The Asian horror genre was often overlooked. But with the recent rise of Asian media, more and more people are looking for Asian entertainment, and that includes horror. For those of you who are new to the Asian horror scene: welcome! Let's give you a little scare then, shall we?
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The Asian horror scene is scary and colourful, with ghosts from all kinds of lore and backstories based on different cultures. You will see what we mean.
The Medium is the latest entry on this list of the scariest Asian horror films. It is a documentary with one of those inconclusive endings where everyone dies, and nothing is resolved. The story draws you in and is said to be based on a true incident.
It is a Thai horror movie that deals with religion, demonic possession, rituals, the role of a medium and much more. The film follows the increasingly aggressive demonic possession of a girl who has been chosen as a host for a "god". Her family is unwilling to accept that their daughter is possessed, while her shaman aunt plans a cleansing ritual for her.
This movie is very gory and violent, so watch at your own risk, as it may give you many sleepless nights.
Ju On: The Grudge
Every horror fan knows the little blue boy who dominated the horror scene at one point or another, right? There's even a Western adaptation of the popular film, but nothing compares to the original Japanese version. The Grudge is the third movie in the series and, in our opinion, the best.
The way this film follows on from its predecessors and continues to haunt everyone it encounters is a good reason why you should watch it. You will be confused, but the story is deep, and it is always exciting to see how everything comes together. Yes, everything is somehow connected, the characters, the plot, the ghosts - that makes the movie so exciting.
This is an Indonesian horror film by Joko Anwar, one of the best Indonesian directors around. Satan's Slaves or better known as Pengabdi Satan, is a remake prequel of sorts to the 1980 film of the same name. Most people have compared this movie to The Conjuring, and the plot is nothing new, but it is still captivating.
The film is about a family haunted by their mother, who died because of an unknown illness. Little by little, disturbing situations occur around the country house, and eventually, it is all traced back to a demonic cult. There are definitely plans in the works for a second movie, as the film ends with a promise of more.
If you've ever had friends in the East or Asia in general, you should ask them about ghost stories and hauntings in their schools or dorms. There's always a story about a girl in the toilet or some other variation of that kind. Eerie is set in a Catholic girls' school and revolves around the mysterious death of a girl.
Her death draws in more deaths, and while the school administration tries to keep everything under wraps, the students of the school become more and more restless. The guidance counsellor finally gets to the bottom of things when the ghosts keep visiting her, and other students are traumatised in the process. The issue of bullying also plays a role here.
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum
A found-footage horror film is reminiscent of Blair Witch. It doesn't help that this asylum is a real haunted house in South Korea. You follow the adventures of a team from a horror web series who venture into the asylum at night with a live feed.
A disjointed and eerie film emerges as the group explores the history behind the asylum that led to its abandonment. They even split into groups to investigate the different rooms of the abandoned hospital. One thing is certain: no one made it out alive, and viewers were convinced the show was fake.
There is a Western adaptation, though the original Thai version is still clearly the creepiest today. The film "Shutter" gives those who have seen it a new fear - a lingering stranger in all your images. The story begins with a newly married couple (Tun and Jane) who run over someone on the road and then drive away. This person died because of injuries and now haunts the couple and their friends.
More and more is revealed about the person they ran over as Jane investigates the girl while Tun refuses to believe they are being followed. Eventually, they find out who the girl is and how she is connected to Tun and his friends. Revenge is sweet in this one, that's for sure.
This film is also known as Seeing Ghosts and has had two sequels and several remakes. The story is about a blind girl who receives an eye transplant and begins to see things that somehow foreshadow the gruesome deaths of those around her.
After explaining this to a psychiatrist, they visit the family of the eye donor to find out that the donor himself has the psychic ability to predict death and disaster. The donor committed suicide because she was wrongly accused and shunned by society. This film is frightening because you see things that are not there, but it makes you melancholy above all.
Hansel and Gretel
This movie features the twisted plot of Hansel and Gretel and is a wonderful, cruel take on that idea. A young man who has been in a car accident wakes up to find a girl with him in the woods, who leads him to a house where there are two other children. The visuals of this film are bright and contrast with the dark story you will continue to uncover.
Everything seems too good to be true as the young man has plenty to eat and a place to rest in the house. But when he tries to leave the house, he always ends up back where he started and soon finds he can't leave.
The story of two sisters
If you are more interested in horror films with a psychological twist, then we have a film from South Korea that will blow your mind. This film was inspired by a popular folk tale with the same concept. A girl returns from a mental institution with her sister and is confronted with a ghost in her house and a violent stepmother.
The film gets to the bottom of the haunting, and soon dark family secrets come to light. Who is the bad guy here? Is the girl’s mind perhaps playing tricks on her? You'll find out in due course as the film continues its mysterious plot and the protagonist struggles to protect those she loves most.
A list of Asian horror films wouldn't really be full without Ringu, and this film is mandatory! For the uninitiated: Ringu is a Japanese psychological horror film that revolves around a cursed videotape. It is said that those who watch the video will be killed within seven days of watching it.
This film has traumatised a whole generation of people who fear watching the television because of the fear that a woman will crawl out of it and kill them. There have been quite a few remakes of this ominous film, and I'm sure almost everyone has heard of it by now.
The Asian horror genre offers a unique and terrifying experience for those looking for a good scare. From Thailand to Japan, Indonesia to South Korea, the 10 best horror films from Asia showcase a variety of stories, themes and supernatural entities. These films have captivated audiences around the world, leaving an indelible mark on the horror genre.
The Asian horror scene has often been overlooked, but with the recent rise of Asian media, more and more people are discovering the horrific stories that come from the region. The movies on this list showcase Asia's rich cultural heritage, drawing inspiration from local folklore, religious beliefs and societal fears. From vengeful spirits to haunted asylums, each film offers a unique blend of suspense, horror and psychological twists and turns.
While the scares can be intense, the storytelling and craftsmanship of these films are to be commended. The directors and screenwriters have crafted intricate plots, creating tension that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. The visual aesthetics and cinematography further enhance the eerie atmosphere, immersing the audience in a world of supernatural horror.
It is important to note that Asian horror is not limited to jump scares and gory scenes. These movies delve into deeper themes such as religion, family and social issues, and the human psyche. They explore the darkest corners of the human experience, forcing viewers to question their own fears and anxieties.
As the Asian horror genre continues to grow and gain recognition, it is a testament to the creativity and innovation of the region's cinemas. With each new film, audiences are introduced to fresh stories that push the boundaries of the horror genre.
So, whether you're a seasoned horror fan or a newcomer to the genre, watching the 10 best Asian horror films is an invitation to embark on a spooky journey. Get ready for sleepless nights, lingering chills and a new understanding of the rich world of Asian horror.