- Life in Japan
Best 10 Japanese Horror Films You’ve Never Heard of That Will Put You in Therapy
10 Best Japanese Horror Films You’ve Never Heard of That Will Put You in Therapy
Japanese Horror movies are well known for their lasting impact that leaves a mark in your mind. From the early traumas of your childhood by watching The Ring and The grudge;
you are now a strong adult and back for more trauma.
For this reason, movies such as Ringu/The Ring and Ju-On/The Grudge will not be
included. If you have not seen these films, go watch it to prepare yourself for this list that
will dig deeper into your inner fears you never thought you have.
10. The Audition 1991
Directed by Takashi Miike and The Audition is one of his best-known film Internationally.
Despite the movie released in 1991, this film is now closer to modern online dating than
Ever. We start with a protagonist who conducted a fake movie audition to find the love of
His life. A tweak of deception but with no evil intention. Just in luck, he found the woman.
He was looking for.
The story builds up that will put your guard down and empathize with the protagonist; his
An angelic love interest, however, is not what it seems. The movie gives a deceitful
the atmosphere of blooming love and hope but the prolong twisted climax hits the dark
The reality of dating.
A movie that will be at the back of your mind the next time you go on a date or before you
Swipe right on your tinder.
9. Marebito 2004
From the same creator of Ju-On/The Grudge comes another film by Takashi Shimizu. An
an underrated film that deserves more recognition from its psychological horror and its
Perception of deteriorating madness.
The story starts with a curious cameraman name Masuoka. Fascinated with the concept
Of fear. After he sees footage of a man who committed suicide in the subway, he
Became desperate to find answers and got more than what he bargained for. As he
discovered an underworld beneath the subway of Tokyo, he finds a strange naked girl
Chained in a cave and takes her to his apartment. Masuoka later discovers an inhuman
The behavior of the woman.
The film conveys a strange vibe and perception of one mans madness and the dark world.
He discovered. The mystery and the surprising twist, in the end, leaves the audience on the
Edge. For the majority, the solution is to jump into a rabbit hole to speculate the ending.
Where to watch: Amazon(DVD)
8. Dark Water
From the Author and director of Ringu; Hideo Nakata and Koji Suzuki. This film focuses
On the emotional side of the protagonist. Yoshimi a single mother, fighting for a full
Custody of her daughter. A movie that perfectly depicts the struggle of motherhood and
As a single parent.
She juggles to provide for her daughter and work a full-time job. Life is unfortunate
Enough for Yoshimi, but she is off for a fresh start with her daughter. This somehow gone
From bad to worst as the creepy apartment, they recently moved into is haunted by a ghost.
This horror movie draws away from the average cursed/vengeful ghost. It also goes
beyond the typical gore horror genres as it took the horror on a heart-rending
Psychological level. A good combination with disturbing elements and a jump scare.
Towards the end of the movie, you will be emotionally attached to the characters.
Shedding a few tears in the end scene is expected. An ending that will take you by
Surprise. A staggering film that will leave a mark.
Where to watch: IMDB
7.TETSUO: THE IRON MAN 1989
This 1989 low-budget horror cult classic still screams to this day. Directed by Shinya
Tsukamoto comes to a cyberpunk horror film that the grease of this movie will stick with you.
For days. A unique approach of storytelling with hardly any dialogues adds tension and
The dark ambiance throughout the film.
A businessman was cursed and excruciatingly morphs into a metallic machine. The
gruesome visuals of tearing flesh and sadistic tortures earned this movie its place that will
scarred your mind.
The theme of losing one’s control over their own body and health is one of the truest.
Horrors we can face as humans. The theme digs deeper into the realization of having no real.
Control over aging and death that humanity still has no cure to this day. With that in
mind, this film plays around and eats with that fear of having no control over your own
Body. Moreover, include the metal fetishism and gore, and you have yourself a visual
6. CURE 1997
A horror mystery that narrates about a detective name Takabe. As he investigates a series
Of strange cases of murders. Puzzled by different killers that carve the same symbol into
Their victims; His sanity, crumbles as he digs deeper into these cases.
