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Best Japanese Horror Films (10+1list)

Best Japanese Horror Films.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Japan has long been a major contributor to the Horror genre.

The subtle movements of the white curtains, the rustle of the wind in the dark, sudden ringing of the phone, a thin beam of torch light illuminating a shadowy figure; be it the eerie natural outdoors or the uncomfortable corners of your rooms – these Japanese horror films explores every possibility to scare you out of your wits.

Most of these Japanese Horror Films are remade in Hollywood and in many other languages but for me the originals are always the best bet.

So let’s get ready for some scream!

(Also check out Best Japanese Weird films of all times).

1. The Grudge (2002)


Original title “Ju-on”

Directed by Takashi Shimizu who also directed the american version of the same The Grudge (2004), the film succeeded in scaring people all around the world. 

Endless number of sequels and remakes, this film is one of the most successful Japanese Horror Films. And probably the most scary one too.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVbWpwkCJRg

2. Kwaidan (1964)


Original title “Kaidan”.

A classic collection of Japanese folk tales – the film consists of four separate and unrelated stories based on supernatural elements.

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi – the most popular Japanese Horror film winning the ‘Special jury prize’ at 1965 Cannes Film Festival and also an Academy Award nomination.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG5mvupo9Wc

3. Ring (1998)


Original title “Ringu”

Don’t you dare watch it because if you cannot solve the mystery of this mysterious video – you are dead.

Directed by Hideo Nakata this film has bunch of sequels and remakes but none of them scares you as much as this one.  

I guess the poster says it all!

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Z-MOqAvtY

4. Infection (2004)


Original title “Kansen”

One error made by a doctor in the hospital sets forth a chain of incidents with disastrous consequences and also there is this weird infection that needs to be checked before it begins to spread.

Directed by Masayuki Ochiai this one is a slow and creepy film that surely gets to your nerves. Suspense and horror at it’s best.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUuQWyvN0oA

5. Noroi: The curse (2005)

Noroi-the-curse-posterOriginal title “Noroi”

Directed by Kôji Shiraishi, made entirely in documentary style this film gives the most real feel of horror.

A film maker trying to track down a series of paranormal activities eventually discovers something too dangerous to handle.

Creepy and disturbing.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A5VNsEeAMY

6. Onibaba (1964)


A classic by it’s own right, the film is a historical horror drama directed by Kaneto Shindô.

The story of two women in the business of killing samurais and selling their stuff for food; the film has some of the most eerie surroundings and a deadly looking mask. 

Probably the most disturbing film in this list.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JWRKNU_7Tg

7. Pulse (2001)


Original title “Kairo”

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa the film was screened at 2001 Cannes Film Festival and was critically appreciated.

A promise to interact with the dead, Japanese university students commit suicides linked with some internet Web cam mystery.

Also remade in Hollywood.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyDf4igNJ38

8. Dark Water (2002)


Original title “Honogurai mizu no soko kara”

Directed by Hideo Nakata, it’s the story of a mother-daughter duo who moves into an apartment that has a mysterious water leakage. 

One of the scariest and most popular Japanese Horror Film. Director Walter Salles remade it in 2005 by the same name.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM_5hGBKqbE

9. Kuroneko (1968)


Original title “Yabu no naka no kuroneko”.

Two women who were raped and killed by a bunch of samurai soldiers decide to seek revenge.

They turn into ghosts (ghostly black cats) and start seducing and murdering samurais.

A japanese classic directed by Kaneto Shindô.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmNhYzQMQtU

10. One Missed Call (2003)


Original title “Chakushin Ari”

Mobile phones can lead to Violent deaths (even if you are not using them while driving) and this film takes this unique concept to a different level.

Directed by Takashi Miike, this voice-message killer film was remade in Hollywood – One Missed Call in 2008. But again the original one is much more scary. 

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RIIEjG4gBM

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative and crazy one. A must watch).

+ 1. House (1977)


Original title “Hausu”

Directed by Nobuhiko Ôbayashi this is one of the most weird Japanese Horror films with a huge cult following.

A group of seven school girls on vacation and a house with an appetite!

Watch it to believe, it will alter your perception of horror films forever.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ_Yo06kIIA

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