I need some good Asian horror recommendations

Discussion in 'Asian Horror and Other Pleasures' started by The Joker, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. The Joker

    The Joker Well-Known Member

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    I have admittedly never watched Asian horror. Like, never. But for some reason, I've had this odd fascination with Asian culture lately and now I want to start watching some of their horror films. I know some of the most famous Asian horror films by name alone (Ringu, A Tale of Two Sisters, Audition, etc.) but have never seen any of them.

    I like films that are visually creepy (think "the further" in Insidious) and I generally get bored with films that are nothing but talking and suggestion (think The VVitch). The latter is just completely under-stimulating to me. Given the choice between gore and ghosts, I prefer ghosts. I can take or leave zombies and outbreak/contagion-type horror, for me, is usually zzzzzzzz.

    Based on that criteria, does anyone have any recommendations? :)
     
  2. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    You mentioned it already, but you have to put A Tale of Two Sisters at the top of your list pronto. It's not just a great horror movie, it's a great movie period, regardless of genre.
     
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  3. The Joker

    The Joker Well-Known Member

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    I keep hearing about how good it is, but is it mainly talking and atmosphere?

    Oddly, I can tolerate mood/nuance in arthouse and indie films, but not as much in horror.
     
  4. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    Well, start with Ringu :)

    I borrowed the DVD from a friend, back in 2001.
    They talked a lot about this movie, but I was a bit sceptical, since the only thing I knew about asian horror back then, was the silly vampires in movies like Encounters of Spooky Kind, Mr. Vampire, and stuff like that.

    But I gave it a chance.
    My girlfriend was at a party, so I started to watch it alone, in the dark.
    Big mistake :D
    The sounds alone, during the opening credits, gave me an uneasy feeling.
    And what unfolded, in front of my eyes, was one of the creepiest movies, I had ever seen.
    It was mostly the sound that got to me, but also the jumpscares, that came from nowhere, often without loud bangs.
    Something was just suddenly there, in the frame, and felt like I was stabbed with a knife :D

    When the end credits rolled, I was stunned.
    Finally a horror movie that almost scared me to death.
    And it was refreshing, not have EVERYTHING explained too you.
    Sadako was a mystery.

    (Then the Hollywood version came, which of course had to explain everything, and destroy the mystery.)

    Now I was hooked on asian horror.

    Next I saw Ju-On the Grudge part 1 and 2. There was two TV-movies made before the theatrical versions, but skip those.
    The theatrical movies are far superior.
    I will never forget the first time I heard the sound from Kayako, and seeing her climb down the stairs.

    Another good one, is Kairo (Pulse).
    It contains one of the scariest uses of the surround channels EVER, in a horror movie.
    I almost shit my pants :D

    Sadly all of these have gotten Hollywood remakes, and if you have seen them all, then many of the scares might have been spoiled for you.
    Though, all of the scares are more effective in the japanese originals, since they don't go overboard with loud bangs and/or CGI trickery.
    It's more subtle, takes more time to develop a creepy atmosphere, and leaves more things to your own imagination.

    There are some entertaining classics from the 60:s and 70:s as well.
    Check out Kwaidan.
    It's an amazingly beautiful and atmospheric anthology movie, from 1965.

    Also check out Hausu (or House as it was called internationally, released by Criterion using that name), from 1977.
    It's not scary, but you can tell where Sam Raimi got his influences from ;)
    The entire movie is like a haunted house ride, on acid :D

    There are too many movies to mention :D
     
  5. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Not to get too nitpicky, but Ring and House are the correct titles of those movies. There's just no way to write those words exactly using Japanese characters, so it's an approximation. Similarly, Audition is Oodishon and Battle Royale is Batto Rowaiyu, but you'd never use those titles, would you? So just Ring and House.
     
  6. Natas

    Natas ....on the warm side of the dooooooor

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    I used to really be into Takashi Miike. Few of my favorites were Gozu, Ichi the Killer, and Visitor Q. All are fucking crazy weird. I've shown the ending of Gozu to many friends throughout the years. It's a show stopper.

    I also like the first Three Extremes (another Miike segment)
     
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  7. zbinks

    zbinks Beset by Creatures of the Deep

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    Dark Water (2002)
    Onibaba (1964)
    Kuroneko (1968)
     
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  8. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Same here, although I never liked the re-arranging of the segments on the American release. I had the international release on DVD, and on there it's Box, Dumplings, and Cut. I think Box is too subtle to end the movie on the way the American release does, and it's much more appropriate to start the film. Dumplings is nasty of course, and Cut provides a great grandiose finale.


