivisectional graftings have resulted in a pitiful community of hideously mutated man-beasts. Satanically bearded, the epitome of imperialist arrogance in his immaculate white ducks, the whip-toting Moreau rules his 'natives', one of whom he plans to mate with a human, through rituals of fear and pain. In the end the 'natives' rebel and drag the screaming Laughton away to his own 'House of Pain' and the film's subversive spirit surfaces with a real vengeance. A very scary film, adapted from HG Wells's "Island of Dr Moreau", way ahead of its time and banne
First in the wondrous series of B-movies in which Val Lewton elaborated his principle of horrors imagined rather than seen, with a superbly judged performance from Simon as the young wife ambivalently haunted by both sexual frigidity and a fear that she is turning into a panther. With its chilling set-pieces directed to perfection by Tourneur, not least because of the care taken to imbue its cat-people with feline mannerisms. Its sober psychological basis is barely shaken by the studio's insistence on introducing a panther during one crucial scene.
Be Afraid!
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