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Discussion in 'Movies' started by AnthonyL, Jan 4, 2004.
Can anyone name some really scary movies on dvd?
This should probably be over in the 'Home Theater Software' area.
Still if you're looking for something reasonably up to date and yet off the beaten path you could try the Japanese film 'Dark Waters' which is another horror film from the director of the Ring. (The original).
I found it genuinely unsettling and downright creepy/scary.
Further to that, Asian horror is where the real scare action is these days. I've seen nothing from the states in the last two to three years that left me chilled the way so many Asian horrors have. This is probably why Hollywood has jumped on the bandwagon to remake them, as they're completely bereft of such ideas in their own horror industry.
Dark Water is a great starting point, and is available on HK DVD (region 0, i think, but may be region 3), and will probably be released on DVD here as back-up to the American remake.
The Japanese version of the THE RING is quite a creepy film, though it's impact will be blunted if you've seen the American remake. I still find it far more engrossing than the original, partly because the protagonist isn't made out to be a balls-out tough chick like she was in the US version. There's also couple of sequels to the RING in Japan. RING 2 is almost as scary as its predecessor, and logically continues the story of part one (and even revisits and elaborates on the spooky "mirror" scene). No subbed DVD as yet, but you can find it subbed on VCD fairly easily. See it before the inevitable remake.
Further to that, try to hunt down the following Asian scare flicks:
THE EYE (2002): a Hong Kong-Thailand supernatural horror which will soon be diluted into an American "blockbuster." This was released just recently on US DVD, and is also available on HK DVD for much less.
KAIRO (aka PULSE) (2002?). Really dark, really spooky, really moody Japanese apocalpyse-of-the-souls-type flick about what happens when the spirit world overflows into our own. So far, only available subtitled on R3 Hong Kong DVD.
INNER SENSES (2002): The OTHER Hong Kong horror movie to successfully ape western conventions while throwing a refreshingly eastern perspective on things. A psychiatrist (Leslie Cheung) tries to convince a patient (Karena Lam) that her ghostly visions are the result of stress induced over bad relationships. Just when he cures her, HE starts seeing even creepier things! This was Cheung's final film.
THREE (2003): Hong Kong/Korea/Thailand co-production that features three Twilight Zone-esque fright tales. The Thai entry is pretty dull, but both the Korean and Chinese segments are phenomenal. Both these segments were also released as separate theatrical engagements in their own country. The Korean segment deals with a woman wandering the streets after an accident trying to find her way home, while her husband, who's already at their apartment, acts very, VERY suspicious of the spectre haunting his apartment. The Chinese piece deals with a cop (Eric Tsang) who moves into a rundown tenement where a creepy neighbour (Leon Lai) appears to be convinced Chinese herbal will bring his dead wife back to life.
TALES OF THE UNUSUAL (2001): Japanese anthology of four tales of terror: one finds a group of plane crash survivors being picked off one-by-one in a snowy nowhere; another finds a defeated chess master involved in a life-sized game he can't escape, the third is a period piece that deals with a samurai who finds a cell phone (this one's played largely for laughs), and the final piece concerns a young couple who sign up for a "virtual marriage" experience that may, or may not, doom their relationship.
JUON: THE GRUDGE (2002): A very popular Japanese horror movie that may be somewhat overrated, but still a classic when compared with recent American fare. This was actually two direct-to-video movies in Japan that proved so popular, they made a feature film that combined the best of both. Purists will argue the videos are better than the film, but I've yet to find subbed versions of the video films. The feature is subbed on HK DVD (not sure about the region).
SHIKOKU (1999): Eerie contemporary Japanese ghost flick about a girl who returns to her small hometown where the vengeful ghost of her childhood best friend grows angry over her growing relationship with a boy the spirit once loved. Available on VCD. Not sure about DVD.
A critic once wrote, I think in the New york Times, that Asian horrors are unique because they don't cave in to the need for closure, as western horrors almost always do; that the "villain" is not always done in by some traditional method that makes the audience feel better, such as with vampires, zombies, ghosts, etc being slayed according to what the audience knows will work because its worked before. They may evolve more powerful creatures in this CGI enhanced era, but at their core, the tools with which to kill them are remarkably unchanged after years of horror filmmaking. With Asian horrors, the spectral visitors are often searching for some kind of closure, but often do not achieve it, which adds a note of sadness to the horror. Or the heroes mistakenly think they're bringing closure to spirit, as in THE RING, through their good deeds, only to have the curse continue to spread by film's end. I actually LIKE thinking that supernatural occurences in the movies can't truly be solved, it adds to the sense of dread. That's what horror movies are all about, isn't it? (That said, I should qualify that I like horror films that end on an open note, but I generally see no need for them to have sequels that kill whatever was left to our imaginations.)
The Kingdom (R2 version is much better though)
The Vanishing (don't watch the US remake with the same title)
Session 9 is pretty good. It's not a jump out of your seat type movie, but in-your head type of scary.
Below is a jump out of your seat type scary movie.
Burnt Offerings is very good and The Entitiy is good too.
For a good mix, I would watch:
You can try some old favorites like...
Or go with some recent offerings like...
In the mood for a little cheese....
Which ever movies you choose to watch, make sure its viewed correctly...
...All alone...Late at night....In the dark...With a big bowl of popcorn!....
Seriously, I really enjoyed The Others. Worth a look. 28 Days later was also pretty freaky.
Changeling is really good as well.
Black Christmas- The best, not to mention scariest film of its kind.
The Blair Witch Project- Scariest film I've seen, and its use of the terrifying unknown is brilliant.
Kairo- My favorite Asian horror film, it absoutely oozes creepiness.
The Sentinel- Overlooked little classic with some truly freaky scenes.
Dead and Buried- The most frightening zombie film there is.
Juon: The Grudge- Very unnerving Asian gem, believe me.
Threads- Horrifying nuclear holocaust masterpiece.
Mark has already mentioned The Vanishing (1988, is the year of the original, I think).
You might also try Kwaidan, four short films from Japan—quite stylized, but very fine.
Dead Ringers is an offbeat film by David Cronenburg that I find quite chilling.
Finally a standard: Blue Velvet, not a horror film, but anyone ought to be scared by Frank Booth.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Scary and disturbing, particularly since it's loosely based on fact.