Finally, the night of terror that is Halloween is now upon us all. A horror movie marathon is typically in order for this occasion, so I say, grab a bowl of popocorn or chips, gallons of soda, and a copy of these 5 terrifying Asian horror flicks. Let the scream fest begin!
Talk of the best in Asian Horror and you will most likely be told about the 1998 Japanese classic Ring, but Asia actually has a lot more to offer. Interesting cultures and traditions often make fascinating backdrops for modern tales of terror, and you can trust the best of Asia’s directors to weave them into something nightmare-inducing. If you can get your hands on a copy of these titles, I suggest watching them for a Halloween movie marathon!
Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
I consider this horror film written and directed by Takashi Shimizu as one of the best I’ve ever watched. It explores the concept of a vengeful ghost (onryo) which is common in Japanese folklore. Shimizu’s take on this idea tells that when a person dies with a deep and seethed grudge, a curse is born. The onryo here is a woman named Saeki Kayako, who was brutally murdered by her husband as their son Toshio looked on. The film is actually divided into six sub-stories or vignettes where Kayako wrecks terror and death onto the unfortunate people who get themselves tangled in her curse.
One Missed Call (2004)
In this film directed by premier Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, people start mysteriously receiving calls and voice messages from their own numbers, their mobile phones ringing in an eerie tone. Making things even creepier, the voice messages are dated two days ahead and appear to be omens of the horrifying fate these people will soon meet.
This is perhaps the perfect horror movie for shutterbugs like us. Shutter tells the story of a photographer named Tun, who, along with his girlfriend, get themselves involved in a tragic accident. Soon after, they begin seeing mysterious shadows and images in their developed photographs. Be prepared for the interesting analogue goodies you will spot and the part towards the end which will most likely make you think twice when shooting with your instant cameras!
The Eye (2002)
Another successful supernatural film, The Eye tells the story of a classical violinist named Mun, who undergoes a cornea transplant after being blind almost all her life. However, soon after the operation, she starts seeing mysterious figures that seem to be harbingers of impending death. She seeks the advice of her doctor’s nephew, who initially tells Mun that she must simply be getting confused by all the things she can now see. However, it turns out that she has gotten more than the restored vision she had paid for.
Last but not the least on the list is a Korean film which uses the Legend of Arang as a plot device. The film tells the story of veteran detective So Young, who, along with her rookie partner Hyun Gi, are tasked to handle a homicide case. They soon found out that this case is related to the mysterious death of a young girl ten years ago. Soon, the case becomes even more eerie and complicated as the killings go on and So Young becomes flooded with nightmares involving the young girl.
Did I miss any of your favorite Asian horror films? Tell us about it with a comment below!