Hello. My name is Akari. Akari Kekse. Today, I want to talk about a magical place and about the horror films that were created inside the minds of those born in there.
Asia is a continent that radiates mysticism and magic. It's a legendary place that has seen the birth of some of the most original and fascinating tales on Earth.
Asian horror movies have a special kind of flavor. The incredibly rich and deep traditions of the continent infuse the films with an essence that can't be found anywhere else.
Let me introduce to you six Asian horror movies that that you have to know about. Hopefully, these films will scare you in a way that no Hollywood movie will ever be able to.
I hope you enjoy it!
10. Train To Busan - Korea
- Release date: 22 July, 2016 (limited)
- Director: Sang-ho Yeon
- Cast: Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung
- IMDb score: 7.5/10
Sok-Woo loves his daughter and he would do anything for her. They are traveling on their way to Busan inside a modern train. It is full of busy people who yearns to get to this modern city as fast as possible. Sadly, they are not alone. A hungry horde of zombies as invaded it and now Sok-Woo and a group of brave survivors will try to reach Busan amidst a hellish horde.
Train To Busan is one of the best horror zombies of the last few years. It nailed the most important characteristic in a zombie film: great characters. You will care about most of the passengers of this damned train. Horror movies are hardly sentimental, but this one is one of the few exceptions. A film that all zombie fanatics has to know.
9. Ju-on: Shiroi Rôjo - Japan
- Release date: 2009
- Director: Ryûta Miyake
- Cast: Hiroki Suzuki, Ichirôta Miyakawa, Natsuki Kasa
- IMDb score: 6.1/10
After the success of the American Ringu remake, thousands of Asians movies were remade and adapted into the western market. The best known film from that trend is The Grudge, the 2003 adaptation of Ju-On, starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and Bill Pullman.
What most people don’t know is that there is not only one Ju-On movie, but seven. While most of these are completely recommendable, there is one that, in my humble opinion, deserves to be known: Ju-on: Shiroi Rôjo (The White Lady).
The story of this movie is unrelated to the one in the original saga, so you don’t need to watch all the other films in order to enjoy this one. The only relation between these movies is the dreadful curse that surges and stays when a person dies violently in a certain place. The spirit of the victim is doomed to remain there. Those individuals unfortunate enough to cross its path will have to face its fury and desire for revenge.
Ju-On may be the best saga of horror movies made in Japan. Check out this film and find out why.
8. Bairokêshon - Japan
- Release date: 2013
- Director: Mari Asato
- Cast: Asami Mizukawa, Yôsuke Asari, Chûkichi Kubo
- IMDb score: 6.3/10
Rumor has it that every person has a double, a doppelgänger. Some say that this being is an evil creature who feeds from your vital energy; others say that those who meet these entities will experience a tragedy soon after.
A beautiful woman realizes that her creepy doppelgänger is following her. But she is not the only one experiencing this bizarre event. There is a group of people that, just like her, are being haunted by evil versions of themselves. Together, they will try to fight against these perverse creatures while trying to find the truth behind this nightmarish experience.
This movie is based on supposed real cases that have happened through history all around the planet. You will keep looking over your shoulder after watching this film.
7. Dab6e (Dabbe 6) - Turkey
- Release date: 2015
- Director: Hasan Karacadag
- Cast: Elcin Atamgüc, Burak Cimen, Ömer Duran
- IMDb score: 6.2/10
Ayla's mother has died. Doctors told her that the cause of her dead was brain hemorrhage, but she knows that something more sinister happened to her. The supernatural world was involved. Nobody believes her until she starts acting in strange ways. They realize that some wicked forces are hurting her and will ask for help. Soon they will realize the complex webs of lies and mysteries that builds the foundations of their past . . .
This is the sixth movie of this spooky franchise. Some of them have been shot in found-footage style, but this one has a more traditional approach. If you have watched any of the other five, then you should watch this, it is one of the best (and that's a great achievement because most of the Dabbe films are really good). If you are new to the series, then this one is also a great entrance point (remember that these films are not related, so don't worry about it).
