Underappreciated Japanese Horror Films You Need To See

Underappreciated Japanese Horror Films You Need To See

Posted by

The immense popularity of Verbinski’s
The Ring — the American remake of Japanese horror film Ringu — created a tidal wave
of interest in Japanese horror in the United States. And despite mixed reviews of other remakes,
like 2004’s The Grudge, American horror fans will find plenty to scream about in these
original, underappreciated Japanese horror movies. Whether it’s body horror or supernatural curses
you’re after, these films are definitely horror classics. Creepy Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is a well-known
auteur in Japan, but his films have gone mostly overlooked in the U.S. 2016’s Creepy was no
different — despite receiving critical acclaim from The New York Times. What begins as a story about the creepy neighbor
next door evolves into an epic funhouse of scares with one of the most visceral endings
in recent horror history. Audition Before the cult classic Ichi the Killer, prolific
director Takashi Miike made the horror movie Audition. You may have yet to cross paths with this
intense film, mostly because of the terrifying reputation that precedes it. 1999’s Audition has gone down in horror lore
as one of the most disturbing horror films ever made. Although it seems like a slow-burn mystery
movie at first, Audition’s terrifying conclusion is nothing short of relentless. Dark Water The poorly received 2005 American remake of
this movie starring Jennifer Connelly is probably the reason why the original doesn’t get the
credit it deserves. 2002’s Dark Water was directed by Hideo Nakata
of Ringu fame. And fans of that film will recognize some
familiar tropes, most notably the single mother and her child fighting to break a curse before
they get totally wrecked by a supernatural force. But Dark Water definitely isn’t a repeat of
Ringu. It’s got enough fresh scares to stand well
on its own. Hausu Undoubtedly one of the strangest horror films
ever made, Nobuhiko Obayashi’s Hausu defies categorization. A group of friends travel to an aunt’s haunted
mansion filled with an Alice in Wonderland-style cast of spirits, including a floating, demonic
Cheshire cat and a piano that likes to eat people. Released in 1977, Hausu is now considered
a horror classic. Not bad for a movie that was inspired by Obayashi’s
11-year-old daughter. Battle Royale The Hunger Games often draws comparisons to
Battle Royale, and for good reason. There are plenty of differences, but both
stories focus on a dystopian world in which children compete in televised fights to the
bitter end. Battle Royale is just…way more violent. Based on a 1999 Japanese novel of the same
name, the film adaptation of Battle Royale was one of the highest-grossing films in Japan,
raking in nearly $1.9 million in its opening weekend. Despite its success overseas, Battle Royale
wasn’t officially distributed in the U.S. for nearly 11 years because of the controversy
surrounding its violent content. Jigoku It’s hard to believe that this classic Japanese
horror film was released in 1960. It feels as if it could have been made yesterday. When a student flees the scene of a hit-and-run,
he’s not only pursued by his guilty conscience, but also by a demonic double of himself. “Jigoku” translates to “hell,” and director
Nobuo Nakagawa takes the viewer literally to the fiery pits, making Jigoku a horror
masterpiece for the ages. Tetsuo: The Iron Man Another J-horror classic, Tetsuo: The Iron
Man feels custom-made for fans of the weird body horror of David Cronenberg or the fleshier
David Lynch pictures like Eraserhead. Released in 1989, Tetsuo is about a man who
begins growing metal body parts after he accidentally takes out a freaky half-metal man. Nearly 30 years later, Tetsuo is still hard
to watch, making it one of horror’s most overlooked classics. Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
YouTube channel. Plus check out all this cool stuff we know
you’ll love, too!


  1. Creepy? You’re joking right? I slept halfway through. What about Pulse or Cure by the same director?

  2. What about Suicide Club, Kwaidan, Uzumaki, Exte, Premonition, Coldfish, Reincarnation, Infection?

  3. Dark Water is one of the first Japanese horror movie I've seen..And the American version didn't need to be made…Like most remakes

  4. I still have no idea why Audition has such a high reputation. I saw it years ago and it was just ok, i've seen a lot better

  5. Meh… I'd be more up for japanese horror games with rituals gone wrong and angry spirits wreaking havoc. I'd like a horror film in black and white in the same style as the flashback cutscenes in the Fatal Frame games.

  6. Am I the only sane person with a moral here? Dangan Ronpa where teens must kill there classmates in order to escape a school, and Battle Royale which is the japanese version of Hunger Games, where again teens are pit against each other. Why do you wanna see kids/teenagers kill each other?? I would be okay with adults doing the same thing (although still barbaric), but teens? I don't even….

  7. One of my favourites are "Strange Circus". Anyone seen it? It's a real mind twister. Definitely on my top three list, together with "Audition" and "Tetsuo".

  8. Dark Water(2002) is the best horror movie overlooking all genres. Its more of a drama too, but the ending is what made me tear up. The real horror is losing the characters you love. This movie hits the nail on the head with character development.

  9. Audition is so creepy. I love how dark Japanese and Korean horror films go. It just doesn't translate well to Western remakes. We need to stop remaking these films and learn to accept subtitles. A little reading with a film won't kill you.

  10. please do "Underappreciated Thai Horror Movies"… Their horror movies are the best in Asia in my opinion. Really scary with a great story.

  11. The Train to Busan is a South Korean zombie movie. It's about a zombie outbreak on a train. It's pretty good. You should check it out.

  12. "The Hunger Games often draws comparison to Battle Royale, and for good reason" …. because it's a lame-ass rip-off.
    Battle Royale (in novel form) pre-dates The Hunger Games by almost 10 years…

  13. These movies are great and seen most of them. Have to find audition and Battle Royale is not a damn horror movie. It is an action movie and as for the hunger games, it is just a watered down shitty version of the great aforementioned movie.

  14. I loved ju-on the grudge I mean that God damn noise the boy makes. makes me scared to look under the covers

  15. Noroi, the Curse. Great movie with good acting. It's about a man with a reality show where each episode he investigates a paranormal event. The events he is currently investigating end up being tied together, and I won't say any more about the plot than that. The movie is filmed in a 'mockumementary' style, with some found footage style at the end.

  16. Sorry, "Audition" was crap. It was completely trite and predictable, up to and including the cliché ending, which I will not spoil; not because it's any good but because spoilers go to a special realm of Hell a few levels below murderers, terrorists and vampires.
    Most of the films mentioned in this clip are well known to fans of Japanese horror; few are worthy of inclusion on this list. There are many far more terrifying Jhorror films out there.

  17. A word of advice to worthless american halfwits… stop making shit remakes of other folk's excellent movies, especially if you don't quite understand why the original was so good and so successful…

  18. I will never forget the infamous scene in audition where she makes the guy eat her fresh vomit out of a dog bowl. Iconic.

  19. One thing I like about this narrator is how careful he is to make sure he pronounces the name properly. Most people (even a few I've seen who consider themselves Japanophiles) have the attitude of "Close enough", when close doesn't even cut it. Good job! And a few more movies to add to my Must Watch list. 🙂

  20. There was a vid that showed a mouse curser and i thought it was mine lmao how was that missed when editing this vid?

  21. I LOVE Japanese and Korean horror movies. They are just so fucking creepy. And I find them to have a more psychological scare which I love.

  22. All of these are pretty well-appreciated. I'll give you a few that are underappreciated:

    Ju-Rei: The Uncanny
    Tomie series
    All Night Long series
    Tales of Terror from Tokyo series
    The Locker 1 and 2
    Versus (more of an action movie but with horror elements)
    The Suicide Manual 1 and 2
    The Booth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *