‘Bldg. N’: Paranormal scares turn plain silly



The J-horror films best known overseas tend to update traditional kaidan (Japanese ghost story) tropes to the present. Thus the vengeful female ghosts of yore end up haunting a VHS tape (“The Ring,” 1998), a suburban house (“Ju-on: The Grudge,” 2002) or a cellphone (“One Missed Call,” 2003).

But scary Japanese movies also take inspiration from so-called true stories of horrific happenings. The latest is “Bldg. N,” a shocker based on paranormal incidents that allegedly occurred at an apartment building in Gifu Prefecture in 2000. Scripted and directed by genre veteran Yosuke Goto, the film features rattling silverware, flickering TV screens and other poltergeist activity that the media reported in lurid detail at the time.

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