Japanese Horror Movies

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For this year’s Halloween, how about watching J Horror, or Japanese horror movies? With the international success of リング (ringu – Ring), Japanese movies are now known for their horror genre in addition to anime and samurai genres.

In Japan, there is in fact no tradition of watching scary movies for Halloween. Halloween is a relatively recent cultural import in Japan, and at this moment, Halloween events are limited to buying and eating special-edition candies and pastries. Trick-or-treat and costume parties are rarely seen.

Japanese people have a tradition of watching and listening to scary stories in summer instead. Scary stories are believed to give us “chills” that cool down our bodies in hot summer. So horror movies tend to be released during the summer season.

Here are several characteristics of J Horrors:

1. Scary moments are usually quiet, rather than being filled with screams.
2. There are many scenes with water (rain, water drops, wet footprints, etc.)
3. Everyday objects (such as telephone, TV, videotape, mirror, bathroom, car) turn into something scary.
4. Direct, grotesque scenes are usually avoided.
5. Scenes are usually limited to “one small town” or to “a single house”. In other words, haunted events occur in geographically limited areas.

If you’re new to J Horrors, the most well-known movies that are available with English subtitles are Ring and Ju-On.

Happy Scary Halloween!!