If you really are a horror movie buff, you need to watch Japanese horror movies. When it comes to movies, the Japanese film industry is one of the most aesthetically developed. That is not very unexpected since we are talking about the land that gave us great directors like Akira Kurosawa, Yasujiro Ozu, and Kenji Mizoguchi. Kurosawa might have announced the arrival of Japanese cinema in the global scene but that baton has been carried on only forward since then.

One of the most favorite genres, J-Horror or Japanese Horror, collects worldwide attention. It might seem a bit unusual if we adhere to Hollywood standards. J-Horror is gloriously blood-soaked, suspenseful, folk-religious, and concentrates on a great deal on psychological horror. Here are some Japanese horror movies that you shouldn’t watch alone:

Japanese Horror Movies

Noroi (2002)

IMDb Rating- 7/10

A famous paranormal journalist named Kobayashi goes missing soon after finishing a documentary. What starts as an investigation into unusual noises shortly results in the chilling mystery of a wicked entity named Kagutaba.

Ju On (2002)

IMDb Rating- 6.7/10

This movie is famously known as The Grudge. It tells the story of a demonic curse and vindictive spirits which appear to linger in a house where the horrific murder of a woman and child took place and anyone who sets foot in the house doesn’t step out alive.

Ringu (1998)

IMDb Rating- 7.2/10
A woman and her ex-husband investigate a series of teen deaths caused by a strange videotape. Their investigation takes an unpleasant turn when their own son becomes a victim.

Suicide Club (2001)

IMDb Rating- 6.6/10
The movie tells the tale of a detective investigating a case involving a string of suicides. Not only the case gets more mysterious with every death, but morbid as well because by the end of the movie 33,000 teenagers have committed suicide.

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Dark Water (2002)

IMDb Rating- 6.7/10
In this pensive Japanese horror film, newly-single mom Yoshimi Matsubara is surviving a hurtful divorce and striving to keep custody of her young daughter, Ikuko. As the weak Yoshimi tries to make a fresh start in a new apartment, odd occurrences in the building increasingly begin to take their toll. When Yoshimi and Ikuko both start seeing unsettling visions of a ghostlike little girl, it’s obvious that they’re being pulled toward the supernatural.

Onibaba (1964)

IMDb Rating- 8/10
A poor mother and daughter-in-law kill soldiers and take their belongings. After the mother hears of the son’s death, she wears a mask to scare her daughter-in-law into staying with her.

Rinne (2005)

IMDb Rating- 6.2/10
This movie is popularly known as Reincarnation. It tells the story of a movie being made about a spree of murders in a Tokyo hotel in 1970. The killer was a professor who killed his wife, many hotel guests, and a young daughter, Chisato. The director of the movie casts Nagisa Sugiura as the young daughter. Shortly after landing the role, Nagisa starts to encounter the murders as if they were happening around her in the present day.


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Kairo (2001)

IMDb Rating- 6.5/10
After college student Taguchi dies by suicide, a number of young adults living in Tokyo observe terrifying images transported across the Internet. As more people disappear throughout the city, the Internet becomes a breeding ground for evil spirits. Three apparently disjointed stories follow Michi, Ryosuke, and Harue as they strive to unravel the mystery behind the frightful visions that are flowing beyond their computer monitors.

Audition (1999)

IMDb Rating- 7.2/10
This creepy Japanese horror movie follows Aoyama, a widower who chooses to start dating again. Supported by a film-producer friend, Aoyama does auditions for a fake production to work as a dating service. When Aoyama becomes fascinated by the withdrawn, gorgeous Asami, they begin a relationship. But, he starts to understand that Asami isn’t as reserved as she seems to be, leading to continuously increased tension and a disturbing climax.

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Tales of Terror from Tokyo And All Over Japan (2004)

IMDb Rating- 5.7/10
The movie is basically an anthology of various horror tales that happened either in the city of Tokyo or somewhere else in Japan. All the horror stories are unequal in their horror quotient.

Teketeke (2009)

IMDb Rating- 5.3/10
The movie focuses on a legless woman who haunts a railway station. Just by looking at her, people die within three days. The setting of the movie and the way the scenes have been shot is quite frightening.

Kuime (2014)

IMDb Rating- 6.1/10
The movie is popularly known as Over Your Dead Body. In the movie, fiction begins to bleed into reality for actors as they perform a stage production of a classic Japanese ghost story.

Yotsuya Kaidan (1959)

IMDb Rating- 7/10
This movie is based on a famous Japanese folklore. A young man gets bored with his wife and falls in love with a rich heiress. He murders his wife to marry the heiress. The ghost of his wife murders his to-be wife on the wedding day to take her revenge.

POV: Noruwareta Firumu (2012)

IMDb Rating- 5.7/10
The movie begins with a ghost video rolling on the screen. It has been passed among other teenagers. The origin of the ghost video is traced to the high school. Investigations begin to check for supernatural traces in the high school. Eventually, the high school is found to be haunted.

Kwaidan (1964)

IMDb Rating- 8/10
Getting its title from an old Japanese word meaning “ghost story,” this anthology adapts four folk tales. A poverty-stricken samurai marries for money with disastrous results. A man stranded in a blizzard is saved by Yuki the Snow Maiden, but his rescue comes at a cost. Blind musician Hoichi is forced to perform for an audience of ghosts. An author recounts the story of a samurai who sees another warrior’s reflection in his teacup.

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Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (2007)

IMDb Rating- 5.5/10
A Japanese suburb experiences terrorization by the vindictive spirit of a woman who asks people a question before killing them.

Jigoku (1960)

IMDb Rating- 6.8/10
This is an extremely gory movie that looks far from real. There are blood-soaked deaths and misery surrounding them that takes you on an unusual trip to hell.

The Complex (2013)

IMDb Rating- 5.1/10
A modest high-school student moves into a haunted housing complex with her family and is disturbed by visions of her harrowing past.

Suicide Manual (2003)

IMDb Rating- 4.7/10
The movie revolves around two cameramen who investigate the deaths of four people who kill themselves. They eventually find that it was due to some pact of a suicide group. Soon, they run into a girl who was part of the pact but backed out at the last moment as she was scared. As they proceed further with the investigation, they find many twists and turns await.


Tomie (1998)

IMDb Rating- 5.3/10
Following some trauma in her past that has since been suppressed, a young woman seeks to regain her memories with the help of a psychiatrist. The only thing she remembers is the name Tomie.

Fill your popcorn bucket and binge-watch these Japanese horror movies. Make sure to make anyone sit with you otherwise you’ll have sleepless nights! You can also check out these Korean thriller movies.



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