Thursday, May 3

Film Festivals that Feature Asian Horror Movies

Watching horror movies is no longer a past time limited to Halloween or other similar events that pay tribute to the dead. There are plenty of events related to horror films and there are a few which are solely dedicated to Asian horror films. The percentage of horror fans that enjoy Asian horror movies is still quite small although growing. Here are a few of the larger events and film festivals that feature Asian horror films all around the world.


This yearly event first started in 2007. According to a vague Google translation, the first event consisted of a talk which featured Toby Hooper, the director of the cult classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A few months after the talk, in September 2007, the Film Society of Kanazawa organized its first week-long festival featuring different shorts including Japanese horror. Certain movies and talks are shown at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. The festival also seems to have an outdoor setup which travels to different areas of Japan. This particular Asian horror movie event is now celebrated each September. For more details, check out the Kanazawa Film Festival. The original link to the site is in Japanese so you may need to run it through Google Translate to read the website.

These are three Australian festivals feature some examples of Asian horror films. Fantastic Planet showcases sci-fi, fantasy and horror films from around the world. A Night of Horror is more limited to international horror films while Fantastic Asia features a variety of Asian films including Asian horror films.

This Singaporean film festival pays tribute to various forms of Japanese cinema. It is a yearly event which first started in 1999. Each year, the festival releases a theme and selects a number of films which showcases that theme. Back in 2009, the festival featured a variety of Asian horror films from Japan including Rampo Noir and Strange Circus. Up until 2007, the 9 to 10 day long festival was commonly held sometime between the September and October. From 2008-2010, it was in August while in 2011, the festival was held in April.

The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) is an annual event which features horror thriller, fantasy and mystery films from around the world. It has been featuring Asian horror movies and films from other genres since 1997. The event is commonly held in July.

A clash between former PiFan members prompted the creation of Real Fantastic Film Festival (RealFanta) in 2005. Similar to PiFan, RealFanta showcases the same types of film. Currently, the English version of the site is not functioning. You will need to access Google Translate to read the website.

Sentosa is a popular tourist resort in Singapore filled with different types of entertainment for guests of all ages. During the last days of October, a part of the resort is setup to showcase some of the more prevalent Asian myths. The festival is referred to as Sentosa Spectacular.  One of the six trails features a 4D cinema where visitors can watch a number of Asian horror films.

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival has been garnering a lot of attention from horror fans around the globe. Its 2011 event is said to have gathered more than 10,000 film fanatics with more than 100 press people. The annual festival features new, independent films in various genres including action, sci-fi, horror and cult. As most of these films are independent types or made with a smaller budget than those produced by Hollywood, fans get to see films that may not make it to the big screen or be the first witnesses before the flicks garner worldwide attention.

This unique film festival from Indonesia features sci-fi, fantasy, horror and thriller films from around the world. Participants get a chance to meet and talk to a few of the filmmakers that visit the festival. There is also a filmmaking session involved during the event. What makes this particular festival unique is that attending the event is free. Seats are limited so interested fans will need to register as soon as possible.

Reel Asian is said to be one of the smaller community festivals in Toronto. The non-profit organization organizes 6 days filled with screenings, galas, workshops and forums among others. Some of the Asian horror movies featured here include Yanggaw (Philippines), When the Full Moon Rises (Malaysia) and A Tale of Two Sisters (South Korea).

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is one of the larger programs organized by the San Diego Film Foundation. It features films, shorts and documentaries from various parts of Asia. Some of the more recent Asian horror movies showcased in the festival include Hello Ghost (South Korea).


This particular festival is well known for featuring a great variety of Asian horror movies. Some of the more popular movies screened during the festival include Man from Nowhere (South Korea), Bedevilled (South Korea), and Battle Royale (Japan). The two-week long festival is held during July.

Feel free to message the webmaster if you know of any other events that feature Asian horror films. Your suggested event does not have to be a large nor does it have to exclusively feature Asian horror movies. To be included to this list, the event must be celebrated at least once a year and has been celebrated at least once before. There must also be evidence online that the event is real (this just makes it easier to check). So send your tips now and get full credit as contributor once the event has been confirmed.

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