Saturday, April 14

Categorizing Asian Horror Movies

When one speaks of horror films, the immediate thought that comes to mind is that of ghosts or monsters. Much of what the outside world would consider Asian horror films to include seeing a figure of a woman with long hair, a body of water, more displaced hair, some scary-looking kids and black cats among others. To an extent, viewers will still find movies that use one or more of these elements, even years after Ringu and Ju-on first hit the cinemas. However, categorize Asian horror flicks to these elements alone and you would be missing out on a lot of other great movies.

Psychological Horror
Unlike the current trend in American movies that delves more into slasher-type films filled with gore or an adaptation of the style used in the Blair Witch Project, a large percentage of Asian horror movies delve into what is considered psychological horror. Psychological horror consists more of subtle changes rather than going for jolts of fear or repulsion. A few examples include:
  • The Maid
  • Suicide Club
  • Confessions
  • Tale of Two Sisters
  • Ringu
  • Ju-on
  • Noroi
  • Acacia

Exploitation Horror
Exploitation horror films feature topics and storylines that are prohibited or considered taboo by society. Films of this nature often show a lot of crime, violence and torture. Revenge horror flicks are a popular sub-genre wherein the protagonist (or possibly the relatives and friends of the victim), get back at his/her tormentors.
  • 13 beloved
  • Furai
  • Bedevilled
  • To Sir with Love/ Bloody Reunion
  • Audition
  • I Saw the Devil
  • My Ex 1 and 2
  • Battle Royale

Splatter Horror
Splatter horror types involve a lot of blood and gore. At times, these flicks glamorize cutting up the body into several pieces or spewing blood onto the camera.

Comedy Horror
Comedic horror films are an interesting bunch as the movies attempt to combine two contrasting movie genres. Horror films are meant to generate feelings of fear and uneasiness while comedic flicks are meant to make viewers laugh or feel good.
  • Phobia 1: The Man in the Middle
  • Phobia 2: In the End
  • The Ghost Must be Crazy

Science fiction / Aliens
Science fiction films feature more futuristic topics. In some cases, the film may not be considered a horror flick although it may deal with more supernatural topics such as ghosts, demons and aliens.
  • Gantz
  • Silk

Monsters / Vampires
Asian horror films that involve monsters such as vampires should not be confused with the flicks that feature aliens or have a sci-fi feel. The creatures featured on these types of horror films are more earth-based and often stem from more traditional folklore.
  • Blood the Vampire
  • Tiyanak

These are only a few categories of horror films. It is not an exhaustive list by any means nor are the films the best examples. We will include a review of all of these Asian horror films within the coming months. Let us know if you have any other category and horror flick you wish to add to the list.