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 titles. However, for the most part when you talk to people about Asian horror 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 flicks 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 dont advocate either, but unfortunately its part of the “realism” they were striving for.
9.) Eko Eko Azarak series:
Here is a film series I am surpirsed hasnt been remade yet. The reason behind this is this series is the definition of teen targeted 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 arent 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.
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 a knockoff. However, this one isnt 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 off 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.
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 seperation operation begins to haunt the survivng sister at her mothers 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.
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 artisticly 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 didnt leave you with a disturbing taste in your mouth.