Great Asian Horror Films

In the 2000s, Western audiences gained more exposure to Asian horror films through Hollywood remakes starring western actresses like Naomi Watts, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Jennifer Connelly. Kickstarted by the commercial success of The Ring, the remake machine quickly went into overdrive and eventually sputtered out. Along the way, American audiences came to know certain foreign film titles through association. The American DVD releases of Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-on: The Grudge and Hideo Nakata’s Dark Water were both timed to coincide with the theatrical runs of their remakes.

But there is a whole other world out there beyond those remakes. Hollywood did not get its hands on every noteworthy title in Asian horror.

Let’s take a spoiler-free look at eight genre gems that have miraculously slipped through the cracks of the Asian horror remake factory. With no Western versions to give away their best moments, these eight films offer pure, undiluted scares, shocks, and chills. They are one-of-a-kind.

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the wailing remake

You should go watch The Wailing.

Unless subtitles make your eyes bleed and you hate terrifying movies, you have no excuse. Na Hong-jin‘s sprawling horror epic is currently streaming on Netflix, so wait until it gets dark outside, make yourself a snack, carve out 156 minutes, and hit play. Because man, this movie is something else. I’m not even sure how to begin to describe it, but I feel confident that it’s a movie that could only be set in South Korea and made by South Korean filmmakers.

In other news, it’s currently being considered for an American remake. Huh.

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2016 Was a Banner Year For Horror

best horror movies of 2016

If you grab an average person off the street and ask them how they feel about the recently departed 2016, they’d probably give you a detached thousand yard stare. Or burst into tears. It was, for the world as a whole, not a great time to be alive. However, it was a great year for horror movies. And that makes a twisted sort of sense. As we discover new ways to fear and despair, the movies will react accordingly. Whether by accident or design, horror cinema represented everything we dread in 2016. How it will react to the actual events of this past year has me fascinated…and terrified.

Looking back at the past twelve months, it’s astonishing just how good horror cinema has been. It was there when we needed it, offering an avenue of escape and, when necessary, a dark mirror to examine our inner demons.

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The Wailing trailer

Typically, when a film garners big buzz at a splashy festival premiere, it takes a few months — sometimes a full year or more — before the rest of us at home get the chance to check it out. That is happily not the case with The Wailing, Na Hong-jin‘s chilling thriller about a rural village that falls prey to a mysterious outbreak of violence. The film did big business at the South Korean box office before wowing Cannes in May, and its limited U.S. release begins this weekend. Get a glimpse of the horror to come with a new The Wailing trailer below.  Read More »