Struggling to think of what films to watch this Halloween?
Then put the slashers about screaming teenage girls running up the stairs instead of for the front door to one side and give the exhausted found-footage thrillers the night off. If you want a real scare this Halloween then there is only one option – Asian Horror. Here is our essential guide for a horrifically fun night in:
Dark Water | Japan | 2002
One of the most common icons in Asian horror is the use of a young girl as the main antagonist. This juxtaposition between innocent child and demonic force is somewhat of an obsession in Japanese cinema in particular, Dark Water takes this theme and brings it to a whole new level. Flooded with powerful imagery and some clever hints to films such as Don’t Look Now, this movie will leave you in fear of your bathtub and dying of thirst.
A Tale of Two Sisters | South Korea | 2003
Ji-woon Kim’s mysterious and illusive horror is one of the staples of South Korean cinema, not just in horror but across all genres. It’s also one of those films you are going to want to watch more than once so you can digest and fully realize the twists and turns that unfold throughout. One of the most intriguing aspects of this film is the variation of props that on first glance appear to add nothing to the story, yet after deeper reflection contribute more both metaphorically and in terms of the narrative.
Ringu | Japan | 1998
No Halloween movie guide can be complete without the film that really put Asian horror on the map. This Japanese classic is the epitome of Asian horror, complete with Sa-Da-Ko, the most frightening character in all of Eastern cinema. The premise of this film is simple – there is a video tape, if you watch it you will die. A single mother becomes intertwined with the urban legend surrounding this tape, most notably in it’s origin, and attempts to solve it’s mystery before it causes more death. If you are feeling up to it, why not watch the sequel & prequel (in that order) together for the ultimate Halloween scare.
The Eye | Hong Kong | 2002
It’s often said that the eye is the gateway to the soul. That may be true for some but for this blind girl, a cornea transplant results in a gateway to the undead. This is a much more vicious and powerful sense of vision than what you may have witnessed in The Sixth Sense, the images this unfortunate girl sees as she regains her sight may temporarily blind you with fear.
Audition | Japan | 1999
Beauty can be deceptive, as a widower finds out when he sets up a fake film audition in order to find a potential new wife. Asami is the stand out actress but isn’t exactly who she appears to be. Takashi Miike’s Audition is commonly named a the top of Asian Horror movie lists, it’s popular for a number of reasons – most of the them revolve around this being one of the goriest and most gruesome torture-filled flicks out there.
Shutter | Thailand | 2004
Thailand, like Indonesia, is one of those countries that remains quiet for a few years before pulling something exceptional out of the bag. As with The Raid films in the action genre, Shutter is a movie that managed to rip across the planet, leaving a trail of distraught and tormented audiences in it’s wake. The story revolves around a young photographer who begins to discover strange shadows and silhouettes in his pictures. As he and his girlfriend investigate them in more detail things get weird…really wierd. With a tip of the hat to The Omen, Shutter is able to capture it’s audience brilliantly in this creepy story that shocks even the most stubborn viewers.
These are our core essential choices, do you have any to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook.