Topic: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

Hi,

I'm currently undertaking a small scale research project for my film studies course.

My essay topic is 'Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?'

The three films I will be basing my essay on are:
-Audition
-Ju-On
-Ringu

Please comment and let me know your opinion on this matter, making it detailed and justified. Any amazing replies will be featured in my final piece.

Thanks!

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

Audition -- evil woman

Ju-On -- misunderstood woman

Ringu -- misunderstood evil woman

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

" Please comment and let me know your opinion on this matter, making it detailed and justified. Any amazing replies will be featured in my final piece."
Translation- Please write my essay for me wink

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

^^^LOL yep...

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

Nope, you just get a better grade if you quote a thread that you have created, somehow I don't think a comment is going to make up a whole essay! smile

Last edited by Jessg95 (2013-02-07 16:00:06)

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

Well, I can only speak in any kind of detail on Audition and Ringu; I've only seen Ju-On once, years ago, so its intricacies escape me.

Audition -- definitely evil woman.  An argument could be made that the lead character set himself up for his torture by lying to her when he said he'd love her and her alone when we all knew damn well he has a son he loves, too.  But if the woman had any level of sanity, she would have understood he was referring to her as his mate, not as only person in his life.  So when she hears him tell his son he loves him, it was her choice -- the choice of a sociopath -- to count that as a betrayal, a choice to exact torture as revenge. 

True, the male lead isn't completely without some blame.  He did set up the fake audition under false pretenses, but in the context of things we allow ourselves to forgive in film, he did so out of a genuine desire to love and be loved, so we grant him immunity from his small amount of blame.  He has done wrong, but he did nothing so horrible as to deserve the torture he ends up suffering.  He wasn't trying to hurt anyone and had no intention of tricking a woman into falling in love with him.  He merely manipulated the condition under which two people might meet.  He didn't manipulate the course of the relationship, and he didn't manipulate the woman's emotions. 

Now, would a rational mind consider either the fake audition or him stating his love for his son as torture-worthy transgressions?  Of course not.  But even an irrational mind would see the wrong in mangling and crippling a former lover, keeping him in a sack and feeding him vomit.  That leaves only one possible explanation: that the woman is truly, horribly evil.  A truth further established by the fact that by the end of the film, we find her gleefully in the process of mangling yet another lover to keep as she did the previous one.


As for Ringu, I think it's a matter of an evil woman (or in this case, girl) who is also misunderstood.  But she's not evil by choice.  She's a girl, born with abilities that corrupt her.  That she had no more say in being born with those powers than she had say in what sex she would be born as is inconsequential to this discussion; she was born with evil in her, hence we'll consider her evil.  However, because a dog is born with no legs doesn't mean it needs to be put down.  If the girl had been raised in a loving household and community, who's to say how she would have turned out?  But she wasn't.  She was raised by parents her feared her and a community which hated her.   You can't blame a fire for being a fire; you can only put it out or make it worse.  And the way society treated her made her worse.  So yes, she was evil and misunderstood.

My two cents.

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

That's more like it! I think you have some very good arguments. Does the fact that Asami was abused when she was young not help her case a little bit for you?

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

So the girl in Ringu was made evil...possibly.

Wasn't the girl in Audition abused somehow as I child, I haven't seen it in so long, but I remember flashbacks and it seemed they hinted at her being possibly, sexualy abused as a child? So maybe her evil was the product of that...possibly?

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

Asami being abused as a child might help her case if she was abused unwillingly, but -- and maybe I'm just remembering it incorrectly, I can't check because I just sold my copy of the flick on ebay a couple weeks ago lol -- but didn't she welcome the abuse?  I seem to recall during the flshback sequence Asami as a child opening her legs of her own accord, not because she was forced to?  If that's the case, then she was a black widow way early on. 