    I don't know how to describe it, other than to just see it. And multiple times, as you pick up new subtleties with every viewing.

    I've shown it twice to non-horror fans, and in both cases they were physically shaken by seeing it. The first time was when it was scheduled for the Asian Film Festival I work for, and the program book's editor wanted her younger brother (college age) to review it for the book. I had an import DVD so she had him come to my apartment to view it. He watched it, took notes, said nothing. Next day I get an E-mail from the editor asking "Paff, what the hell did you do to my little brother???". Apparently he was that shaken by watching it.

    Other time was at my usual Halloween horror-thon. While I showed a bunch of movies, according to one attendee, it was that "damn Korean movie" that unsettled him.

    Now, as an experienced horror viewer I wouldn't expect the same reaction from you. I'm sure you'll sleep just fine after seeing it. I'm just telling you these anecdotes about how it does seem to affect people.

    I also really dig One Missed Call, but I'd suggest waiting on that till you've seen more Asian horror, and more Miike films. Reason being is that it is a paint-by-numbers Japanese ghost story, but Miike knows when to color outside the lines. I compare it to a Fulci giallo film; Fulci follows the rules of the genre, but there's always a few scenes in there that let you know it's a Fulci film (example, the chain whipping scene in Don't Torture a Duckling). One Missed Call is a lot of atmosphere, but there are a couple of scenes where Miike really ramps it up the way only he knows how.
     
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  9. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    Audition is awesome.

    All the Ring movies are good. The Korean version is good. Ring 0 is my favorite, but in the context of the series.
     
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  10. The Joker

    The Joker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys :) I think I'm definitely going to check out A Tale of Two Sisters first, followed by some of the other titles mentioned in this thread.
     
  11. zbinks

    zbinks Beset by Creatures of the Deep

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    Korean version?
     
  12. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    Ring Virus is a South Korean version of the Ring and is more faithful to the books, in my opinion.

    I read the first three books, and Ring Birthday. The third Ring book is out there. It goes WAY Sci-Fi, rather than horror.
     
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  13. hellraiser40

    hellraiser40 Active Member

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    I want to say I think The Witch is the best horror film I've seen of the last 10 or so years :D

    i just finished watching Seeding Of A Ghost, that has some ghosts in it and... a lot of other weird stuff!
     
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  14. The Joker

    The Joker Well-Known Member

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    On some level it must be; many people share that opinion. For me personally, however, a lot of nothing happened. I don't need a ton of jump scares or anything, but there has to be something frightening to look at, and The VVitch just didn't have that. It looked bleak and depressing - I'll give it that. But otherwise, I was waiting and waiting for something that never materialized. I wanted a witch with a face like the black bride in Insidious. I wanted something evil and terrifying from another time.
     
  15. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Haha, I love Seeding of a Ghost. It hits almost all of my favorite genres of Asian film in just one movie. Starts out as soft core porn, becomes a cops and crime flick, ends up as crazy ass horror. If they just stuck in a kung fu fight, it would literally be the perfect Asian film.
     
  16. Darga

    Darga Narcissistic Personality

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    I've never seen Seeding of a Ghost. Just bumped it to the top of my Netflix list. Thanks for the tip, guys.

    These have all been great suggestions. I'd suggest watching Ring (1998), Ju-on: The Grudge (2002), and A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) in chronological order. Ring because it pretty much kicked off the whole J-Horror boom of the late 90's/early 00's, Ju-on because it really upped the ante on pure chills, and the A Tale because it's just such a great film (not just a great horror film).

    Kairo (Pulse) is one of my absolute favorites from that period as well, although it might be a bit too subtle and confusing for some people's taste.

    Damn, now I wanna head straight home from work and watch all of these again. And I think I will!
     
  17. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    That about sums up my opinion of the film as well.
     
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  18. Darga

    Darga Narcissistic Personality

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    Oof! I watched the first half or so of Ju-on again last night and it wasn't anywhere near as scary as I remember. I guess I'm just getting old, grumpy, and difficult to please.
     
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  19. Natas

    Natas ....on the warm side of the dooooooor

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    Not at all, man. You just recognize crap easier :D

    Ju-on, Ringu, Ring, Grudge, etc.... all the sequels......I honestly can't stand any of them.
     
  20. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I actually thought the second Ju-on (The Curse) was far better than the first.
     

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