Asian Horror in Movies and Literature.
Simon Paul Wilson
Welcome to the first in a series of articles, in which I talk about my love for Asian Horror, in both movies and literature.
Each month, I shall be looking at a movie or book in depth. This month, however, I want to tell you when I first experienced Asian horror, and the effect It had upon me.
It was back in 2001, when ‘Blockbusters’ was the place to go to find new films, good and bad. I cannot begin to count how many complete turkeys I rented from that place!
Anyway, my friends had descended upon my house for an evening of horror. Off we went to Blockbusters to rent two films, as was our tradition.
Upon arrival, one of my friends spotted ‘Ring’. He’d heard it was a really creepy film and had got good ratings in some magazines he’d read. Unluckily for us, all the copies had been rented. But, they did have ‘Ring 2’, so we thought we’d chance it.
Next to ‘Ring 2’ was a movie called ‘Audition’. None of us had heard of this film, but we decided to opt for that as our second rental.
Off we headed, back to my house, for an evening that would change my life.
‘Ring 2’ was a creepy film, that was for sure. However, there was quite a lot of the back story we had missed by not seeing the first instalment. This did cause some confusion, but the ending of the film was spooky enough to satisfy our horror craving. Sadako was a terrifying entity, and we all agreed that we had to rent the first movie, when we had the opportunity.
After a cup of tea and a smoke, ‘we settled down to watch ‘Audition’
Oh. My. God.
None of us had seen anything so creepy, so dark, so disturbing.
What starts as a, sort of, romantic comedy, eventually turns into something very sinister indeed.
And then there’s the ending.
The four of us had never seen anything that brutal or twisted before.
Seriously, if you haven’t seen ‘Audition’, please do so, as soon as you can. When you have, go read the book. I think it’s even darker.
Needless to say, I shall be returning to discuss ‘Audition’ in a later article.
It was after viewing those two movies that I fell in love with Asian horror.
I discovered so many Japanese movies in my local HMV and bought as many as my bank account would allow. Over the next few years, I had quite a large collection.
‘Battle Royale’, ‘The Grudge’, ‘Versus’, ‘Dark Water’. All of them different, all of them mind-blowing.
And it wasn’t just Japan that was terrifying me.
I found ‘The Eye’ from Hong Kong, ‘Oldboy’ from Korea, ‘Shutter’ from Thailand.
To me, it seemed that Asia was ‘the’ place to go, if you wanted disturbing, macabre slices of cinema.
To be honest, I still feel this way. Look at films such as ‘Train to Busan’, or go to Netflix and watch the Korean series, ‘Kingdom’. Both are absolutely amazing.
I could waffle on, but I think you have the picture now, right?
Next article, I shall be discussing my love for ‘The Grudge’ and how that film beats ‘Ring’ to the number one position for movies about vengeful ghosts.
See you here next month!
Simon Paul Wilson
Simon Paul Wilson is a U.K. based writer of horror and science fiction.
He is currently writing a cyberpunk horror trilogy, the first of which is GhostCityGirl and was published by Not A Pipe publishing in 2020.
Click this link for more info: Ghost City Girl
There now follows a list of writers who have influenced his reading tastes and writing style:
James Herbert. Stephen King, Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Haruki Murakami, Carlton Mellick III, Brian Keene, and Adam Nevill.
Simon lives somewhere in the middle of England with his wonderful family. He likes to listen to post-rock and progressive rock at loud volumes. He also plays a mean air bass.
Follow him on Twitter: @spwzen