Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Edward Miller

Subject Categories

Women's Studies


Femininity; Horror; Japanese; Women


This thesis examines the ways in which the representation of female characters changes between Japanese horror films and the subsequent American remakes. The success of Gore Verbinski's The Ring (2002) sparked a mass American interest in Japan's contemporary horror cinema, resulting in a myriad of remakes to saturate the market. However, the adaptation process resulted in alterations of the source material to better conform to gender stereotypes and conventions associated with the American conception of the horror genre. Valerie Wee and Steven Rawle's research regarding cultural and gender differences between Ringu and The Ring is expanded to also include similar readings of Honogurai mizu no soko kara and its subsequent American remake Dark Water. These films are situated within the context of cinematic cultural differences and the horror genre's obsession with the female as victim, as well as, scholarship regarding the male and female gaze. The changes between the Japanese films and the American remakes result in a regressive re-interpretation of femininity.