The movie illustrates the core of the mind and its natural violent tendencies. To unlock this
mental desire (that everyone has) is what the audience and the protagonist in the film will
Try to understand. It will leave you feeling confused and mentally disturbed. The fact that
there is a lack of gore and jump scare, yet achieving to portray inscrutable and sinister
Force present is what made this movie a clever masterpiece.
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who is well known to give a trademark of questioning
One’s identity and one’s role in society. You know you’re off for a good film that drills the
Mind and question your own existence.
5. Noroi: The Curse 2005
A documentary-style horror film, directed by Koji Shiraishi, the director of Sadako vs
Kayako. A paranormal researcher Masamu Kobayashi explores a small town to
Investigate strange events for a Documentary. His involvement escalated into getting.
tangled into the village ancient rituals, psychic prodigies, and demonic entities.
The narration by the use of VHS footage is what made this film look authentic and
Believable. Although this style has been done before, the presentation of this mix of media.
along with incorporating interviews and the demonic ambiance made this perspective an
4. Suicide Circle 2001 ( Suicide Club )
The film delves into a plague of suicide across Japan. From the victims Perspective,
committing suicide is an exciting getaway. This disturbing ingredient makes the audience.
Question sanity of every individual of this movie.
A detective named Kuroda examines this strange behavior after 54 students are committed.
Suicide. With excitement, they jump into an oncoming train. As events continuous
throughout the film; the presentation of victims passionately diving into their deaths made
This film sinister and gruesome. It gives an atmosphere that there is an invisible entity.
Is driving everyone mad.
For years, viewers have created theories to crack the symbolism and the meaning of this.
3. Spiral/ Uzumaki – 2000
Based on the horror manga by Junji Ito, also known as Uzumaki. He is recognized by his
surreal imagery and phobia triggering topics, which makes him on the top of Japanese
Horror manga creators.
The movie tells the story of a cursed town haunted by an eerie entity of spirals. Though at
First, this symbol does not convey a threat. That is soon about to change as insanity.
It comes to people in this town once they are drawn into the spiral. To the point of
Worshipping it or to commit suicide. The narration then later shows how spirals live within
Ourselves and cannot be avoided. Our fingerprints, earlobes, hair whorls, and more.
The brilliance of helplessness of the protagonist to avoid the inevitable doom.
Fear of spiral triggers a phobia you didn’t know you have until after watching this film.
Now, Let’s move on to the top 2 Japanese Horror films you’ve never heard of that will.
Complete the real horror of reality and insanity.
2. Infection 2004
From the director Masayuki Ochiai who brought you Ju-On and Shutter. This movie
Comes to a horror genre close to our time now.
A bizarre contagious illness hit a small hospital with low on staff and with not enough.
Supplies. Sounds familiar? However, this is not your average zombie movie or a pandemic.
Theme. This one lingers on infecting the subconscious mind. The hallucinations and
The insanity of victims falling into this illness and having no known resolution.
A Psychological horror film that is open for interpretation. The touch of green goo that
Represents the infection also creates an eerie territory of horror. There are small details.
That depicts later down the movie. These are gems you need to keep an eye out through.
Out of the film.
Once you have seen the movies listed here and your visuals and mind have been scarred.
You are now ready for the last one that will complete the mental therapy you asked for.
1. A Page of Madness – 1920
A 1920’s silent film that takes you into the world of Asylum. Silent films are not everyone’s
Cup of tea. However, this classic horror illustrates the maddening horrors and the mind of
The film shows a Janitor who took the job at an insane Asylum to free his wife.
As he was exposed to the deteriorating living conditions in the asylum.
The cinematography conveys the disturbing imagery, expression, environment and
hierarchy within the facility and the mind of an insane person that was perfectly conveyed
Even without words.
In the Blue-ray version of this film( conveniently available on youtube ), it contains a
discussion in 1989 between Professor: Jerry Carlson, Psychologist: Harvey Roy
Greenberg and Film historian: Joseph Anderson. These experts explained how the film fits.
The portrayal of mental illness with cinematography.
The incomprehensible horrors of this film are the visuals of your fever nightmare that your
Brain deletes the next day.
To Summarize it all. There is no greater horror than our own minds. Now add disturbing
visuals and you got yourself a prescription list of Japanese films that will put you into