Well, they are hardly classics, but Hollywood has recently taken to remaking Asian horror films (known as "J" Horror for "Japanese Horror" even though the industry now includes Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, and even the Phillipines).
I don't know how many people here are into foreign horror, but as I despise slasher flicks, I do prefer the Asian horror market to the modern Slasher industry.
My question is, what are your favorite "J-horror" films? Ringu, Ju-on, Dark Water, and Pulse have all been remade recently. The Eye and One Missed Call are also being remade. Any Asian horror films that are really worth watching that are not yet on the remake market?
I don't think (as far as modern horror goes) English speaking
horror films can hold a candle to Asian horror films.
I think it has to do with with the supernatural culture that
Asians (and Japanese) have in their past - that makes even
the most outlandish film believeable.
The Japanese "Ring" films were so scary - what I have seen of
the remakes I didn't like.
"Dark Water" was just so frightening and I didn't bother to
watch the remakes. "Ju-on" again was just so scary and my
son hired "The Grudge" (the American version) and it didn't
really seem (from what I saw) to be as frightening as the
There was also a film I can't remember it's name where when
someone died there was a race to see who could claim their
soul first - the good ghost or the bad ghost. It sounds silly but
it wasn"t - I just don't think it translates well.
I think that is the problem - Americans just seem too "I don't
believe in this mumbo jumbo" -especially the ones starring in
I haven't seen "Pulse" but "One Missed Call" is also really scary.
Totally unaware of these movies like The Grudge and The Ring being originally done in Japan, and that what I was watching was Americanized remakes, there was still traces, and very large traces at that, of another culture taking place with the horror as to what we in America are accustomed to seeing (a knife and/or a spook and that's it).
I went to see The Grudge in the theatres, saw The Ring on tv, and they were little boogars.
Now I don't go out of my way to see horror movies now anyway, but even when I do, if it is Stephen King hokum like Dreamcather and Secret Window (the Depp movie, whatever it was) or even Darkness Falls, those are entirely American horror ideas.
Darkness Falls had that spookiness to it, but it was still what we have seen over and over in American or European horror movies; western culture.
Grudge and Ring (I recall not much about the Ring, that was the one with the phone and the video) were spooky little things.
Guys at my work told me they couldn't finish watching The Grudge. I doubt they ever got to Ring.
I told them they were accustomed to Freddie, Jason, Michael Myers and Chucky as horror. I got a kick out of going up behind one of the guys and making that Grudge noise. He'd jump!
But they were just horror attached to things we don't connect horror to here in America, so it was freaking people out, people who generally don't analyze eveyrthing about movies.
I think there were those on the other side who just didnt get it because there wasn't a Norman Bates with a knife or an ax or the chainsaw or some other sharp instrument running thru the film.
But I won't go out of my way to look for anymore of these movies.
As I said, horror aint my thing right now, hasn't been for years.
The closest I could get to anything like that better be very mild suspense.
What is interesting is that even Asian horror films differ depending on their country of origin. Japan, for example, relies on imagery and mood. Long stringy haired girls seeking revenge for some terrible wrong they suffered dominate Japanese horror films. They low budget and yet strangely effective, despite bizarre plots including such seeming nonsense as killer videotapes, killer internet, and other technological outlets through which the spirits express themselves.
Korea also borrows these themes but also show a heavy dosage of American influences. Particularly in the vein of violence. "Phone," for example, is eerily similar to "The Ring" and similar Japanese films but more violent. In fact, Phone is actually one of the more mild entries. Others excel is shock as well as imagery and mood. From a technical standpoint, Korea's film industry is probably superior to Japan's. Their films always look high budget even when they are not. The directors always seem to know their way around a camera.
Other Asian countries also reflect differences. Thailand borrows, of course, the Asian ghost seeking revenge, but based on the limited number of Thai movies I have seen, there seems to be obsession with rape and child molestation. I was disturbed to see rape scenes in Thai's films, which actually keeps me away from them. Overall, their productions are of a lower quality and not as well directed although a few stand out.
Hong Kong and Taiwan are similar to Thailand. Low budget and inferior production values, but some, like "the Eye" emerge as clear equals to anything in Japan or Korea. "The Eye" is in fact on America's redo list and will be out next year.
Strangely enough, the Philippines has actually surpassed Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand in horror films. Although their films are bottom dollar, essentially rip offs of Japanese horror films, and lack originality, they are usually well done and provide many of the same chills as the Japanese cinema. Films like "White Lady," "Sukob," and even "Txt" are finding a DVD market over here and "Feng Shui" seems to have become a cult favorite.
Now I have never seen an Indonesian horror film because they cannot be found in the US at all, but since I have a very close girl friend who is an Indonesian actress I just thought I would toss it in for good measure. :rolleyes: Actually, the reason Indonesian movies are not available in the US is because they are considered inferior products although I cannot cofnirm the truth of this. Perhaps one day Flora will get back to the US and bring some of her films with her and I can update this page. Until then ...
Happy horror ...