And look at her demeanor during the torture sequence; she came fully prepared, gear, gloves, apron and all, no hesitation or guilt, no jitters.  Every pin was put in an exact location intentionally.  She's obviously had a lot of experience torturing and mutilating people.  And considering she's not all that old -- what, mid-20s, maybe? -- I'd wager she was torturing boyfriend as early as her pre-teens.  If that ain't evil, I'd hate to know what is. lol

EDIT -- also, and sorry if I come off as pretentious -- but I spent several years as a counselor and have had a lot of experience with abuse victims.  It's true, most victims of abuse are just that -- victims.  They're forever scarred and left timid and meek, and the abuse they suffered informs their every action and word.  But while Asami appears timid and meek, appears to lack self-confidence like a the majority of abuse victiims, that's all a facade.  We see the real Asami when she's gleefully torturing the lead character; that she registers not a hint of guilt or remorse while doing so defines her as an almost pure sociopath.  And to give you an understanding of what a pure socipath is, I need only direct your attention to Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacey or Ted Bundy.  All mass murderers, all who relished in the torture of their victims and felt not so much as a sliver of guilt or remorse before, during or after their murderous acts.

Last edited by LoudLon (2013-02-07 18:08:35)

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

Ringu-
She was born with powers, but I don't think they were inherently evil.  I believe it was all the testing and the showing of her talents, then getting accused of being a fake that made her despise the world.  Then she just didn't care what she did with her powers anymore.  So misunderstood at first, but she let her powers corrupt her to evil acts.

Ju-on -
I've always had a problem with the premise of "the grudge."  I can see it taking place in the original place, making it a vengeful ghost that just lashed out at people that "invaded" her house.  Thus, misunderstood.  But when the grudge starts spreading to people like the flu (besides not making any sense- c'mon in ends up in Chicago by #3), it has to be evil.  You don't stalk 3rd party friends without being evil.

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

At first I think I was more on the side of Asami being misunderstood, but I think you have completely changed my opinion!

Also, it doesn't come off as pretentious at all! It's really helpful to have someone who knows what they're talking about... Many people watch films and instantly say they would act a certain way in the given situation, but don't really know how they would act, because they have never been in said situation... So it's incredibly helpful! Thankyou!

How far do you agree then that for all three characters, the fact that they were misunderstood for the majority of their lives lead to them becoming evil?

smile

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

I just noticed that Lon brought up the idea of Asami being a sociopath.  Here we come to the question is a sociopath actually evil for having no normative empathic feelings?  If you wiped out someone's moral compass (example, me), are they evil afterwards, or just some creature that just responds to situations?  (If someone makes a poo-flinging joke, "Straight to the moon!")  But is she a sociopath or a psychopath?    Hard to tell the difference.

Audition- I'm going the psychopathic route and say evil.
Ringu- Misunderstood in life.
Ju-on - In life, it didn't matter, since her death caused the grudge.  But her spirit did turn evil once it did the flu effect.

So 2/3rds misunderstood.

Jess- Aren't you glad you asked?  lol

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

Are you saying then that all of her misgivings have lead to Asami becoming callous and accepting violence and abuse as the norm? Therefore not actively choosing to be evil, but instead evil is the only thing she knows??

I think something that is key for me personally is emotional response. Can a character that you feel sorrow and pity for really be wholly evil, wouldn't that be contradictory to your emotions? What do you guys think?

Azathoth- totally glad I asked, it's all helping me to view it in a completely different way other than my own smile So a big Thank You is in order smile

Last edited by Jessg95 (2013-02-08 15:16:34)

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

There have been many studies showing that physical and/or sexual abusers also suffered that when they were children.  So in that regard, that is their world-view; that is normal to them.  Of course not every abused person goes off to be an abuser, so it seems that the later abusers just gave up, rather than choosing evil.

I can feel pity for someone and think they are not evil if they are taking their actions against those involved.  Say, I Spit on Your Grave, or if Jodie Foster in The Accused went Rambo on those guys.  I'm cheering them on, that's not evil, it's justice (remember, we're talking Movie World here, not real life).  But when you spread your destruction to people that just remind you of what happened, then I lose sympathy and veer towards evil.

I'm glad you like.  Stay around for a while, we don't bite.  Well, except Wolfy during the full moon, lol.

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

I think that the misunderstanding of them made them Evil.
I'm not sure that Sadako was born Evil but that she rather developped the evilness being stuck in there.

