As promised, I am back again with another list. This time it focuses on The Best Of Asian Supernatural Horror.
Asian Supernatural horror has to be the best in the genre. We all know it, right? Movies like The Conjuring, Insidious or most Western horror try, but they can never inflict the same type of cinematic trauma. Below is a list of films guaranteed to traumatise you all over again. As I am still posting about this topic on the MH Social, I will be updating this article daily. Let’s get to it.
It’s the only horror film to make me turn on the lights before going to sleep. Danny and Oxide Pang direct the Eye and do a masterful job and getting underneath your skin. This is one of my favourite horror films and it creeped me out and didn’t leave my mind for days.
It follows a young woman who has been blind for decades. She receives an eye transplant and has her sight gradually restored. What she starts to see with her new eyes are restless spirits looking to connect with her for reasons she does not know. She must investigate her donor and put a stop to her ghostly torment.
Hideo Nakata’s J-Horror masterpiece was released in 1998. Can you believe that? The Ring was probably one of the first Asain Supernatural Horrors. It was the one that broke the mould, broke into mainstream audiences…and for excellent reason, too.
Can you imagine being at the cinema in Japan when the very first showing of The Ring was screened? It would have been one of the best, most memorable cinematic experiences. Her coming out of that TV was groundbreaking horror filmmaking.
The famous story of Sadako and the cursed videotape. If you watch the tape, you are cursed to die a horrible death 7 Days later.
We have Hideo Nakata and The Ring to thank for the surge of Asian Supernatural Horror in the early ’00s
In my opinion, Shutter is another Thai horror film that is every bit as good…if not better than The Pang Bros’ The Eye (mentioned above). Shutter is an unnerving and uneasy horror trip!
After leaving a party drunk, a photographer and his girlfriend are involved in a hit-and-run. Instead of helping the girl they have hit, they flee the scene leaving her to die on the side of the road. The photographer then starts to notice weird white ghostly images in his pictures.
Found Footage done right…South Korea style! Gonjiam Asylum was a psychiatric facility where 72 patients died and the doctor in charge went missing. A group of YouTubers making a horror web series enter the building for one of their episodes but soon realise there’s a lot more truth to the gruesome history than they could have ever imagined.
If you are a fan of movies like Hell House, trust me, Gonjiam Haunted Asylum is a much better horror film. You will not be disappointed.
Silk is a lesser-known Taiwanese supernatural horror gem with a creepy, tragic and heartbreaking ghost story. It follows a group of scientists who are able to trap the spirit of a young boy by using a newly designed device called the Menger sponge. The thing is, no one can get near the boy, he is confined to a room, repeating the same stuff over again, but no one can hear what he is saying. If anyone gets near the boy, they die a horrible death. The scientists then bring in a detective who specialises in lip-reading to find out what the boy is saying and why he is killing people.
A great supernatural horror that leans a bit more on the drama side. Asian horror films are so different in the sense that they can creep you, gross you out and then pull at your heartstrings with some tragic tale of loss and desperation – all within the same 90-minute runtime. It’s expert filmmaking, to say the least.
INTO THE MIRROR
Another great thing about doing these lists is that I am wiping off the cobwebs on loads of horror films I have not checked out in years. I’m really enjoying diving back into these flicks on the list and Into The Mirror is coming up soon.
After leaving the force because of the death of his partner, a cop takes up a job in a newly renovated shopping mall that is reopening after a fire took many lives. He starts to experience ghost sightings that are all connected to mirrors around the mall.
This one was also remade and starred Kiefer Sutherland and was directed by the awesome Alexander Aja. Sadly the remake was far from awesome. Always, check out the original.
NOROI: THE CURSE
Noroi: The Curse has a shitty time with distribution. After its release in 2005, it received a very limited release. In 2020, AMC’s Shudder bought the movie and thanks to one of my followers, Mr. Jay Cooper, I can confirm that it is still streaming on Shudder.
A paranormal investigator pieces together his own footage and footage from others who have been cursed by a violent demon entity.
The Wailing is a supernatural horror film from South Korea steeped in Korean culture. The film is written and directed by The Chaser director, Na Hong-jin.
A cop must investigate a string of murders and a strange sickness infecting the residents of a small rural village.
As I said, this one is steeped in Korean culture which may be a bit confusing for some of us non-Korean’s. However, this a brilliantly made film that shows us a great insight into Korean superstition, shamans and the supernatural.
A cross-production between South Korea and Thailand. More importantly, The Medium is a joint effort from Na Hong-jin (The Chaser) and Banjong Pisanthanakun (Shutter).
A documentary film crew follow a woman shaman to a rural mountain village where her niece starts to show signs of a divine awakening.
THE QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC
Written by Joko Anwar and directed by Kimo Stamboel, one-half of the directing duo, the Mo Bros. Anwar, Stamboel and Tjahjanto are an unstoppable force of Indonesian horror and graphic action films.
A remake of a 1981 film of the same name. The Queen Of Black Magic focuses on ex-residents of a rural orphanage who must return as adults with their families. When they arrive they encounter a sinister supernatural presence that forces long, buried secrets into the light.
The Queen of Black Magic (and the original 1981 classic) is available on Shudder to stream. That movie alone is well worth a monthly subscription.
Another great South Korean horror film. A platoon of soldiers still stationed in Vietnam at the end of the war receives a radio transmission from a squad of missing soldiers who are presumed dead. With their minds already at breaking point from the horrors of war, they quickly learn about the scared grounds on which their missing friends were stationed at.
A brilliant psychological horror film. R-Point is creepy as Hell while at the same time brilliantly showing us the aftermath of war.
From Hideo Nakata, the director of the Ring comes a different type of nightmare. A woman with her young kid movie into an apartment complex. What seemed like a brand new start to life is quickly turned into a living nightmare after noticing unexplainable black water stains that are linked to the ghost of a young girl.
We also got a watered-down (pun intended) American remake that starred Jennifer Connolly. Always, always go for the original to avoid disappointment and receive maximum creep factor.