Friday, August 1, 2014

Top 10 Best Japanese Horror Movies

Top 10 Best Japanese Horror Movies
I love Japanese horror movies. The pale skin, black haired, white nightgown ghost may be cliché, but it's also very creepy and chilling. Hell, it's probably the most iconic type of ghost other than the "you can't see me but I'm here" Paranormal Activity-style ghost. What I love more about Japanese horror is how it really enters the mind -- it really delves deeply into the psychology of horror for a more personal experience -- these people don't just look like you, they think like you. So, here's my list of the best Japanese horror movies of all-time.

10. Carved: The Slit-mouthed Woman
A horror tale revolving around the legendary Slit-mouthed Woman, who dons a white mask, trench coat and a pair of scissors, and abducts children. Carved is a depressing and very creepy film, and I especially liked the use of the titular character. Thru Slit-mouthed Woman is nightmare-inducing.

9. Ring of Curse
Read Ring of Curse (Review) Here!
The film follows dedicated and ambitious student Yuka, who strives to be a great writer, and fellow student Kurohane, who can curse people through her written word. It's a little different from the "typical" J-horror film, but it's worth watching for all fans of the genre. It's creepy, scary, and original. This film actually made an even bigger fan of director Mari Asato. (I can't wait for the Fatal Frame film!)

8. Haze 
Read Haze (Review) Here!
A man wakes up in a claustrophobic maze without recollection of the events prior; he attempts to recover his memory and escape, but witnesses nightmarish visuals and torture. Another psychological Japanese horror film, Haze is a short and simple movie, yet open to interpretation. It's masterful in crafting a dreadful feeling of claustrophobia, and it's masterful in provoking contemplation.

7. Pulse (aka Kairo)
Pulse follows a set of characters as ghosts begin to enter our world through the internet. Unlike its remake, Pulse, also known as Kairo, is an effective technology scare with very well developed themes; however, it has very slow pacing, sometimes unnecessarily slow.

6. Dark Water
Dark Water follows Yoshimi Matsubara, who moves into an old apartment with her daughter amidst an ugly divorce and custody battle. Dark Water is another effective slow-burn psychological horror film -- sometimes too slow. But, it's very atmospheric and creepy, and the final act is amazing.

5. Cold Fish
Read Cold Fish (Review) Here!
A quite and passive fish shop owner and his family cross paths with a fellow fish shop owner... who also happens to be a vicious serial killer. Cold Fish is a bleak yet exciting horror film filled with blood and guts, and a well-appreciated pinch of black humor.

4. Audition
Thanks to help from a film producing friend, Shigeharu Aoyama is able to start dating after several lonesome years. However, the woman he dates, Asami Yamazaki, harbors much more sinister intentions. Audition is the definition of a slow-burn horror film. It moves at a very slow pace, but it's fortunately a pace that really helps build up an ominous atmosphere. It also helps build up an unforgettable climax.

3. Ju-on: The Grudge
Watch it on Netflix Instant!
Read Ju-on: The Grudge (Review) Here!
Ju-on: The Grudge follows a set of characters who enter a home haunted by a murdered family -- a family that had died in a fit of rage and left a grudge. Despite some convoluted storytelling, Ju-on: The Grudge is filled with iconic ghosts, and a fantastic visual-audio horror gallery. You see creepy and disturbing ghosts, you hear eerie and unexpected sounds like meowing and bone-popping, and you're jolted by jump-scares at every corner -- this is a treat for horror fans looking for in-your-face horror.

2. Ringu
Reiko Asakawa investigates a cursed tape that kills its viewer one week after viewing. Ringu is an eerie technology horror movie. Sure, it may be slightly outdated due to the demise of VHS tapes, but it's still eerily effective and enjoyable thanks to the subtle horror and visuals and creepy and immersive atmosphere.

1. Reincarnation
When filming begins on an infamous massacre, Nagisa Sugiura is casted as the daughter of perpetrator, Norihasa Omori, who brutal killed 11 hotel guests. Reincarnation follows Nagisa as she begins to experience terrifying visions as filming progresses. The slow-burn pace is masterful and engaging, the atmosphere is haunting and chilling, and the visuals are unforgettably creepy. This is a horror film that stays with you long after its finale.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your favorites in the comment section below, or follow and tweet me on Twitter @JonathanCA_KMR!

Want more of my lists? Check out my last two:
Top 10 Best Martial Arts Movies on Netflix Instant
Top 10 Best Korean Horror Movies

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