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

How is Asami evil or misunderstood for that matter? The torture is a part of his nightmare in a hotel room. In Aoyama's nightmare perhaps his fear/guilt regarding remarrying or regarding the whole audition thing manifest themselves in her in a way that fits scary-well with her quiet personality and some of the things she's said. When he wakes up and realises it was all a dream, it was nonetheless vivid enough that he can no longer separate that Asami from the real Asami, and is now extremely trepidatious at having proposed to her. When he goes back to sleep, the dream picks up where it left off, so this will probably continue to haunt him, unfortunately for both him and the real Asami.

Is Aoyama a nice guy really? No. He does not treat women very well at all. Ignoring his secretary (which apparently he slept with), viewing all females as a sexual objects subconsciously in his dream (getting a BJ from secretary, house sitter and even from his son's underage girlfriend), he thus sets himself up for having a nightmare. His own guilt combined with his friend's skepticism following  audition plays tricks on him earlier in a movie where we see Asami sitting by the phone with a giant bag starting moving. Aoyama knows at least subconsciously that he just uses Asami. He's just being a guy.

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

HUGE SPOILER LIKE EPIC ONE!

Asami wasn't evil. She did nothing wrong. She was just in love. The whole thing was in his head completely. If I wasn't so tired I'd do a complete breakdown of how I came to this conclusion but the scene at the end with Asami cutting his feet off and killing Puppy was all a manifestation of his guilt over finding love with someone other than his dead wife. I literally thought about this movie and the final scene for months after watching it and watched several times again before I got this. If taken literal, Asami would have been driven by her desire to be loved by him and living under the shadow of his dead wife was unbearable. My interpretation is similar to Xytras.

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

UltraViolence wrote:

HUGE SPOILER LIKE EPIC ONE!

Asami wasn't evil. She did nothing wrong. She was just in love. The whole thing was in his head completely. If I wasn't so tired I'd do a complete breakdown of how I came to this conclusion but the scene at the end with Asami cutting his feet off and killing Puppy was all a manifestation of his guilt over finding love with someone other than his dead wife. I literally thought about this movie and the final scene for months after watching it and watched several times again before I got this. If taken literal, Asami would have been driven by her desire to be loved by him and living under the shadow of his dead wife was unbearable. My interpretation is similar to Xytras.

Fascinating interpretation UV and yeah, you may be right. I could pick holes in that resolution all night, like how did his son fight this fragment of his psyche and whether or not the molestation scene was real. I refute the former and adhere to the latter btw.

You've just inspired me to sit at my computer and stroke my chin and for that, you get a ten out of ten for such a thought provoking statement.

Nice one. big_smile

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

Xytras wrote:

How is Asami evil or misunderstood for that matter? The torture is a part of his nightmare in a hotel room. In Aoyama's nightmare perhaps his fear/guilt regarding remarrying or regarding the whole audition thing manifest themselves in her in a way that fits scary-well with her quiet personality and some of the things she's said. When he wakes up and realises it was all a dream, it was nonetheless vivid enough that he can no longer separate that Asami from the real Asami, and is now extremely trepidatious at having proposed to her. When he goes back to sleep, the dream picks up where it left off, so this will probably continue to haunt him, unfortunately for both him and the real Asami.

Is Aoyama a nice guy really? No. He does not treat women very well at all. Ignoring his secretary (which apparently he slept with), viewing all females as a sexual objects subconsciously in his dream (getting a BJ from secretary, house sitter and even from his son's underage girlfriend), he thus sets himself up for having a nightmare. His own guilt combined with his friend's skepticism following  audition plays tricks on him earlier in a movie where we see Asami sitting by the phone with a giant bag starting moving. Aoyama knows at least subconsciously that he just uses Asami. He's just being a guy.

You've just given me a whole new take on Audition Xytras, I'm gonna watch it again to see if I agree with you sometine this week but I will say that that  was a blistering post and has definitely piqued my interest to rewatch this film again.

Re: Discussion: Women in Japanese Horror: Evil or just Misunderstood?

^^^

Thanks. Yeah, it took me two viewings to develop my own take on it and I stick to my own interpretation. It makes more sense, to me anyway, than to believe the one that the whole thing was real. This type of David Lynch-esque kind of films always fascinates me.