When it comes to horror movies, Japanese movies have made a mark across the globe with its bone chilling movies that horror movie enthusiasts enjoy immensely. Popularly known as ‘J-Horror’, these movies range from the classic white ghost version of stories to urban legends that are quite capable of giving nightmares to some. A lot of these movies also focus on psychological horror (the likes of Black Swan) and hence are different when compared to the Hollywood classics.
If you love horror as a genre, here are 6 movies that you must watch from the J- Horror series that will blow your mind (figuratively, I hope):
- Ju-On: The Grudge
The widely popular series with an English remake as well is the Grudge series. The movie released in 2002 and got wide popularity and recognition for the way the story was portrayed by the director Takashi Shimizu. He directed the English version of the series as well.
The story begins with the story of a man who murdered his wife for an alleged affair and later on their family cat and their son too. The murders cast a horrible curse on the house and it was believed that whoever entered or lived in the house was cursed too. The curse would slowly overlap their minds as they saw images of the boy and even the cat. Ultimately, the death spot of the curse became a curse spot and the curse spread. The English three series version is a continuation of how the curse keeps spreading.
It is a cult classic in J-Horror.
- Battle Royale
The premise of the story is set in the future where the Japanese government abducts 9th graders and forces them to kill each other. Released in 2000, the film was directed by Kinji Fukasaku. The film is an adaptation of the 1999 book with the same title written by Koushun Takami.
The story is about how these kids who have been shown to be already violent are forced to kill each other on an island where all of them are left to kill their classmates. Those who didn’t oblige were blown up by a contraption that was attached to their neck.
If watching kids kill each other isn’t horrific enough, the movie is filled with violence and blood curdling scenes. A lot of controversies erupted after the release of the movie and many countries banned the screening of the movie. A second part was also released after its wild popularity in 2003. It is rated as R-15 and is one of the most successful movies in terms of grossing revenue for horror in Japan ($1.8 million within the first week of its release in Japan).
The movie released in 1998 and is one of the initial movies that defined J-Horror and made it widely popular. The movie was directed by Hideo Nakata and is an adaptation of the novel Ring (rewrite of the Japanese folk Banchō Sarayashiki) written by Kôji Suzuki.
The story revolves around a videotape that has a curse that whoever watches it is doomed to die by the 7th day. The movie begins with three teenagers watching a strange video and they later start experiencing paranormal activities. All of them die with their faces twisted in fear. Thereafter, a reporter investigates their mysterious deaths and finds scary facts about the whole situation. The movie is a psychological horror film and has some really disturbing scenes that can give anyone a nightmare.
The movie was a grand success in Japan after its release and was also highly acclaimed by the critics.
- The Ghost of Yotsuya
This is an old film released in 1959 and directed by Nobuo Nakagawa. The story is an adaptation of a famous Japanese play. It has an English subtitle version as well that is available. It was a widely popular film in the 1950s and 1960s.
The story revolves around a guy called Lemon who murders a woman he wanted to marry but couldn’t because of her father. Later on, he kills his own wife and her lover by mixing poison in her tea, leading to their agonizing slow death. The ghost of these two ladies emerge and haunt Lemon in the movie.
This movie is the typical classic horror movie with ghosts that seek vengeance.
- Dark Water
Released in 2002, this movie was directed by Hideo Nakata and is an adaptation of a piece of work by the author Koji Suzuki. The film also has an English adaptation that was released in 2005 after the initial movie’s acclaim.
The story is about a girl who was abandoned by her parents and later on dies from falling into a water tank. She haunts the family who arrive to live below her apartment. One of the key moments of film is when the apartment ceilings are shown to be leaking a dark liquid. The girl who is the ghost (Natasha) is envious of the new girl living in the apartment and seeks revenge due to her own misfortune and negligence.
It is an underrated film and though it did do well at the box office at the time of its release, it is a must watch.
Released in 2004, this film was directed by Tsuruta Norio and is an adaptation of a manga (Japanese comic strip) of the same name. There is an English remake too that was released in 2007, which has some shots taken using quadcopters.
The story is about a family and how the mother finds a newspaper article from the future that reports her daughter’s death. Later on, when she tries to protect her daughter but she nevertheless dies for the same reason as stated in the newspaper. But this is just the beginning as the mother later on (after a few years of her daughter’s demise) discovers more articles from the future and tries to prevent the further mishappenings.
Emily is a blogger at HellCopters.com and is a drone enthusiast and loves to review different kinds of drones available in the market and is a blessing for a consumer who wants to take amazing shots using drones such as the quadcopters.