10 Terrifying Japanese Horror Movies You've Probably Never Seen

9. Scarecrow

Over Your Dead Body

This is the first movie on the list that's an adaptation of a Junji Ito manga, but it will not be the last. For those unfamiliar with that name, Ito is a manga artist who's known for generating some of the medium's scariest stories. Still, there have been very few notable adaptations of his work, perhaps because his imagery can be so surreal and metaphysical. Scarecrow isn't a perfect film, but it's a great indicator of the unique scares that this artist produces.

The movie is a truly uncomfortable experience that builds up to a shocking climax. It follows Kaoru, a woman who travels to an isolated village named Kozukata, to search for her missing brother. However, whilst in the town, she discovers that the eerie place has some dark and malicious secrets.

Unlike a lot of horror titles, Scarecrow really takes its time. It establishes a quiet atmosphere, luring you into a false sense of security before throwing some massive scares your way. Additionally, the narrative ends up taking some dark turns as it slowly delves into the supernatural.

Ito is famous for his incredibly imaginative horror scenarios, so while it might take its time to get there, Scarecrow absolutely nails the payoff.

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Michael is my name, overanalysing comedy is my game! I’m a Bristol-boy who moved out to Surrey to get his BA and then moved on to get an MA from the Guildford School of Acting. I am your bog-standard freaky geeky lad.