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Eulogy for the little black-haired ghost girl.

Eulogy for the little black-haired ghost girl. (photo)

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Tim Burton couldn’t make it out to the Annie Awards a few weeks back, so he did the next best thing — he sent a video, in which a standard-issue speech is interrupted by the arrival of a long, black-haired, presumably Japanese girl, who wreaks cheesy havoc upon him and then snarls into the camera, thereby neatly splicing together J-horror, camp and the ending of “Paranormal Activity.”

It’s clever, but it’s also a reminder of how long it’s been since we’ve gotten to see one of those creepy, skulking black-haired ghost girls crawl with infinite menace and purpose. In an era that really only ended two years ago but seems much longer, we in the States were inundated with a flood of J-horror remakes after “The Ring” that seemed like they might go on forever; the cycle appears to have petered out sometime after 2008’s “One Missed Call” remake.

02252010_grudge.jpgThe strange thing about the first of these remakes is that they made very little effort to disguise their origins. Someone made the strategic decision, at first, that a J-horror film without a Japanese girl (or at least some glossy long hair) wasn’t worth much. In both “The Ring” and “The Grudge,” therefore, they came for us (Daveigh Chase in the former, the original’s Takako Fuji in the latter). The funny thing is that these are the only two J-horror remakes I can think of that actually kept the long-haired Japanese ghost girls, but everyone always whined about how “long black-haired girl” = J-horror. Which was true — in Japan — but two movies is not precisely an overwhelming trend.

In any case, kudos to an icon with deep historical “roots” (heh) for creating an instantly under and new kind of monster everyone quickly understood: an unusual feat, arguably the first of its kind since the arrival of zombies over 40 years ago. Now, thanks to “Paranormal Activity,” we’re going to experience years of shaky-cam terror, making the J-horror thing look positively beatific by comparison.

Here’s a trailer for 2007’s “Ekusute: Hair Extensions,” a Japanese movie that evidently took the genre to its logically self-parodying conclusion.

[Photos: “Ringu,” 1998, DreamWorks Home Entertainment; “The Grudge,” Columbia Pictures, 2004]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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