10 Unknown Asian Horror Movies You Must See!


Alright, so the title is a little misleading.  We have a large array of horror fans and I’d be foolish to think I’m the only one who has ever seen or heard of these Asian horror movies.  However, for the most part when you talk to people about Asian horror movies you get a LOT of the same titles thrown around.

There is nothing wrong with that because there are some pretty damn good Asian horror films that most people have seen.  With that said, I wanted to broaden people’s horizons and came up with a list of ten Asian horror films that often go overlooked.  It’s a big genre so it’s my attempt to get people to branch out a little and get past all the scary dark-haired girls of Asian horror cinema.

10.) Men Behind the Sun (1988):

This is a tough one to start this list off with.  Men Behind the Sun is really a war film, but it’s torture and brutality make this a very realistic horror film IMO.  The storyline is revolves around a place called Squadron 731 where Japanese troops torture Chinese troops and use them as test subjects for a deadly plague during WWII.

The film is basically gore scene after gore scene with some pretty intense torture.  This film is not for the weak stomached and probably not best for war vets as it is pretty grotesque.  I’m not trying to spoil anything but just to warn you there is a scene where a real live animal is gruesomely killed and a real child cadaver is used for a scene. I don’t advocate either, but unfortunately its part of the “realism” they were striving for.

Asian Horror movies: Men Behind The Sun

9.) Eko Eko Azarak series:

Here is a film series I am surprised hasn’t been remade yet.  The reason behind this is this series is the definition of teen targeted Asian horror.  It’s very similar idea to Buffy.  It deals with young school girls dabbling in black magic and unleashing demons on each other.

However unlike Buffy, the Eko Eko Azarak films have more interesting characters, a great musical score, and much more explicit sex and violence.  Even if you aren’t into a film about female students using black magic, check out the first film in the series Eko Eko Azark: Wizard of Darkness.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Asian Horror Movies: Eko Eko

8.) The Doll Master (2004):

I am pretty sure the title made everyone think Puppet Master and its a fair thought as it is sort of knockoff.  However, this one isn’t built to be cheesy and actually is pretty creepy.  It follows a group of students who were invited to see a private viewing of a doll gallery.

The dolls begin to kill the kids after a vengeful spirit brings the dolls to life.  Pretty familiar plot but the dolls can be kind of creepy and the film is very well acted.  It does start a little slow but I think it picks itself up as it moves along.  For you gore hounds, there is some decent blood but nothing above and beyond what you’d expect.

Asian Horror Movies: The Doll Master

7.) Alone (2007):

From the Writer and Directors of the original film Shutter comes another Thailand horror film that will keep you on edge.  Alone revolves around a girl who survived being removed from her Siamese twin sister when they were teenagers.  The other sister who died during the separation operation begins to haunt the surviving sister at her mother’s home.

The story is a bit familiar, but it is executed very well and is a great combination of suspense film and ghost story.  It has the same kind of creepy feel that Shutter had and it builds to a successful yet somewhat predictable twist.  Worth checking out is you thought the Asian version of Shutter was good.

Asian Horror Movies: ALONE

6.) Rampo Noir (2005):

While many people know 3….Extremes, not as many know of the horror anthology called Rampo Noir.  Rampo Noir is an artistically grotesque collection of 4 short films based on the writings of Edogawa Rampo, widely considered to be the Japanese Edgar Alan Poe.  The whole compilation is dark, violent, and disturbing yet it is still stylishly poetic.

All four segments will get different reactions depending on the viewer, but watch segment three titled Caterpillar and tell me that didn’t leave you with a disturbing taste in your mouth.

Asian Horror Movies: Rampo Noir

5.) Marebito (2005):

Marebito is an asian horror movie that gets overlooked because of the directors other successful films.  Takashi Shimizu, director of the wildly successful Ju-on Series, creates a very stylish film that is a little puzzling and a little uncomfortable.  The film follows Masuoka as he discovers an underground tunnel run by creatures called Deros.

He finds a girl that he brings home to try to rescue but he soon finds himself at wit’s end trying to accommodate her insatiable appetite for blood.  It is a film that will make you think and disturb you a little.  Shot in only 8 days before Ju-On began filming, Marebito is an intriguing psychological asian horror film that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

Asian Horror Movies: Marebito

4.) Ebola Syndrome (1996):

Straight out of Hong Kong, here is an asian horror movie that is a little Sweeney Todd mixed with Outbreak.  The story revolves around a man who came down with the Ebola virus after raping a girl in South Africa.  He returns to Hong Kong and begins to spread the disease in various ways such as unknowingly infecting people, killing them, and then serving them as burger meat in his restaurant.

