A homicidally jealous six-year-old boy


I thought that “The Shadow Within” (Kage no kuruma, 1970, directed by Nomura Yoshitarô, from a story by Matsumoto Seichô (yet another Nomura Matsumoto adaptation)) was too slow. I had no difficulty believing that the six-year-old Kenchan (Okamoto Hisato) was trying to eliminate his widowed mother’s new (married travel agent) lover Hamajima Yukio (Katô Gô). She (Iwashito Shima as Yasuko) and the police couldn’t believe it, but I don’t think six-year-olds are incapable of homicidal intents and don’t share their belief in youthful innocence. Besides I saw him!

The dangers of children to adulterers was also my take-away from Suzuki’s “Everything Goes Wrong”/“The Madness of Youth”), though it had an older son jealous of his mother’s considerate lover.

Nomura’s frequent cinematographer Takashi Kawamata (Castle of Sand, Demon, Imamura’s Black Rain) provided great horror movie lighting and images.

©2016, Stephen O. Murray


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