Japanese Horror Films

 
 
Being October, and just over a week away from Halloween you’re probably wanting to get in the Halloween mood, and seeing as you are visiting this site you most likely like Japanese things, so why not combine the two with a good old scare-fest of Japanese films to chill you to your core!

Please note that this is not intended to be a definitive list of any kind, merely some suggestions. Also ‘horror’ is a rather loose genre, some films here may not be simply regarded as horror films but all contain strong elements of horror.

For those who want classic horror

Ugetsu Monogatari

 Ugetsu Monogatari (雨月物語)

After a raid on their village, Genjuro and Tobei move their families and pot making business to the city. The city is not kind to them and they send their wives home promising to return home with money soon…but who is the mysterious Lady Wakasa and why is she so interested in Genjuro’s pots…

1953, Dir. Kemji Mozoguchi (溝口 健二) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

Kwaidan  (怪談)

Made up of four chilling stories: ‘Black Hair’ in which a man returns to his ex-wife after leaving his new lover only to find something is very different with her. ‘The Woman and The Snow’ in which a young man is saved from a snowstorm by a spirit but he can never tell anyone about it…until one day he does. ‘ Hoichi the Earless’ in which a blind musician is slowly having his life force sucked away by ghosts & ‘In a Cup of Tea’ in which a samurai is haunted by the spirit of a dead samurai.. 

1964, Dir. Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

Onibaba (鬼婆)

In 14th century Japan a civil war wages, a mother and daughter do their best to survive and prey on hapless samurai, killing them and selling their armor for money. One day a friend of one of these samurai turns up and the women learn what has become of him…

1964, Dir. Kaneto Shindo (新藤 兼人) — TrailerBuy Here.

  

For those who want films from the J-Horror boom

Ringu

Ringu (リング)

A reporter begins investigating an urban legend of a cursed video tape. She quickly finds herself in possession of the tape but her young son watches it first, now she must race against time to save his life… 

1998, Dir. Hideo Nakata (中田 秀夫) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

Audition (オーディション)

At the encouragement of his family and friends Ayoama begins to search for a new wife years after being widowed. His friend suggests setting up a fake movie audition to meet women and Ayoama falls for a beautiful ex-ballerina named Asami, on the surface she appears to be the perfect woman… (Warning: The DVD cover contains a big spoiler for the film, try to avoid it)

1998, Dir. Takashi Miike (三池 崇史) — Trailer (Spoilers!) — Buy Here.

 

Exte: Hair Extensions (エクステ)

A man obsessed with hair steals the hair from a newly killed woman and adds it to his collection,he sells parts of the hair to hair salons to be used as extensions, only this hair starts possessing women, driving them insane or worse… 

2007, Dir. Sion Sono (園 子温) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

For those who want contemporary horror

Confessions

 

Confessions (告白)

A class of high school students hold a dark secret relating to their former teacher and a series of events that shocked the school… One of the most stylish films ever made.

2010, Dir. Tetsuya Nakashima (中島哲也) — Trailer (Spoilers!) — Buy Here.

 

Cold Fish (冷たい熱帯魚)

When a man’s teenage daughter is caught stealing she is offered a job in a fish store to set her straight. The man soon discovers that the owners of the fish store have a dark secret however…

2010, Dir. Sion Sono (園 子温) — TrailerBuy Here.

  

For those who want anime horror

Vampire Hunter D

 

Vampire Hunter D (吸血鬼バンパイアハンターD)

In a strange future time the world is ruled by supernatural forces, a young girl requests the help of the mysterious ‘D’ to hunt down the vampire who bit her in order to save her from becoming one of the creatures… 

1989, Dir. Toyoo Ashida (芦田 豊雄) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

Perfect Blue (パーフェクトブルー)

A retired pop singer turned actress’s sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.

1997, Dir. Satoshi Kon (今 敏) — TrailerBuy Here.

  

For those who don’t want subtitles 

(A selection of the better American Remakes)

The Grudge

The Grudge

The closest thing to watching the Japanese original, made by the same director with the same vision. An American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.

2004, Dir. Takashi Shimizu (清水 崇) — Trailer Buy Here.

 

The Ring

A fairly faithful remake of the original. A young journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it, now she must race against time to stop the tape’s effects.

2002, Dir. Gore Verbinski — Trailer Buy Here.

 

Dark Water

A mother and daughter, still wounded from a bitter custody dispute, hole up in a run-down apartment building. Adding further drama to their plight, they are targeted by the ghost of former resident.

2005, Dir. Walter Salles  — TrailerBuy Here.

  

For those who want something unique

Shirome

Shirome  (シロメ)

The  real life J-pop band ‘Momoiro Clover‘ are the victims of this horror mockumentary in which the girls are forces to investigate a haunted school for a supposed Japanese television series. In the haunted house the girls hope (or rather don’t hope) to find Shirome, a spirit that can grant wishes, but only if the person asking completely believes in the spirit… This is not available on DVD in the UK, the full movie is available below from youtube. Please not that we are not hosting any content and do not endorse piracy.

2010, Dir. Kōji Shiraishi (白石晃士) — Watch the full movie here

 

Uzumaki/Spiral  (うずまき)

After coming home to find her father obsessively staring at a snail Kirie notices the whole town appears to slowly becoming obsessed in the same way with the shape of a spiral and begin turning into spiral’s themselves. Totally bonkers and more than a little scary.

