Inugami (2001, JAP) C-106m. *** D: Masato Harada. Starring Yuki Amami, Atsuro Watabe, Eugene Harada, Shiho Fujimura, Kazuhiro Yamaji. Well-made drama with fantasy and horror touches: School teacher Watabe arrives in a small village some time before starting work there, becomes entranced with surroundings and introvert paper maker Amami. Her family clan must protect ancient urns, which house the spirits of the Inugami, the spirits of dog gods. A bit too vague and esoteric but well-directed and evocative. Based on a novel by Masako Bando, adapted by director Harada. The Inugami were the subject of several previous movies (most notably in 1954 and 1976).

© Ron Altman