10 Essential Japanese Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die

Klaiden The Japanese really love their horror. And they love all different sorts of horror. From beautiful, creepy ghost stories like Kwaidan to ultra realistic torture porn like Grotesque and everything in between. There are some ultra perverted Japanese movies out there that mix explicit sex with gruesome violence, they are classics of a kind but they don't belong on the list here. Instead, I am concentrating on la creme de la creme of J Horror. In the list, you will see the true brilliance of J Horror from 1960 to the present day. Italy had a similar talent for producing horror, but unfortunately, that seems to have dwindled. J Horror is strong and vibrant and endlessly inventive. I have picked what I think is a good representation of the heights of Japanese horror cinema, but ultimately people's tastes are different so please add your favourites below.

10. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

tetsuo-the-iron-man A strange man known only as the 'Metal Fetishist' has a compulsion to stick metal things in his body. After he discovers maggots wallowing happily in his rotten flesh, he runs outside and gets hit by a car. 'Salaryman' is the driver and although Metal Fetishist could possibly be dead, he drives on with his girlfriend. Later Salaryman notices he is slowly turning into metal. Oh yes, Metal Fetishist is alive and well and is the driving force for Salaryman to be turned into a living piece of scrap metal. The special effects are very well constructed and the black and white nature of the film is ideally suited to the material which is David Cronenberg /Lynch-esque and stylistically similar to Eraserhead. Of course the film showcases a dread of the possibilities of technology, a dread in which it starts to encroach upon the human body. The film paints a very dark picture of technology and its worst excesses, and is also very pessimistic about the future. Much sick mirth can be derived from scenes in which Salaryman has sex with his girlfriend and has a major metal boner right in the middle of shagging her. A very divisive film - in that you will either get it 100% or despise it completely.
 
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Contributor

My first film watched was Carrie aged 2 on my dad's knee. Educated at The University of St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin. Fan of Arthouse, Exploitation, Horror, Euro Trash, Giallo, New French Extremism. Weaned at the bosom of a Russ Meyer starlet. The bleaker, artier or sleazier the better!

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