If you don’t compare it to the original, it’s a very good movie. Very pretty, not too American, well acted, very pretty, did I mention it was very pretty? Apart from that… I don’t remember the original too well, and I wasn’t such a big fan of it anyway, but the new version can only suffer from the comparison.
It’s hard to tell whether the atmosphere is less oppressive only because it’s not in Japanese anymore (that definitely did its part in the process) or because the American version, trying to appeal to a wider audience, feels the need to explain everything — there’s a whole half hour of Cold Case in the middle of the movie, and it breaks the flow.
Still, a bigger budget can have its advantages: not only it’s even prettier, but they managed to add special effects wisely without going overboard (now if that isn’t an exploit for Hollywood, what is) and, if suggestion remains the best effect for supernatural scenes, showing everything with special effects works perfectly for the horse scene on the ferry. The end of the scene, I mean. I don’t remember how much was shown in the original movie, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t by far as striking.
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