Last week I shared 5 of my favorite Haunting Reads. I thought it would be fun and fitting to followup with my favorite frightening flicks in celebration of this ghastly holiday Who doesn’t enjoy a good scare from time to time?
This list will include some anime as I am a fan of supernatural/horror anime. It is by no means all-inclusive. I love horror flicks (you will notice I favor the foreign films)! I admit I had a difficult time narrowing the list, so I am including 10 today. Once again, in no particular order, I give you a few of my favorites
High Tension (Haute tension)
Switchblade Romance (UK title)
Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia’s parents’ secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls’ idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.
*This one seriously creeped me the eff out. It is a gory, edge of your seat thrill ride that is not for the faint of heart. And I love every minute of it!
In 1972, a popular student in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 named Misaki passed away during the school year. Since then, the town of Yomiyama has been shrouded by a fearful atmosphere, from the dark secrets hidden deep within.
Twenty-six years later, 15-year-old Kouichi Sakakibara transfers into class 3-3 of Yomiyama North and soon after discovers that a strange, gloomy mood seems to hang over all the students. He also finds himself drawn to the mysterious, eyepatch-wearing student Mei Misaki; however, the rest of the class and the teachers seem to treat her like she doesn’t exist. Paying no heed to warnings from everyone including Mei herself, Kouichi begins to get closer not only to her, but also to the truth behind the gruesome phenomenon plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North.
Another follows Kouichi, Mei, and their classmates as they are pulled into the enigma surrounding a series of inevitable, tragic events—but unraveling the horror of Yomiyama may just cost them the ultimate price.
Scare Factor: 1/2
*Perhaps more mystery than horror in the eyes of some, Another delivers a suspenseful tale not without several chilling moments. This gruesome story easily warrants a spot among my favorites.
The Descent (Original Unrated Edition)
British Adventure Horror
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.
*Adding the elements of pure isolation and claustrophobia to a horror film really ups the ante, and that is exactly what the Descent accomplishes. I couldn’t breathe through half of the film.
Dumplings (Jiao zi)
The infamous Aunt Mei (Bai Ling), a former gynecologist who performed abortions, makes dumplings with miraculous youth-restoring abilities. Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung), a former actress desperate to make her womanizing husband (Tony Leung Ka Fai) pay attention to her again, initially refuses to eat them. However, after discovering their potency, she offers to pay Mei any price for more. Things are complicated when Mei is forced to flee the country and the dumplings’ power begins to fade.
*Okay, so I give this one a rating of 4 just for how disturbed I was by the end of the film. This is a prime example of why I love Asian Horror. It burrows into you mind and lingers.
Toykyo Ghoul 東京喰種-トーキョーグール-
Tokyo has become a cruel and merciless city—a place where vicious creatures called “ghouls” exist alongside humans. The citizens of this once great metropolis live in constant fear of these bloodthirsty savages and their thirst for human flesh. However, the greatest threat these ghouls pose is their dangerous ability to masquerade as humans and blend in with society.
Based on the best-selling supernatural horror manga by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a shy, bookish college student, who is instantly drawn to Rize Kamishiro, an avid reader like himself. However, Rize is not exactly who she seems, and this unfortunate meeting pushes Kaneki into the dark depths of the ghouls’ inhuman world. In a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved by the enigmatic waitress Touka Kirishima, and thus begins his new, secret life as a half-ghoul/half-human who must find a way to integrate into both societies.
*While many found the execution to be less than stellar, I still hold a special place in my heart for this ghoulish anime. I am not sure if that will change when I complete the manga, but for now the concept continues to offer plenty of intrigue and nightmare fuel that deservedly places it on my list of favorites.
A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.
Scare Factor: 1/2
*The Orphanage quite honestly just haunted me. This chilling tale consumed my thoughts for days after watching it. Here is an official trailer. Anyone who is familiar with Guillermo del Toro is probably a fan for good cause.
Ju-On: The Grudge 呪怨じゅおん
Asian Supernatural Horror
A mysterious and vengeful spirit marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides.
*I am not even going to lie, not to be mistaken with the US adaptation, this film kept me up with the lights on for days. I even screamed a few times. I love it and yet, I can hardly stand to watch it!
Let The Right One In
Swedish Romantic Horror
Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.
*Yes, this one just made my 5 favorite haunting reads list and for good reasons. The film manages to hold a candle to the novel and is terrifying reminder of why vampires are and should be viewed as scary creatures.
The Lady in White
American Fantasy Horror
An author tells the story of how, as a young boy growing up in a 1960s small town, he was haunted after witnessing the murder of a little girl.
*See, I appreciate American Horror 😉 Ok, so this one maybe makes the list more for nostalgia purposes as it might not hold the same fear factor so many years later, but that does not discredit the fact that this is an outstanding ghost story I feel everyone should experience at least once.
The Devil’s Backbone
Spanish Gothic Horror
After Carlos – a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War – arrives at an ominous boys’ orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover.
*Guillermo del Toro makes my list again with this immersive and dark film. Oddly enough, I cannot put my finger on what exactly chills me the most with this one. But he always presents something atmospheric and psychologically gripping.
What are your favorite fright flicks or Halloween films?
Have you watched any of these? If so, I would love to know your thoughts! This is simply a handful of my favorites. I could spend days discussing horror films. Do you enjoy them?