2000, Dir. ‘Higuchinsky’ — TrailerBuy Here.

 

House  (ハウス)

When Oshare finds out that her Father’s girlfriend is joining them on their summer trip, she and her friends decide to go to her aunt’s farmhouse instead. From the moment they arrive, strange things begin to happen and the girls slowly begin to realize Oshare’s Aunt may not have their best interest in mind. A cult classic that has to be seen to be believed!

1977 Dir. Nobuhikio Obayashi  (大林 宣彦) — TrailerBuy Here.  

 

For those who want something not scary

Happiness of the Katakuris

The Happiness of The Katakuris  (カタクリ家の幸福)

A family moves to the country to run a rustic mountain inn when, to their horror, the customers begin befalling sudden and unlikely fates. An utterly entertaining film that smashes horror, musicals, comedies, mysteries, angry volcanos, a charismatic dog and a Japanese man who claims to be a member of the British royal family… 

2001 Dir. Takashi Miike  (三池 崇史) — Trailer Buy Here.  

 So there you go, I hope that has given you some insperation for some Japanese Halloween scare-fests!

 

Want to recommend a Japanese scary movie to other users? Leave a comment below!  
 

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Film Event: Hara-Kiri Death Of A Samurai

 

 

THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED. THE FILM IS AVAILABLE ON DVD & BLU RAY NOW HOWEVER.

 

Film: Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai (一命 )

When: 13.05 on Sunday 6th and 15.50 Monday 7th of May.

Where: The Tyneside Cinema (Directions)

Website: https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/films/view/hara-kiri-death-of-a-samurai


Made as a companion piece to 13 Assassins, if 13 Assassins showed the violent and destructive side of the Samurai then Death of A Samurai shows the quiet and reflective side of samurai life. The film stars 13 Assassins star Koji Yakusho and the eleventh holder of the Kabuki dynasty title Ichikawa Ebizo. When Hanshiro, a master-less samurai arrives at the home of Lord Kageyu and requests a place in which he can end his life honorably by Hara-Kiri he is welcomed with tales of a previous Samurai who had arrived requesting the same. What Kageyu does not realise though, is that Hanshiro has more to his visit than just suicide…

Takashi Miike marks his 83rd production with Death of a Samurai, and his first in 3D, although the film has not been given a 3D release in the UK. Miike rose to international fame in 1999 with the film Audition which shocked critics to the core. He followed it up with Dead of Alive, a manic Yakuza film which mixes gritty drama with nonsensical elements and Ichi The Killer, a ultra violent adaptation of a manga novel. Since then Miike has created everything from children’s films to x rated violent actions films, working in the interdependent  and the mainstream Miike can seemingly never stay still in one place.

In Geordie Japan’s opinion Takashi Miike is the most interesting director working today and it’s really important to support his films to ensure more get a UK release (13 Assassins was the first for about 7 years).  So please get yourselves along to catch the film while it passes through the Tyneside!

 

 

75p Film Event: Audition

THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED

Film: Audition (オーディション)

When: Saturday 27th May – 5.50am

Where: The Tyneside Cinema (Directions)

Website: https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/films/view/audition

Price: 0.75p

Perhaps Takashi Miike’s most infamous film, to recount the plot would be to spoil the film so to give you an idea of what it’s about without spoilers: When Aoyama  decides it is time he remarried after his wife’s death he is convinced by his friend to hold a fake movie audition that is really to help Aoyama find a partner. When the beautiful Asami walks in Aoyama is instantly smitten with her and they begin a relationship, but soon things start to go very, very wrong. This film is best enjoyed without watching any trailers or looking it up on the internet, so if you have never seen it before, try to watch it with no idea of the plot. This is one of Geordie Japan’s most beloved film’s and we recommend everyone try and see it, even if you can’t make the late showing time, try and pick it up on DVD!

The Tyneside Cinema is 75 this year and to celebrate it is holding an all night film event with 75 hours of cinema to watch and, whats best, tickets for each film are just 75p! The last two all night events held at the Tyneside have been great successes and sell out quick, so when tickets become available it’s best to snap them up quick!

Other films in the 75th Birthday All Nighter

Classic Cinema

A Clockwork Orange – 10pm

Evil Dead 2 – 1am

Mullholland Drive – 3am

Freaks – 6.10am

The Great Dictatior – 7.55am

The Princess Bride – 10.35am

Jurassic Park – 12.50pm

The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert – 3.35pm

Goodfellas – 6pm

Fargo – 9am

Electra

Reservoir Dogs – 10.30pm

Donnie Darko – 12.50am

Get Carter – 3.25an

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 6am

The Ladykillers – 8.30am

Bicycle Thieves – 10.40am

Three Colours Red – 12.45pm

Once Upon A Time in the West – 3.10pm

Annie Hall – 6.30pm

Volver – 8.40pm

Roxy

Akira – 10.20pm

Chasing Amy – 1.05am

The Wicker Man – 3.40am

Audition – 5.50am

Strangers on a train – 8.25am

The Third Man – 10.45am

Stop Making Sense – 1.05pm

The Marriage of Maria Braun – 3pm

Jules Et Jim – 6.25pm

The Lives Of Others – 8.25pm