Ju-on, also known as The Grudge, is a Japanese horror film released in 2002 directed by Takashi Shimizu. It centers on a mysterious and vengeful spirit named Toshio who pursues anybody who enters the house where he resides.
Audition is a Japanese horror movie released in 1999 directed by Takashi Miike, which was based on Ryu Murakami's 1997 novel. It centers on a widower Shigeharu Aoyama who stages an audition to meet her potential partner in life.
Battle Royale is a Japanese dystopian horror film released in 2000 directed by Kinji Fukasaku, which was based on the 1999 novel of the same name. It centers on a class of 9th-grade students forced to kill each other.
DID YOU KNOW?
Japanese horror movies are popular for their unique treatment of the horror genre. These movies tend to focus on the aspects of suspense and psychological horror. They also center on paranormal activity from ghosts to poltergeists. Moreover, the themes often feature exorcism, possession, and shamanism. It also uses silence to build suspense and tension to give a constant sense of dread. In fact, silence can convey more meaning and terror than any words of scream. Although silence isn't widely used in the Western film industry. Furthermore, western horror movies often focus on the shock factor, gore, and blood to frighten. Meanwhile, in Japanese horror, it is mostly about what you don't see on screen causing the fear. Indeed, Japanese horror is beautifully crafted and produced despite its difference from the usual western horror movies.
In the early 2000s, the J-horror trend emerged with the remake of several Japanese horror films. The first one was Ring released in 1998 got an American remake as The Ring (2002), and later on its sequel The Ring Two (2005). Other remakes include The Grudge, Dark Water, and Pulse. Surprisingly, most of the original directors who created these Japanese horror movies have directed the American remakes. However, these American remakes of Japanese horror have received negative reviews. In spite of this, the J-horror genre grew too fast in the West. Unfortunately, its American audience lost their taste of these repetitive Japanese ghost stories. By 2007, J-horror was no longer a thing in the West. On the other hand, Japanese audiences are still passionate about supporting Japanese horror.
Kwaidan is a Japanese anthology horror film released in 1965 directed by Masaki Kobayashi which has four separate and unrelated stories. This is based on stories from the collections of Japanese folk tales by Lafcadio Hearn.
Dark Water is a Japanese horror movie released in 2002 directed by Hideo Nakata. This centers on divorcee Yoshimi Matsubara and her daughter Ikuko Matsubara who move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water.
Suicide Club is a horror-suspense and comedy film inspired by a mass suicide event that happened prior to the movie. It was directed by Sion Sono and was first released on March 9, 2002, by TLA Releasing. It starred Ryo Ishibashi, Takashi Nomura, and Hideo Sako.
Ringu, also known as Ring, is a Japanese horror and thriller movie directed by Hideo Nakata released in 1998. It centers on journalist Reiko Asakawa and her ex-husband Ryuji Takayama's investigation on a cursed videotape.
#8Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman
Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman is a Japanese horror movie adaptation of a famous urban legend, directed by Koji Shiraishi. It was first released on February 9, 2007, by Palisades Tartan. It starred Eriko Sato, Kato Haruhiko, and Miki Mizuno.
#9Noroi: The Curse
Noroi: The Curse is a Japanese horror and thriller film directed by Koji Shiraishi. It was released in the year 2005 following an indie documentary setting. It starred Jin Muraki, Rio Kanno and Tomono Kuga.
#10One Missed Call
One Missed Call is a mystery, horror and suspense film directed by Takashi Mike. It was first released on April 22, 2005, by Tokyo Shock with an MPAA rating of R. It starred Ko Shibasaki, Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, and Kazue Fukiishi.
Pulse, also known as Kairo, is a Japanese horror film released in 2001 directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. It centers on two groups of people who discover that spirits might be trying to invade the human world through the use of the internet.
#12Ju-on: The Grudge 2
Ju-on: The Grudge 2 is a Japanese horror film written and directed by Takashi Shimizu released in 2003 which is the sequel to Ju-on: The Grudge. It centers on a curse created by a murdered housewife in a Nerima house.
#13Sadako vs Kayako
Sadako vs Kayako is a Japanese supernatural horror film released in 2016 directed by Kōji Shiraishi. This is a crossover of the Ju-on and the Ring movie series. This has been teased as an April Fool's joke in 2015.
#14Over Your Dead Body
Over Your Dead Body is a Japanese supernatural horror film released in 2014 directed by Takashi Miike. It centers on Miyuki Goto who pulls some strings to get her lover Kosuke Hasegawa cast in a play.