It’s spooky season again: Top 5 must-watch Asian horror movies this Halloween

Horror has long been integral to the movie industry.

We all know that Hollywood sits high upon the throne of the film industry and receives the relentless attention from movie fanatics worldwide. And for good reason indeed with gripping CGI, top-notch directors and actors.

However, when it comes to the horror genre, you may find that those from Hollywood are no match for Asian thrillers. Some have even made spin-offs and remakes of the original movies.

So now that Halloween is getting closer, here are 5 of the best Asian horror movies for your spooky season marathon with your friends, family and partners.

Hong Kong/ Singapore: The Eye (2002)

This horror masterpiece tells the story of a violinist, Wong Kar Mun, who was blind for 18 years until she received a corneal transplant, allowing her to see again.

Unfortunately, her moments of joy are short-lived. Soon after the surgery, she begins to see things she can’t explain: terrifying premonitions of death and suffering. She then travels to Thailand to find answers but her discovery will surely chill your spine.

Due to high acclaims for this movie, Hollywood decided to remake it with the same name and starring Fantastic Four star Jessica Alba as the main character.

South Korea: A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

We all know that South Korea has a knack for making Oscar-worthy movies, but do their horror movies live up to the fame? Short answer is, yes. In fact, South Korean horror movies can even give the most chilling Taiwanese or Japanese horror movies a run for their money.

In this psychological thriller, Korean teen Su-mi returns home to a cruel stepmother after spending time in a mental asylum. However, in addition to her stepmother’s cruelty, supernatural acts start happening at the family home.

This one is full of clever twists and turns to keep the viewer hooked. If you fancy unpredictable turns of events in movies coupled with an enduring fear of what’s to come, this one is definitely a must watch!

This film was remade in Hollywood in 2009, named The Uninvited.

Japan: Ringu (1998)

Ringu is adapted from a novel based on a Japanese legend called Banchō Sarayashiki.

It is a story of a curse that takes the lives of anyone a week after they watch a videotape. The protagonist is a reporter named Reiko Asakawa, who investigates these mysterious deaths and tries to save her loved ones from the horrifying curse.

If you think you have the courage to sit through this movie alone this Halloween, be my guest. But it will likely haunt you for many more Halloweens to come.

Thailand: Shutter (2004)

Looking at the word “Shutter” on a list of the top 5 Asian horror movies to watch during Halloween will either appeal or terrify photographers. It has long been speculated that ghosts can be seen in photographs.

Well, this movie plays right into that fear.

After fleeing a tragic hit-and-run accident, photographer Jun and his girlfriend Jane thought they were in the clear until a strange figure started to appear in every picture they took. The figure would then leave the frame slowly out of the photographs to haunt them in real life.

This movie is such a classic that there have been three remakes. Hollywood remade it with the same name in 2008 and Bollywood remade it twice, Sivi in 2007 and Click in 2010.

Taiwan: Incantation (2022)

Incantation was the highest grossing horror film in Taiwan that Netflix took it under its wing and distributed it internationally to terrify us all.

Six years ago, Li Raboo, a mother, broke a religious taboo and is now being haunted by something sinister. When her daughter starts experiencing the supernatural force, Li must do everything she can to protect her.

The movie is shot through a video camera, from which Li tells her story to give the audience a first-person perspective. It abandons the cliché jump scares to scare the audience. Instead, using the camera angles, the framing, religious superstition and the dreadful story to horrify the audience.

Trust me, you will want to watch this one!

All of these Asian horror movies will do the trick to get you into the spooky season mood.

But if you want to take the extra step to truly scare your friends or family and restore respect to Halloween’s name, here is a guided timeline of the structure, alongside some of the movie’s scariest clips that you should follow to watch the films, from least horrifying to absolutely terrifying.

Feature image credit: Frank Okay on Unsplash

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