It’s spooky season, so what better time to catch up with Lindsay Nelson, 46, associate professor at Meiji University and expert on Japanese horror cinema. Her recent book, “Circulating Fear: Japanese Horror, Fractured Realities, and New Media,” is a deep dive into things that go bump on the screen.
1. How did you get interested in Japanese horror (J-horror) films? I had always been a horror fan. Around age 12, I was sneaking around watching horror movies because my parents were not cool with them. When I was at the University of Southern California, I took a seminar on contemporary Japanese cinema that happened to focus on horror. That was where I was introduced to Kiyoshi Kurosawa and other seminal directors.
2. What was the first Japanese horror film that left a big impression on you? (Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s) “Pulse.” Not only was it scary but it was so beautiful. I think that was the first time I had seen a horror film that I would truly call aesthetically gorgeous.