THE WOMAN OF THE SNOW - A woodcutter has a ghostly encounter with a lethal spirit one stormy winter night and makes a pact with it: The woman promises to spare his life if he agrees to never tell a soul about what he witnessed that evening. The man takes the agreement and time passes. Spring comes and then summer. He marries a lovely woman who is new to the area and all seems well, but he cannot shake the memories of that fateful night and begins to question if it really happened and if he should go ahead and tell his sweetheart about it. I'll leave it there, because it gets very interesting after that. Though it's hard to choose, this might be my favorite of the four. It unravels slowly, like a campfire yarn and next to the tale that follows it, the segment contains some of the film's most striking compositions.
The most expensive production in Japan's cinematic history at the time of release, Kwaidan is grandly envisioned and thoroughly chilling in each of its four conclusions (as well as in the conclusion of its framing story, which took me completely off guard). I've taken up too much blog-space already with this film, so I figure I should end it there. If you're looking for expansive, eerie and beautifully shot horror, look no further than this film. It is truly one of the best of the genre.