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5 Japanese horror films you should watch

Kairo/Pulse © 2001 - Toho

Kairo/Pulse © 2001 - Toho

Halloween, the time of year to be spooky. The days are dark, the weather cold, the perfect time for a scary party! Or, a perfect time to sit on the couch with a warm blanket and a hot cup of tea, enjoying some scary movies instead! For those that rather lounge around at home during this yearly festival, we have just the thing for you.

Japan, alongside Korea, is one of the biggest providers of Asian horror, and they do it damn well. From classic cringeworthy titles like Audition, to spine shuddering fan favourites like Ringu and Ju-on, Japanese directors never cease to amaze their audiences. And if you can’t choose among the hundreds of titles, why not give one of these a try?

House (1977)

One of the oldest on the list, but definitely worth a try. House is a cheesy scare-fest with creative input, truly setting it apart for its time. It might not be the scariest of the bunch and probably the best option if you want something spooky, without scaring yourself, but it will have you laughing for sure! It fits Halloween perfectly, and is a true piece of art!

Pulse (2001)


Pulse, or Kairo, is something more abstract. This movie, instead of many jump scares, plays with you through atmosphere and storytelling. The movie has a grimy and hollow sense to it making you feel uneasy while watching and truly knows how to make you feel isolated and alone by the end you watch it. It’s bone-chilling in a whole different way!

Helter Skelter (2012)


Those who love to work on their beauty might want to sit this one out. Helter Skelter is a psychological flick that focuses on what real beauty can cost you. This work of horror is maybe not full of ghosts, or has killers going after you, but does amazingly well scaring you in a whole other way entirely. It messes with your mind and may let you think twice before getting something done to your body.

Cold Fish (2010)

Directed by one of the masters of horror, Sion Sono, Cold Fish is a tale based on a true story. The real setting and the reality of the situation in this film is truly terrifying and all there is to see is the brutality human nature can have. Where normally Sion Sono is known for more abstract movies like Suicide Circle and Strange Circus, where there is a message hidden in the horrible madness he creates, Cold Fish is bleak, and to the point, with even the actors delivering a realistic and masterful performance. A real recommendation!

Reincarnation (2005)

And lastly, for those that actually need some scary ghost stories, Reincarnation. Ever thought about the afterlife? What would happen when you’re gone? Perhaps reincarnation really exists, but is it actually a good thing? What if you’re still connected to the past life and end up face to face with it? Reincarnation is a perfect example of great horror with a good story, and the ending won’t leave you disappointed!

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