Asian Horror films- what I find most appealing about them is how they vary from your more typical Western horror. For example Korean horror focuses more on the anguish & suffering of it’s characters, Japanese horror tends to go for psychological tension building using ghosts & spirits.
And Hong Kong horror aims for taboo exploitation & has no fear of killing off woman or children.
With that been said, I’m going to try & make a varied selection of quirky & creepy films that cover mostly the regions of East Asia & Thailand.
After accidentally running a woman over- a young photographer and his girlfriend flee the scene to avoid getting involved with the authorities. The following day they start to discover mysterious images appearing in all their photographs & they soon learn the hard way that you can’t escape your past.
Definitely one of the scariest movies I’ve seen recently - Shutter while not having the most unique concept makes up for it in been very creepy, especially if you watch it alone in a pitch black room.
I’d say the films strongest point is that it’s characters are fairly likeable so as the tension builds up, you don’t really want anything to happen to your protagonists. That and this has a very strong and memorable ending.
A tale of two sisters 2003
The film follows two sisters who’ve just returned home after spending time in a mental institution. In their absence their father who was once a widower has now remarried a woman who is clearly imbalanced. However in addition to coping with their new stepmother, it appears that their home might be haunted by something from their past.
Strangely disturbing & original, A Tale of Two Sisters is a creepily effective psychological horror, with some gorgeous cinematography & decent scares. It’s fairly slow paced but that really shouldn’t be a problem as the film is so engrossing I’d say that the movies only weakness is that at times it can become very confusing, especially towards the end.
But besides from that, it’s a really solid Horror that you won’t be forgetting about any time soon.
Dream home 2010
The film follows a young professional whose ready to invest in her first apartment in Hong Kong. But when the deal falls through she’s put in a desperate situation and will do anything – from working multiple jobs to doing something highly illegal - to get her dream home.
The fatal mistake I made when watching the start of Dream Home is that I was eating a stake at the time. Now to say this film is graphic and violent is an understatement. The 1st murder alone really grossed me out mainly because it got thinking how would I get out of that situation in real life. That and I think it’s that exact reason why this movie stands out so much.
Dream house is a must see for slasher fans, Ok the story itself is complete absurd but that didn’t stop me from watching it and been highly engrossed.
Rigor Mortis 2013
A washed-up actor tormented by his past, moves into an old apartment building – while been completely unaware of the supernatural history that resides within his new home. That and his neighbors are ghost hunters exorcists and the undead.
Filled with every HongKong cliche you can think of Rigor Mortis plays homage to the hopping vampire genre of the 80’s. I just found this film to be really cool- I just love the idea of exorcists fighting possessed people using martial arts & blood magic, it’s just refreshingly different & original.
Considering its $1.5 mil budget If more horror films put in as much effort as this movie, the horror genre really would be awesome. Rigor Mortis story might not be entirely coherent but its highly memorable & definitely worth watching.
A widowed Tv producers takes an offer to screen girls at an audition, arranged by a friend to help him find a new wife. Unable to believe his good fortune he comes across a lovely ex-ballerina who appears to be perfect – that is until he learns that people close to her have a habit of disappearing.
As a psychological drama Audition could be described as an arthouse asian equivalent of fatal attraction. This movie does a great job of putting you into a false comfort zone, but don’t let it fool you it’s unsettling disturbing & not for the squeamish.
Audition is fairly slow paced where not a lot happens for the 1st hour. however for horror fans the build up and payoff are well worth the wait, lets just put it this way: you will never forget the last 15 mins of this movie.
The movie follows a former soap opera star who has heard rumors about a woman by the name of Aunt Mei – who has a reputation for making special dumplings that are meant to keep you looking young. The catch is with these dumplings is that their ingredients contains some rather nasty things.
With one of the most controversial and creepy concepts I’ve come across. Dumplings is not what I call your conventional horror. However it creates it’s horror not by using blood or shocks but rather with the idea of people eating these horrible dumplings, that & some nasty crunchy sounds.
I wouldn’t call this a masterpiece but It’s premise is pretty original, and it’s just so dark and disturbing – it’s just a pity that it does get a little repetitive towards the end, but apart from that its a solid horror film.