Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
A landmark in fantasy cinema, this lyrical ghost story is set in medieval Japan amid a bloody conflict between rival fiefdoms. While the warrior Kichi's impoverished wife (Jitsuko Yoshimura) and mother (Nobuko Otowa) wait for his return from battle, they maintain a humble existence by luring lost soldiers into the surrounding fields of tall grass and murdering them in order to sell their armor and weapons for food; the bodies are then disposed of in a deep cavern. After learning that her son has been killed in battle, Otowa begins to concoct a scheme to frighten her daughter-in-law into… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Too often, it turns out to be a pot-pourri of ravenous eating and blatant sex."
‑ , Variety
"A creepy, interesting, and visually striking 1963 feature by Kaneto Shindo."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"the horror of war and the horror of untrammeled market forces combine in a nightmarish vision of humanity bestialised."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"Interesting as a claustrophobic vision."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"No masterpiece by any means, it's at times overplayed, but it's striking visually, handling swift horizontal movement very well. It's also genuinely erotic."
‑ , Time Out
"Unflinching in its violence and eroticism."
‑ Philip Kemp, Total Film
"One of the absolute peaks of atmospheric black-and-white horror."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Onibaba graphically illustrates that brutalism, art and allegory can co-exist to spellbindingly powerful effect."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"Although his artistic integrity remains untarnished, his driven rustic principals are exotic, sometimes grotesque figures out of medieval Japan, to whom a Westerner finds it hard to relate."
‑ A.H. Weiler, New York Times
"Onibaba is a chilling movie, a waking nightmare shot in icy monochrome, and filmed in a colossal and eerily beautiful wilderness."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
"Onibaba shows less interest in laying bare its meanings than in offering the occasion for the viewers' meditations on life, existence (a different thing), and whatever lies below."
‑ Jake Euker, Filmcritic.com
More reviews for Onibaba on Rotten Tomatoes