Top 5 Asian Horror Movies Featuring Inanimate Objects


I previously said that Asia is known for its habit of taking the most simplest items then scrambling and molding them into instruments of vengeful or killing intent. I won’t be surprised if a film comes up about a killer table. Ha! I wonder how creative they’ll be with something like that. As such, I present to you, the 5 Inanimate Objects that aren’t even supposed to creep us out. But now they do.


As seen in: Phone, One Missed Call, Txt

PhoneAh! The use of this handheld or non-handheld communication device in most horror films has made an iconic mark as one of the most common inanimate objects that could probably lead you to your demise or just simply gut you alive and take your head off. We’ve seen a number of films that have used mobile phones, smartphones and landline devices (even toy phones!) as the broker of death or an ironic deliverer of literal bad news. So, what is it about phones that creep up our spine, anyways?

That’s just the thing, there wasn’t a valid reason until Bob Clark decided to release the infamous Black Christmas in 1974 and South Korea made its mark with a possessed cellphone in 2002. I guess they noticed how fast the popularity of phones were getting so they just woke up one day and said “Hey! Let’s make a horror movie about this!” SUPER THUMBS UP!

Needless to say, no matter how silly it seemed back then and how cliché it is now, both film directors and writers were basically just trying to convey a very important message to consumers of the corporate world: Technology is coming… and it is coming to kill you.

Sideline Info: A new Dutch film called APP is being advertised as the first horror film with a “second screen”. This means, the makers of the film have developed an app that enhances the film’s storyline and a sound inaudible to the human ear triggers the app and sends messages to the audience in real time. This also means audiences are encouraged to download it before the film begins. I know this is deviating from my title but you get my point, right? This trend is obviously far from ending.


As seen in: Kazuo Umezu’s Horror Theater: The Wish, Reincarnation, The Doll Master

The Doll MasterI am definitely not a huge fan of dolls (that includes you, Barbie). Don’t you find them creepy? With their glass-like eyes and porcelain skin.. their perfect curls and ball-jointed limbs. The pretty dresses that goes with them and the abnormally small shoes they wear. And their stare… God, their stare.

A stare that gives an inexpiable anxious feeling, the feeling of being stalked and tormented. Yeah.. I don’t really like dolls.

To most people, dolls aren’t at all creepy and some even find it amusing how horror films can incorporate a pretty toy into a throat-slashing, stomach-churning and gory film. Unlike phones, Dolls (when possessed or just in the mood to kill) are capable of scaring the living sh*t out of you because they’re equally terrifying on a day or night basis.

Hell, no one wants to see a doll walking down the hall in the dead of night, let alone see it running around bright and early in the morning! No! Darn you, awesome Asian horror directors for bringing another unwanted fear to life!


As seen in: Tales of Terror: The Haunted Apartments, The Complex, The Intruder

Tales of Terror: The Haunted ApartmentsI was wary whether I should be adding apartments to this list due to the fact that it’s rather a very large “inanimate object”. But then, if you look at it in that perspective, it just might work. I’m going to go out on a limb and write about it anyway.

The use of apartments in Asian horror has already become a core foundation in making a film’s plot effective and downright creepy. It’s probably also the only “object” that won’t ever lose its trend and c’mon, there are many storylines you can come up with the use of an apartment. It’s not always haunted, you know?

Then again, why does it creep the hell out of us in the first place? One word: PARANOIA.

That’s right, because of awesome films like Sorum and Dark Water, we’ve all become agitated and paranoid when it comes to situations with new apartments. And what happens if our paranoia gets the best of us? We imagine things that aren’t even there and thus, scare ourselves to death. Literally.


As seen in: Exte: Hair Extensions, Gabal

Gabal (The Wig)A few years ago, I thought horror would lose its creativity and won’t be able to come up with genuine stories of things or places you didn’t expect would give you the ugly heebie-jeebies. I had to say I was wrong when I first watched Exte.

Boy, was I really wrong. I did not expect that an item that is meant to enhance beauty or aid those with hair-related problems, could become an instrument of horror; and the films that use the plot of Wigs move in the direction of a terrifying supernatural theme. As if using wigs wasn’t already enough.

Why does it creep us out? Because it just does. What would you do if your toupee just suddenly comes alive and goes full mangle mode on you? Unless you have a cigarette lighter with you, you might have a chance. Just hope that it isn’t indestructible and that it needs an ancient ritual to pacify it. Mother of!


As seen in: White The Curse of the Melody, The Suicide Song

White the Curse of the Melody

This entry is by far the most inanimate of all the objects mentioned and what gives it that extra creepy factor is that the songs used are not your typical horror-esque orchestra scores or opera music that chills its way up your body.

They’re just like any normal, cheesy music that occasionally gets played on the radio and sometimes, you get the unintentional reflex to hum or even sing along to it. Then it kills you. How simple could it get.

Not only does it creep the life out of me but it amuses me a lot that film creators would take the risk in scaring the living crap out of people with one of the few joys in this complicated world. People love to sing (especially those who are tone deaf) and I don’t know, other people just love to twist it all up. Try giving Gloomy Sunday (The Suicide Song) a hear and tell me you don’t feel an inch of paranoia crawling up your neck.

So now, what do you think are the inanimate objects that Asian horror has so lovingly twisted? Feel free to comment and tell me off below! Cheers! 😉


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      1. Omar Carbona March 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm

        Good list. If you liked Exte, definitely check out the rest of Sion Sono’s work. Not all of it is horror per se, but all of it is really bizarre, and definitely worth seeing.

        • Mahiwaga March 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm

          True that! Have you seen Suicide Circle? One of his most disturbing piece ever. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to watch it again for the sake of research purposes. Haha! Thanks for your feedback! 😉

      2. Otaku April 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

        I have watched White before! Wasn’t it weird that the songs were actually catchy? Creepy.. > <;