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J-horror is over. The moment for the ghostly ladies with the long black hair has passed. But people still want to be scared at the movies — and among the Japanese films doing it most successfully now are the hybrids of the horror, mystery and thriller genres that treat murder as a game.

The trend started with Kinji Fukasaku’s “Battle Royale” (2000), in which a repressive government in a near-future Japan forced a selected group of teens to play a deadly “survival game” on an uninhabited island. Propelled by its extreme violence and attractive cast, the film became a big, controversial, worldwide hit.

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