6. Jue ming pai dui - Taiwan
- Release date: 2009
- Director: Kevin Ko
- Cast: Liz Yang, Lene Lai, Jerry Chih-Wei Huang
- IMDb score: 4.9/10
Wade Chen is a good man. Thanks to his good nature, he is invited to a very exclusive party, one that only the richest of the rich can attend. There he will experience the best night of his life. He will earn tons of money, win a luxurious car, and have sex with a beautiful supermodel.
But some dreams eventually come to an end and, sometimes, nightmares will arrive to replace them.
This movie is not about vengeful ghosts or evil spirits. Here the antagonist is the worst monster of them all. Above all, this movie explores the cruelty of heartless human beings.
5. Haunted Changi – Singapore
- Release date: 2010
- Director: Tony Kern, Andrew Lau
- Cast: Faridino Assalam, Farid Azlam, Sheena Chan
- IMDb score: 5.2/10
There are few things scarier than spending a night in a real haunted, abandoned hospital. This is an experience that most people would be happy to live without. But when you are paranormal investigator, this can be your dream come true.
Or your worst nightmare.
This movie was filmed in a real haunted location. Some claim that it is one of the most haunted places on the entire planet. Sadly, the entrance is now watched via motion sensors, so people no longer have access to this creepy hospital.
Grave Encounters fans should check this one.
4: Under The Shadow - Iran
- Release date: 7 October, 2016
- Director: Babak Anvari
- Cast: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi
- IMDb score: 7.0/10
Shideh lives in Tehran. She and her family are about to experience the worst of nightmares: war. Her city is being bombed regularly and no one is safe. Everybody is running away to other cities, but Shideh is proud and stubborn and decides to stay. She will hide in her apartment thinking that the horrors of war will not reach her. Sadly for her, she will discover that something else lives in that building and that running away may be the only way to stay alive . . .
Under The Shadow is a different kind of horror film. It was filmed in Persia and it deals with its old traditions and beliefs. It pace is slow, but it builds into something powerful and scary.
3: The Wailing - Korea
- Release date: 3 June, 2016
- Director: Hong-jin Na
- Cast: Jun Kunimura, Jung-min Hwang, Do-won Kwak
- IMDb score: 7.5/10
Something strange is happening in a small village in Korea: People have started to kill each other in vicious ways. Jong-Woo, a good and noble person but an incompetent cop, is the one who has to solve this wicked case. He will soon find that evil forces are manipulating his destiny and that his wrong decisions can lead to terrible consequences.
Korea is releasing some of the best horror films of the last few years. I have to say that this movie is not for everybody (unlike The Ring or The Grudge, The Wailing has a slower pace and it is full of Korean beliefs and mythologies that will be hard to grasp for most of us). Nevertheless, it presents a great mystery and has a fascinating story that fans of Asian horror will dig.
2: Moo-seo-woon I-ya-gi - Korea
- Release date: 2012
- Director: Ji-Yeong Hong, Beom-sik Jeong, Gok Kim etc
- Cast: Soo-bin Bae, Jung Won Cha, Yoon-young Choi
- IMDb score: 5.7/10
A perverse serial killer has kidnapped you. The only way for you to remain alive is to tell him horror stories. If he gets bored, you will die. In this dreadful scenario, how long would you be able to survive? A few days? A few hours? A few minutes?
Moo-seo-woon I-ya-gi presents to us a collection of four horror tales. All of them are horrific and original. The third one, a dreadful story set in a zombie apocalypse, is especially good and completely recommendable. So, if you are looking for a great anthology horror movie and you are willing to try something different, watch this one.
It's the hellish and wicked version of One Thousand And One Nights.
1: Shutter - Thailand
- Release date: 2004
- Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom Wongpoom
- Cast: Ananda Everingham, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, Achita Sikamana
- IMDb score: 7.1/10
After a terrible car accident, a lovely couple is haunted by a strange spirit that appears in every picture that they take. They will start an investigation in order to find out the truth behind the mysterious apparitions of this dreadful ghost.
They are about to learn that the past never forgets.
Shutter is an amazing movie that every horror fan should know. Its ending must be one of the best in horror history. One true Asian horror classic.
What's your favorite Asian horror?