Contemporary Japan has been widely identified as a scene of crisis marked by the breakdown of established sociocultural institutions and the subordination of identity and desire to ever-evolving technocapitalist whims. Japanese-horror (J-horror) media of this period reveals a collective concern with these cultural themes, routinely employing haunted technologies to elaborate the perils and possibilities of existence in a world of incertitude. This article examines Shimizu Takashi’s 2004 Marebito with attention to how the film develops a critique of the estranging forces of late capitalism and elaborates an alluring alternative, located in a return to what Derrida describes as the scene of humanity’s second trauma: “the Darwinian.” In doing so, the article traces how the drive for self-annihilation emerges in Marebito not only as a terrifying prospect but also as an occasion to forge intimate relationships with the repressed of culture.

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