As I wracked my brain trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about as this weeks “official” blogger it struck me that Halloween is next week. Now, these two things (a-line blog and Halloween) may not strike you as connected and my mental road map is far too chaotic to share with you so just stick with me for a few minutes.
Anyway, the best thing about Halloween? Okay…second best to the candy part has to be the horror films but none of the ones I was familiar with were anything but big American blockbusters. And so, dear friends, I present you with the top 5 Straight From Asia (or Asian directors) horror films for you to indulge in this weekend. Also these aren’t in any particular order. You should just see them. Kay? Good.
Enjoy. *Dims lights*
The ‘Ringu’ is a Japanese horror movie, released in 1998 and directed by Hideo Nakata. This is the movie that inspired the American version “The Ring”. The basic story line according to IMDB is that “Reiko Asakawa is researching into a ‘Cursed Video’ interviewing kids about it. When her niece Tomoko dies of ‘sudden heart failure’ with a face of terror on her, Reiko investigates. Shes finds out that some of Tomoko’s friends who had been on a holiday with Tomoko the week before had died on exactly the same night at the exact same time in the exact same way. Reiko goes to the cabin where the teens had stayed and finds an ‘unlabled’ video tape. Reiko watched the tape to discover its the ‘cursed videotape’.”
The ‘Shutter’ is a “Thai horror movie released in the year 2004 (there was a 2008 movie by the same title). According to IMDb “A young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They soon learn that you can not escape your past.”
3. Song at Midnight
The ‘Song at Midnight’ is a Chinese horror film released in 1937. A classic hit. Kind of based on the Phantom of the Opera storyline. “The story is set in an old theater, where many important actors performed once, but that now is abandoned as rumor says that the ghost of famous singer Song Dangping (Shan Jin) roams the place. One night, an acting troupe arrives, hoping to have success in such a famous theater. However, they all end up disappointed when they see the sad state of disuse in which the theater is right now. Despite this, they begin the preparations for their debut, and young singer Sun Xiaoou (Chau-Shui Yee) is chosen to play the lead. Xiaoou retires to practice alone, as he has troubles to sing the part correctly, and it’s at this moment when he hears the ghost of Song Dangping, who appears to teach him how to sing. With the aid of the ghost, Xiaoou is a success, but when he tries to thank his master, he discovers the secret behind the ghost of Song Dangping.”
2. A Tale of Two Sisters
As the name suggests, this film is about two teenage sisters who live in a haunted house with their step-mother. This South Korean film released in 2003 was critically acclaimed and its success was visible at the box-office too; it is the highest grossing Korean horror film ever.
1. Audition (Big warning on this one)
It’s reported that people were hospitalized from the shock of watching the torture scene in this movie. Rob Zombie (Big time horror film guy) had trouble watching it. So only for the bravest. Anywho. It’s a 1999 Japanese film.
“Seven years after the death of his wife, company executive Aoyama is invited to sit in on auditions for an actress. Leafing through the resumés in advance, his eye is caught by Yamazaki Asami, a striking young woman with ballet training. On the day of the audition, she’s the last person they see. Aoyama is hooked. He notes her number from her file, calls her and takes her to dinner. He hesitates to call again, worried that he’ll seem too eager. When he does, Asami knowingly lets the phone ring for some time before answering. She’s alone in her darkened room – alone, that is, apart from the writhing victim she has tied up in a sack on the floor…”
– Kasey Panetta