From stringy-haired ghost girls to spine-chilling urban legends, Asia is the world's biggest innovator and tastemaker in the horror genre, constantly on the cutting edge of what's going to make you shit-your-pants scared. We've got nightmare fuel on tap in our collection of iconic Asian horror movies and cult classics from Japan, Korea, China, and Thailand. Open Menu.
Asian horror is making its comeback. Asian horror movies reached into the depths of the human psyche to expose what we feared most—retribution, betrayal; a guilty conscience. What followed then was a sluggish few years for the industry, where Western directors started taking notes and imbuing their works with the same kind of personal, psychological fear; that and producing new-age intelligent horror hits like Get Out.
Image via Giphy. We're not talking about only 'Ringu', 'Ju-on' or the scariest Thai movies. Image via Drama Fever.
In the past 20 years, Asian horror has emerged as a major force in the genre. Korean horror, for example, practically invented a new sub-genre of revenge-themed psychological thrillers, pioneered by Chan-wook Park. On top of that, something about the cultural difference makes these films extra-scary to Western audiences.
Discover new chills and thrills with these 10 horror flicks from Southeast Asia. Some doors are not meant to be opened, especially the ones described as forbidden. Ever wonder what would happen if you had a heart transplant and, by chance, got one that was cursed?
In the genre of horror movies, you have to admit—no one makes them better than the Asians. Hollywood can do the remakes all they want, but they never seem to be as good as the original. Asian horror movies are more slow-paced, gripping, and more spine-chilling.
In the '90s, Hollywood picked up on a new trend when they discovered the horror films coming out of Asia. Whether it was the Japanese or Korean horror movies, America started remaking them left and right. However, as the case seems to always be, Hollywood rarely seemed to get the feel and atmosphere right when remaking Asian horror.
This psychological horror movie tells the story of a patient who leaves a mental institution after being treated for psychosis and returns home, where her younger sister and awful stepmother are waiting for her. Saying anything else about this story would be destroying this work of art of Korean cinema, but keep an eye on its director, Kim Jee-Woon, who's responsible for other great movies from the genre. Directed by Takashi Miike, a renowned Japanese director known for being able to make the bloodiest, most violent and twisted movies along with more family-friendly titles. This particular film leans more towards the grim end and to the torture porn subgenre.
The truth is, that despite common belief, horror is not dominant at all as a genre in Asia; in fact the only time it ever was, was during the J-horror explosion. Victims are shown to be impaled with metal poles, harm their arms ripped off, disemboweled or just ripped to pieces. Non-lethal injuries, from being sprayed with accident or shown with melted body parts, run rampant in the film much like the actual body modification processes shown.
Monster movie crossovers are usually a sign of a moribund franchise, but this Ring v Grudge combo is livelier than you would expect. Students get voice mails predicting their own violent deaths — which duly come to pass, although not without some black humour and a spooky vintage ringtone. Director Takashi Miike plays by the J-horror rules, more or less, but it all flies off the rails in a bonkers final act.