This one is quite brutal as it is filled with over-the-top sex and violence.  Its got all the blood and bodily fluid that anyone looking for a graphically violent film could ask for and even has some pretty good laughs as well.  This is definitely one for those of you with a twisted mind.

Asian Horror Movies: Ebola Syndrome

3.) Jigoku (1960):

Foreign asian horror movies that date back almost 5 decades aren’t high on everybody’s “to do” list.  However I think everyone should get their hands on Jigoku and see what was once Japan’s most gruesome and bizarre movie.  This film is almost split into two halves because half takes place in life and half takes place in the afterlife.

The second half in Hell is definitely where things begin to get crazy but on the whole the film is an all-around treat.  I see some of the gore and it makes me wonder if this can be considered one of the first gore films.  Not too many other films were doing what they did with Jigoku back in 1960.  I suggest you check this classic out and see for yourself.

Asian Horror Movies Jijoku

2.) Cure (1997):

So this may be the most well-known film I am mentioning, but I still think there are enough people who havent heard of it to include it.  Cure is Japanese equal to the US film Se7en.  It is a slow-paced crime thriller/drama that follows a string of extremely gory murders. Every murder is committed by someone who doesn’t have any recollection of what happened or how they got there, but victim is linked with an X carved in their necks.

Cure is a film that has wonderful cinematography and is a great case study on madness.  It’s almost hypnotic as it plays with your mind and keeps you thinking up until the end.  A definite must see if you enjoy a blood filled crime themed asian horror movies.

1.) Noroi (2005):

Somebody send a note to the Blair Witch people because this is what a fake asian horror movie documentary should be.  A journalist obsessed with the paranormal begins to investigate unrelated strange phenomenons.  He eventually links them to a ritual to the demon Kagutaba and he will soon stop at nothing to uncover Kagutaba’s mysteries on film.

If someones handed me Noroi and told me nothing about it, I would have thought it was real.  From start to finish the style made me feel like it was a true documentary and did so while maintaining a high level of tension.  The suspense builds all the way to the perfect and completely unnerving ending.  If you can find this movie, see it. You wont regret it.

Asian Horror Movies Norori


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      1. Andreas Port August 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

        I know 7 of them! 😛

      2. Manabu Sasaki August 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

        I think Cure’s picture ←→ Noroi’s picture.

      3. melissa stephens August 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm

        seens osme of them going ot see some of them!! Dd you ever see Quija? scary!! chekc it out if you havent scary scary asian horror film.. same s above kinda girls call demon on quija board and demon ocmes but much freaker then my write up

      4. Marigen Beltran August 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

        Only seen 5 of the 10 mentioned…

      5. HT March 11, 2013 at 12:01 am

        Not going to warn people of the real animal death in Ebola Syndrome?

        It’s not drawn out but it’s still there and some people don’t appreciate that appearing without warning.

      6. John W March 17, 2013 at 1:29 am

        It figures the one I really want to see, Noroi, is the only one netflix doesn’t have.

        Cure is an awesome movie, if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.

        • bob101910 March 18, 2013 at 12:00 am

          I couldn’t find a few of them on Netflix. Maybe they have a different name on Netflix that I should be searching for instead? Couldn’t find Ebola Syndrome, The Doll Master, Alone, or Noroi.

      7. bob101910 March 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm

        I think I’ve only seen 1 of these (Men Behind the sun). It wasn’t so much scary as it was disturbing, especially when you find out that kind of stuff actually happened. I’ll have to check Netflix for the others.

        • bob101910 March 18, 2013 at 12:01 am

          Also saw Marebito. Forgot about it because I didn’t like it.

      8. Peter Wolff March 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm

        Here are a couple more “Audition”, “A Tale of two Sisters” how could you not forget “Suicide Club”, “Norikas Dinner Table” aka “Suicide Club 2”, “Re-Cycle” the out an out cult classic “Imprint”, “Battle Royale”, “Into The Mirror” a minor classic “R-Point”, the ultimate gory “Art Of The Devil” and an early fave “Koma”

        • Zavoid May 9, 2013 at 1:57 am

          Battle Royale isn’t a horror film. That’s probably the reason it was left out.

