“Remaking Corporeality and Spatiality: U.S. Adaptations of Japanese Horror Films”
by Eimi Ozawa
Since the golden age of the genre in the late 1960s, American horror films have always existed as indices of the status of American society and culture. For one thing, this is because the horror genre has been dominated by the U.S in terms of both production and sales; as Marilyn Manson, in an interview in Bowling for Columbine, assumes that what the American media are doing is a “campaign of fear and consumption, and that's what I think it's all based on, the whole idea of 'keep everyone afraid, and they'll consume.” Fear is deeply incorporated into the essential part of what makes America. Hollywood horror films also have been a product of globalization, being aligned with cultural capitalism; for instance, they had been monopolizing the market of the genre in Japan until the Asian horror boom has occurred past the decade.
The other thing is that, since the birth of the genre, horror films have mirrored what American people fear, which is entangled with the pleasure of watching; and what makes them feel fear heavily depends on the complicit relationship between biological human bodies in jeopardy and the cultural surroundings in which they live. In this case, what does the recent huge Hollywood phenomenon of remaking Japanese horror films mean? This paper aims to examine this question by focusing on the U.S. and Japanese versions of The Ring (2002)/ Ringu (1998). Through comparison of the two versions, I will explore the questions of how cultural translation was made here, and what the differences between two works might mean.
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