17 Asian Horror Movies You Should Watch If You're A Serious Scary Movie Junkie


A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Cineclick Asia

Where it’s from: South Korea

This psychological horror movie tells the story of a patient who leaves a mental institution after being treated for psychosis and returns home, where her younger sister and awful stepmother are waiting for her. Saying anything else about this story would be destroying this work of art of Korean cinema, but keep an eye on its director, Kim Jee-Woon, who’s responsible for other great movies from the genre.


Audition (1999)

Omega Project

Where it’s from: Japan

Directed by Takashi Miike, a renowned Japanese director known for being able to make the bloodiest, most violent and twisted movies along with more family-friendly titles. This particular film leans more towards the grim end and to the torture porn subgenre. It tells the story of a man who, after becoming a widower, is encouraged by his son to find a new wife, so he decides to set up a casting call to choose his next partner.


Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

Lions Gate Films

Where it’s from: Japan

It’s a movie about curses, ghostly apparitions and gloomy haunted houses… all things you’ve seen before, but add in a twisted hint of Japanese horror and some truly chilling visuals. You probably know this movie’s American remake starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. It’s not bad, but if you can handle pure horror, go for the original film.


Dumplings (2004)

Applause Pictures

Where it’s from: Hong Kong

A wealthy woman finds out that her husband is having a secret affair, so she looks for a way to become beautiful and look younger. This leads her to find a cook who offers her “Chinese dumplings” which are stuffed with a mystery delicacy that supposedly leads to eternal youth.


Shutter (2004)

GMM Grammy

Where it’s from: Thailand

You can’t dispute what’s in a photograph – or can you? After a tragic accident, a couple discover mysterious shadows in the photos they take — and terror ensues. This movie is so good that there isn’t just one, but three remakes of this story; there’s an American one with the same name, and two from India (2007’s Sivi and 2010’s Click).


Cure (1997)

Shochiko-Fuji Company

Where it’s from: Japan

This part thriller, part psychological horror has earned its director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, international recognition. The story focuses on a detective who investigates a series of murders that have been taking place in Japan, where the victims are found with an “X” carved on their throats. What drives the killer to commit these acts? That’s what you’ll be finding out.


Noroi: The Curse (2005)

Cathay-Keris Films

Where it’s from: Japan

Presented as “found footage,” this film portrays the “work” left behind by a documentary maker who was investigating paranormal events. You could say it’s a movie within a movie, but what’s interesting is how realistic each of the shots is, which gets you so invested in the story that you’ll start to believe that all the horrible things you’re watching are real.


Bloody Reunion (2006)

Show East

Where it’s from: South Korea

A professor is very sick and wheelchair-bound. Her helper is a former student who decides to invite former classmates to a small gathering in order to cheer up the recovering teacher. Nothing goes right, and someone wearing a rabbit mask starts a bloody massacre… but, who are they?


The Eye (2002)

Mediacorp Raintree Pictures

Where it’s from: Hong Kong/Singapore

Jessica Alba starred in the Hollywood version of this movie, but that’s not quite the one we’re going to be telling you about. You should rather look for this original version, as directed by the Pang brothers, who are two filmmaker twins with a good background in Asian horror. The story is about a 20-year-old violin player who was born blind and gets a cornea transplant… but what he begins to see with his new eyes is not pleasant at all.


Alone (2007)

GMM Tai Hub

Where it’s from: Thailand

This film tells the story of two twin sisters who are joined at the stomach and who promise to be together until the day they die. Even though they love each other, their personalities are completely opposite… and, as it tends to be the case with most of the movies of the genre, the less you know about the rest, the better.


Ringu (1998)


Where it’s from: Japan

You’ve definitely heard of the American version of this movie — you know, The Ring, in which little long-haired Samara comes out of the TV screen? There’s no doubt that the remake is fantastic, but if you’re looking for pure, raw horror, don’t miss the original version, in which the little girl’s name is Sadako Yamamura. The story’s adapted from a novel, which in turn is based on a Japanese legend known as Banchō Sarayashiki.


Train to Busan

Next Entertainment World

Where it’s from: South Korea

This film has earned its place as one of the best and most recent zombie apocalypse movies (and it’s available on Netflix, in case you’re interested). It shows the moment in which an epidemic breaks out and a father and his daughter must travel by train in order to reach Busan, the only place where they’ll be safe. Gore, lots of tension, survival, spectacular performances and even a dose of claustrophobia will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Dark Water (2002)


Where it’s from: Japan

If this rings a bell, it could be because of the remake starring Jennifer Connelly, which was pretty popular but not better than the original. This Japanese film is based on a novel written by Koji Suzuki, author of the The Ring series of books, so that’s already a guarantee that there will be horror. In fact, it’s directed by Hideo Nakata, the same man who directed Ringu. The actual story is about a divorced mother who moves into a modest apartment with her little girl, and that’s when tragedy strikes.


Suicide Club (2001)


Where it’s from: Japan

A series of suicides have been taking place in Japan, and apparently, they’re not related, but the police is investigating nonetheless. It’s an independent movie packed with lots of gore, and it’s become an international cult favorite.


The Wailing (2016)

20th Century Fox Korea

Where it’s from: South Korea

In a small Korean town, a mysterious and deadly disease begins to spread. A cop decides to investigate the events, and he thinks a strange man could be responsible. The movie’s got hints of humor, scenes that are super intense and horrifying, and a slow pacing that’s sinister enough to get on your nerves.


Kairo (2001)


Where it’s from: Japan

Also known by the title of Pulse, the movie’s written and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (who we’ve recommended above with Cure). The story focuses on ghosts who travel through the internet. It sounds so plausible it’s scary, so the less you know about the plot, the better.


Exte (2007)

Toei Company

Where it’s from: Japan

The title comes from “hair extensions” and that’s what it’s about: hair sold from dead bodies that come to life when other women wear it. The film is a creation by Sion Sono (the same man who directed Suicide Club, so if you like his work, keep his name at hand and browse his lengthy filmography whenever you have some spare time.

This post was translated from Spanish.