      9. naivishai April 1, 2013 at 8:10 am

        I have seen a few of these great movies. i have two questions is the Eko Eko series and Whispering Corriders series the same movies but different names. question #2 where can i stream some of the movies you memtion like Noroi online

      10. bt April 2, 2013 at 3:46 am

        I will check out the rest of the list just because I happened to have been lucky enough to watch Noroi and loved it. It is as you said how a horror mockumentary should be. When I recommend it to people I don’t tell them it’s a mockumentary so they get the full effect when watching it. Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to find a good version but there should still be versions available on Youtube atleast that’s how I got to watch it.

      11. Naivishai April 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        I’m ashamed for someone like myself who enjoys watching Asian horror movies there are many titles on your list I don’t recognise. I like the movie Friends I don’t remember the real name for it and I agree with some of your chooses except Marebito. I though they tried hard to make it a good movie but the massive blood consuming thing was a turn off in my opinion.

      12. Peter Wolff April 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

        Naivishai, i must admit the above movies i really can’t get into them anymore, i guess i am mellowing out a bit at that time i was going through a huge Asian Horror movie cycle, i must admit i am tempted to sell them for a small price.

      13. LaViajeraMorena April 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        Thanks! I have been looking for new Asian horror films to watch :)

      14. Ljubisa Pejic April 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

        Nice list. I have a lot of asian movies which I seen and you wont be desapointed. So here we go: Comming soon 2009, The heirloom 2009, Pulse- Kairo, Forbidenn door 2009, Who are you 2010, Bestseller 2010, Antartic journal, Re-cycle, Ladda land 2011, The black house 2007, The house 2008, Shutter 2004, Silk 2006, Into the mirror, Ju- on 1, 2, Acacia, Arang, Bedevilled, R-point, Spider forrest, Rule #1, The eye, the coffin 2008, body 19, dorm 2006, phobia 2. I think that some of them some of readers havent heard of, but you will like them I garantee you.

      15. Johan Mar July 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

        Wtf.. Doll Master is terrible! I didn’t even finish it!

      16. joseph January 9, 2014 at 2:19 pm

        i love this film

      17. Boo October 13, 2015 at 7:37 pm

        Gurotesuku – A must see for horror & gore fans. This is a 2009 Japanese splatter horror and exploitation film. So gross it could make you physically ill. Also watch until credits come up cuz it seems to end half way through, but doesn’t and only get worse.

      18. Irreplaceable October 22, 2015 at 9:24 pm

        I dislike how you missed the Thai movie series Art of Devil, especially the 2nd movie in the series. That is real horror. IDK why a war movie with brutality is a horror. If that’s the case then GoT is horror as well. People should stop blurring the lines between horror and movies with explicit scenes.

      19. Rafael October 20, 2016 at 1:22 am


      20. Rafael October 20, 2016 at 1:31 am

        Try the following: Shutter, the eye, one missed call, white:curse of melody, whispering corridors:blood pledge, face, yoga, d-day, february 29, art of the devil 1,2 and 3, i miss you, the wig, hair extension, the maid, forbidden floor, train to busan, bloody reunion, the cat, whispering corridors: wishing stairs, tamami:the baby curse,laddaland,muoi: legend of portrait, alone, bedevilled, the phone,acacia….

      21. Rafael October 20, 2016 at 1:34 am

        Doll master

      22. Lindsay April 28, 2017 at 4:12 am

        Perhaps someone can help: I’ve been looking for a Japanese ghost/horror film I saw as a girl – which would mean it must be from the 60’s-80’s – and all I think I recall about it is that it has to do with some Samurai fellas and a gal, a love triangle, infidelity I think?, at least one beheading, and the final scene (which is the truly creepy bit and has stayed with me) is of a little statue/idol with some sort of supernatural significance being uncovered again…like a wind was blowing ash off it, or something? I recall very little of the film over all, but I do believe the whole thing was supernatural or ghost-y in nature, had some real violence, but had a broody sort of feel and pace. Odd how specific the “feel” of the movie remains to me without actually remembering the plot. The imagery and creep factor (in particular the portent of that idol showing back up) has stayed with me for years and years, though, and I SO want to find the film again. Please help?

        • kistajk May 21, 2017 at 11:05 am


      23. Kistajk May 21, 2017 at 11:04 am

        @Lindsay: Onibaba?

      24. Vlad G November 28, 2018 at 8:40 pm

        In early 80s I watched a horror movie that really scared me. I do not know the name or the film studio. The plot is based on the fairy tale of Hauff Dwarf Nose. Feature of movie: The HEADS in the witch’s basket WERE REAL WITH THEIR MOUTH OPEN!

        Does anyone remember this movie? IMDB already checked :(