I Dare You To Watch All These 7 Japanese Horror Movies

I Dare You To Watch All These 7 Japanese Horror Movies

In these last few decades, Japanese horror movies have been popular all around the world. They have been exported to several countries. In the US, Hollywood made the remakes of them based on original story. Japanese horror movies are popular as the most scary horror movies. Why are Japanese horror movies so scary? The origin of Japanese horror movies dates back before the creation of movies. As a matter of fact, many Japanese folklores often contain ‘youkai’, which are scary mythical creatures, and ‘yurei’, which are ghosts who come back to haunt a place. Growing up in Japan, we hear many stories of a presence of ghosts in ordinary places, such as old house, school, graveyard, etc. As a result, we, Japanese, are good at finding something scary in those everyday places. I will list here 7 Japanese horror movies that are most recommended by Japanese spectators. Although most of them are remade in Hollywood, I strongly recommend you to watch the original ones. You will experience the different feeling of fear from them.



 

I Dare You To Watch All These 7 Japanese Horror Movies

 

1. Ring (1998)

If you think of Japanese horror movie, “Ring” must come to your mind. The popularity of Japanese horror movies in the West started with this movie. In 2002, the remake of this film “The Ring” was created in the US. It’s a story about a TV director who is making a documentary on the legend of the “cursed video” that those who watch it will die in a week. When she realize that her niece have died on the same day as those people who are presumed to die from watching this video, she is determined to find out the truth. This movie contain the classical element of Japanese horror movie: the haunting spirits exist in objects or places and they are there to kill the livings. It’s the video tape that is the medium in this movie. Since a curse is present in a mundane object like video tape, it intensifies the feeling of fear. I remember I was scared of watching TV alone at night after watching this film.

 

2. Rasen (1998)

The movie “Rasen” is a sequel of “Ring.” In Japan, it was released at the same time as “Ring.” It is filmed from a medical aspect of the cursed video tape. A medical coroner was examining the body of his friend who has died from a heart attack. While examining his friend’s body, he finds out a mysterious paper with a code on it, inside the stomach content. He learns that his friends has been working on a documentary on the “cursed video that those who watch it will die within a week.” Although this movie isn’t as scary as “Ring,” it’s interesting to find out why the video tape is cursed in the first place.

 

3. Ju-On (2000 – 2015)

Released on video in 2000, people have reviewed this movie as “very scary movie.” As a result, it has became a horror movie franchise. The latest sequel appeared in 2015 in Japanese theatres. Hollywood has also created a remake of this movie, called “The Grudge.” The story of “Ju-On” revolve around an apartment, cursed by the spirit of a woman who has been brutally killed by her husband. In Japan, it is commonly believed that when someone dies with the feeling of strong hatred, it creates a curse. The spirit would haunt the place where he/she spend most of time alive. In the movie, the apartment is cursed by the spirit of vengeful woman. Strange things happen to those who move in this apartment.

 

4. Honogurai mizu no soko kara (2002)

Known in Western countries as “Dark Water,” this is another movie directed by the director of “Ring,” Hideo Nakata. With the same title, its remake was released in 2005 in the US. A mother of one daughter is in the process of divorce. She moves in to an apartment, which is old and broken. In the same building, one girl has been missing since 2 years ago. She realize that her daughter started to talk to the spirit of this missing girl. In a scene where water is dripping from the ceiling, it amplifies the anxious feeling of divorcing mother.

 

5. Chakushin ari (2003)

Known as “One Missed Call” in the West, this is another popular horror movie in Japan. Based on its success, two sequels are made in 2005 and in 2006. Its remake was created in the US in the year 2008. All those remakes are the sign that how much Hollywood is inspired by Japanese horror movie. It’s a horror story around a phone call that a college student received one day. As she listens the voicemail, she hears her own voice chatting, followed by a scream. The phone call was, in fact, made from her own number but two days in the future. As the voicemail predicted, she mysteriously dies two days later. It was released when people started to possess cell phones in Japan, amplifying the feeling of fear that something very ordinary can be a source of death.

 

6. Audition (1999)

This movie has became a cult since it was released in 1999. Although most of Japanese horror movies revolve around a spirit of ghost or a curse, there is none of these aspects in this movie. It’s a realistic horror story that involves human psychology. A middle-aged director was a widower since 7 years. His friend worried that he would end up alone for the rest of his life, so he devised a mock casting to find his future wife. Hesitated at first, he finds a very charming girl in the audition. Yet there is something odd about her. He was unable to find anything about her. This movie is famous for its grotesque scene that shocked many spectators all around the world.

 

7. Joyu rei (1996)

Known as “Don’t Look Up” in the US, it was the first movie directed by the modern pioneer of Japanese horror movies, Hideo Nakata. Some critics say that this movie is the starting point of all Japanese horror movies that are inspired by Nakata’s films. It’s a story about a movie director, who is shooting his first movie. When he was reviewing the shoot, he see that some scenes are mixed in his film from a different shooting. He thought that there is something familiar about the scene with mysterious woman. Afterwards, strange things started to happen during his shooting. “Joyu rei” means “Spirit of Actress” in Japanese. Using films as the medium where spirit exists, this movie gave the director many great pointers for making “Ring” much scarier.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, Japanese horror movies have became famous all over the world. Many remakes are made in the US and other Asian countries, but I find that original Japanese movies are much scarier. There is something about the way they shoot or the Japanese sceneries that amplify the fear. As a Japanese woman who has grown up hearing scary stories from the childhood, I find that there is something very creepy about some of the Japanese places. I hope you would see these movies and find out.

 

I Dare You To Watch All These 7 Japanese Horror Movies

1. Ring (1998)
2. Rasen (1998)
3. Ju-On (2000 – 2015)
4. Honogurai mizu no soko kara (2002)
5. Chakushin ari (2003)
6. Audition (1999)
7. Joyu rei (1996)