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Tue, 19 Jun ’12

Summer Spookfest: The Top 5 Japanese Horror Movies

Perfect for a sleepover (or lying awake in abject terror)!

It’s summertime and you know what that means: long, hot days spent having carefree fun and nights spent sleeping over at your best friend’s house. No sleepover would be complete without an awesome scary movie, and no one does mind-bending terror quite like the Japanese. Say goodbye to sweet, pleasant dreams and hello to creepy little girls invading your nightmares because these are our top 5 Japanese horror films to scare yourself silly this summer.

Honogurai Mizu no Soko Kara (Dark Water) – Dark Water is the truly terrifying tale of a mother trying to pick up the broken pieces of her life in the midst of a nasty divorce and features one of our favorite Japanese horror staples: the creepy little girl. That’s right – it seems court dates and custody battles aren’t the only thing Yoshimi has to worry about after her daughter starts talking to a new “imaginary friend.” Now, excuse us while we never sleep again.

Audition – Although it doesn’t have a US counterpart, Takashi Miike’s Audition has a huge cult following stateside. Following the story of a man who holds an audition for a chance to be his new bride, the story makes a U-turn into graphic violence when it turns out the woman he picks is half-past crazy. Let’s just say that this film gives a whole new meaning to the term “needling.”

Rampo Noir – Based on the short stories of Japanese suspense writer Edogawa Rampo (a clever phonetic play on Edgar Allen Poe), this anthology-style film dissects the scares into four terrifying tales. Don’t let the author’s name fool you; stories like “Mirror Hell” and “Caterpillar” fill you with such an existential dread, you’ll find yourself longing for something as simple as a telltale heart.

Noroi: The Curse – Terrifying found footage style? Check. Elements of witchcraft? Check. Mysterious suicides? Several checks. Demonic possession? In spades. According to our list, Noroi: The Curse has everything a good Japanese horror film needs. And the twists and turns we didn’t include on our checklist? You can thanks us for those later.

Chakushin Ari (One Missed Call) – In this film, several people receive voicemail messages from themselves in the future, predicting how they’ll die. Then, Final Destination-style, it all comes true. Sounds familiar, right? However, it’s the premise of Chakushin Ari that really makes the film shine – we all have cell phones, so we’re all potential targets. For some truly epic trolling, change your friend’s ringtone to the ringtone from the movie and call them once the movie’s over!

What’s your favorite scary movie to watch in the summertime? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest!