Japan is known for many things, such as weird but delicious ramen and even some crazy expensive Japanese food. But what you may not already know is that Japan is also critically renown for its horror films! With it being the festive season of spook AKA; Halloween, we've compiled a list of Japanese horror movies we think you MUST watch this Halloween. So forget about Halloween partying in Tokyo, get your kawaii Halloween costume on and grab a bunch of Japanese snacks from TokyoTreat's Japanese snack crate to munch on whilst watching these terrifyingly great Japanese horror movies!
Ju-on follows the story of a curse that is born after a jealous husband murders his wife and family in a house in Tokyo. Anyone who enters the house is subsequently cursed with the vengeful spirits of the family following them to mercilessly take their revenge and endless horror ensues. The film follows a non linear narrative so can be hard to follow if you're not paying attention, but stick with it! It's definitely our favourite Japanese horror of all time! Ju-on was also remade in the US (The Grudge, 2004) and despite the bad rep remakes often have it's also pretty good. There's been numerous sequels and the USA ver also stars Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar, so it's also one to watch for Buffy fans!
The Ring (2002) is a cult horror classic but did you know it's actually a US remake of the Japanese film Ringu? If you haven't seen the US version and are unfamiliar with the plot, Ringu follows a reporter named Reiko who is investigating rumours of a cursed video tape after her niece was found dead in weird circumstances. It's said anyone who watches the tape will die after 7 days, and Reiko goes on a journey to discover the truth behind the cursed video tape. Both Japanese and US versions are well worth a watch, starting with the Japanese original of course, and much like Ju-on its popularity sparked numerous sequels.
Unlike the other 4 films in this list which feature spectral antagonists, Audition's antagonist is very alive. The film follows a middle-aged widower who stages a fake film audition to find a new wife after his son tells him he should re-marry. It is at this audition that he meets Asami, who he views as his new potential wife. Asami's dark past begins to unravel and the horror unfolds. Amazingly the film was shot in only 3 weeks, but don't let that fool you! It's a fantastic piece of cinematography! There has yet to be an American remake but rumours of one being in the works have been floating around since 2014.
Dark Water is about a mother who is going through a divorce and moves into a rundown apartment with her young daughter. Water begins leaking through the apartment ceiling but the building management refuse to do anything about it. The pair then begin to experience supernatural occurrences with horror and tragedy following. Dark Water does have a US remake made in 2005 and starring Jennifer Connelly but as we haven't seen the remake we can't tell you if it's also worth a watch or not!
Chakushin ari is about a curse in which victims die after receiving a mysterious voicemail dated two days in the future from themselves which predicts their death. Yumi teams up with a reporter to investigate the truth behind these strange voicemails after those close to them had succumbed to the curse and discover a horrible truth. Like most of the other movies in this list Chakushin ari has a US remake (One Missed Call, 2008) but unlike The Ring or The Grudge, we suggest giving it a miss as the remake is pretty damn… horrific, for lack of a better term.
If you've finished watching all of these films then you can also watch these great Japanese movies for sleepovers!
What did you think of our list? Have you seen any of these movies? Were there any we should've included? Let us know in the comments!
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