Saturday, April 7, 2007

Great J-Horror for the Whole Family


What’s entertaining, terrifying and hilarious all in one? That would be a wonderful Japanese TV show I just finished called, The Great Horror Family (TGHF). It’s a horror-sitcom about a “typical” Japanese family that moves into a strange house, which is the center of all kinds of supernatural and paranormal activity. For a western reference point in terms of tone you might think The Addams Family crossed with Tales of the Crypt. Here’s blurb from the back of the DVD:
Kiyoshi Imawano and his family move into a haunted house. The entire family, except the occult-obsessed father, gains the power to see ghosts and spirits. An undead monk, secret government agents, even UFOs start showing up. It’s up to Kiyoshi to find out why the house is troubled by all these strange occurrences and save his family and possibly the world, from inter-dimensional terror.

And it’s really funny! They forgot that part.

TGHF mixes traditional Japanese ghost stories with monsters and modern pop culture parody. The show plays with J-horror conventions with humorous takes on familiar movies like Ju-on (the Grudge) and Ringu (The Ring) but also contains nods to American films like Men in Black. TGHF is rooted in conventional Japanese storytelling but what makes the show novel, is the mixing of different horror genres with a comedy spin. Something that hasn’t been done much in Japan. Most of the humor comes from the understated reactions by the Imawano family to the bizarre events surrounding them and their strange (albeit still very Japanese) way dealing with the supernatural problems. The mother dressing up as a Gothic Lolita comes to mind. The casting is brilliant with several experienced comedic actors taking on the lead roles. Also of note is that the famed Japanese horror director Takashi Shimizu was involved in the project and directed several episodes


The Great Horror Family is a really fun way to jump into J-horror without too much fright but plenty of laughs.

-Swinebread

7 comments:

Selba said...

I used to like horror movies... but not more these days... I guess me getting old already, can't handle the heart beat anymore, hehehe...

Pandabonium said...

I loved the TV show "The Addams Family". I also have a book of Charles Addams cartoons that is great.

Never got into horror as most of it is premised on things I don't believe in. I am far more freaked out by a crazy human being than I am a ghost, vampire, or zombie. Well, there is one exception - the 1931 versison of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi - that was scary.

That said, this looks like a bit of fun.

ladybug said...

Hmmm, I dunno. Might be too creepy for me, I'll have to see....

Swinebread said...

Selba Yeah I know what you mean… this show is really a comedy so no worries.

panda That is very cool, there is just something about the Addams cartoons and the show for that matter. They also showed up on Scooby Doo.

LB Maybe, but I doubt it. This show was on mainstream TV, so its not gory or anything like that.

Joel Bryan said...

Cool... I love the J-horror. One of my students says she wants to try the gosiloli look. Hey, I say "Go for it."

Dean Wormer said...

I must check out-

Anybody know whey they're being so stingy with the Addams Family series on DVD? It doesn't look like they're releasing everything for some reason.

Overdroid said...

I'll just wait till they do an American version. I'm sure it'll be better. ;)