Asian horror films are best known for slashers, gore, and jump scares, but more on exploring human feelings, exploring the unpredictable, and the unknown. These films emphasize supernatural elements as well as master the art of creating a haunting atmosphere that will last until you want to sleep, but you just can't.
This list is intended for enthusiasts of Asian horror who prefer to revisiting classics such as Ringu (1998) and Battle Royale (2000), because there are still many more fish in the sea, from psychological horror to body crunch.
Dumplings (2004) is a Hong Kong horror film that will sabotage both your appetite for food and your mind.
Dumplings follows Mrs. Li, a former actress who discovers that her husband is having an affair with a much younger lady, from its lesser-known but equally terrifying body horror anthology film Three... Extremes (2004). The dish is said to be delectable, yet crucial to Mrs. Li's youthful appearance.
'The Wailing' (2016)
The Wailing (2016) is a South Korean mystery horror film that is a hybrid between Memories of Murder (2003) and Train to Busan (2016). In addition to entertaining audiences with zombie-like assaults and multiple plot twists, it also envelopes itself in the exterior of detective films.
The Wailing, an investigation into a mysterious illness that was spread in a remote area, ended up killing off members of a group of deranged families. All of these strange and tragic events happened after the arrival of an unusual Japanese stranger. This South Korean film is a dark and pessimistic thriller that exploits human weaknesses, such as the cop's effort to save his daughter after she was injured.
'Cold Fish' (2010)
Cold Fish (2010) is also loosely based on two Tokyo serial killers who committed similar crimes in 1993, known as the Saitama Dog Lover Murders.
Nobuyuki Shamoto, the taciturn and socially awkward owner of a small tropical fish shop, becomes involved with Yukio Murata, a friendly and charismatic store manager of a lesser-known fish shop. Murata conceals many hidden secrets behind his pleasant manner.
'The Call' (2021)
The Call (2021), which is now available on Netflix exclusively, combines iconic horror elements, from the supernatural to slashers, with a science-fiction subgenre.
Kim Seo-yeon receives a distressing phone call from a young lady, Oh Young-seok, who claims she's being tortured by her mother. After much investigation, Seo-yeon realizes that the phone is connecting her to Young-seok, who was born in 1999. Their actions result in many lives being saved while murders increase.
Thirst (2009), a film that will undoubtedly amuse cinephiles of vampire movies and director Park Chan-wook's filmography, is an international collaboration between South Korea and the United States, based on a loosely based on a French novel by Emile Zola.
Sang-hyun, a respected Catholic priest who volunteers and dies in a medical experiment that might be the key to a deadly virus, is brought back to life as a vampire and becomes torn between his faith and newfound bloodlust, all the while falling in love with his childhood friend's wife, Tae-ju.
'Wicked City' (1987)
Wicked City (1987) is a Japanese anime collection that reflects a time when sadistic adult animation brimming with unabashed violence and sexual exploitation reigned supreme. For instance, Ninja Scroll (1993) and Demon City Shinjuku (1988).
The dark horror-action film, which is a staple in Japanese body horror and retro animation, depicts a world in which humans and demons coexist. When a radical demon organization is set out to destroy the Earth's and the Black World's peace, it's up to a secret police force known as the Black Guard to protect their planet from destruction.
Kuroneko (1968), also known as The Black Cat, is an adaptation of a Japanese folktale that depicts vengeful spirits and black cats craving samurais' blood.
Yone and her daughter-in-law Shige are attacked and killed by a samurai troop in the Sengoku period. The women are then brought back to the living as beautiful ghosts who seduce and gnash out the throats of samurais with their teeth like cats as part of the deadly alliance they have signed with the underworld.
'Lesson of the Evil' (2012)
This underappreciated horror film from Japan's high school incarnation American Psycho (2000) is another another hair-raising sensation from versatile Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike.
Lesson of the Evil (2012) follows a narcissistic serial murderer, Seiji Hasumi, who happens to be a well-known and respected English teacher who believes he is on a sacred quest to cleanse his pupils of all cardinal sins. By exploiting both teachers' and students' secrets, Seiji insists his series of killings are not for his own personal pleasure.
'The Untold Story' (1993)
The Untold Story (1993), a Category III rating similar to NC-17 and X-ratings, is another horror film that uses food as a stomach-churning mechanism in cinema.
The Human Pork Bun is perhaps better known for its other title, Based on the infamous Eight immortals restaurant Murders, and, well, the title itself is quite descriptive. After discovering severed hands on a Macao beach, a group of cops begins suspecting Wong Chi Hang, the new owner of the Eight Immortals Restaurant, which serves succulent pork buns.
'One Cut of the Dead' (2017)
Since the 1930s, zombie films have been terrorizing moviegoers, yet One Cut of the Dead manages to revive the genre's long-running but fading genre with originality and wittiness.
One Cut of the Dead (2017) is a low-budget zombie film shot in an abandoned World War 2 facility where they are confronted by real zombies. The problem is that they have to film it in a single shot for live television. Like other zombie horror films, it is an inventive motion picture that fully delivers on the horrors and crude humor.