Now that we’re much older, the childhood joys of receiving free treats door-to-door supersedes us. With the responsibilities that adulthood brings, there’s nothing more of a better treat than lying on the couch enjoying some Netflix while munching on all the Reese’s peanut butter cups as you please, and heck you might even start enjoying those white rabbit candies that you used to detest as a kid.
We’ve seen all the cliché’s, the less-than real gores and the predictable jump scares. It’s time we see a change in the thriller genre – with a humorous twist, a romantic flare or even filled with unexpected story plots. This may be of unpopular opinion but we believe some of the best thrillers and horrors out there are made in Asia. Hiding inside of the cabinets? No, we don’t do that here. We list some of the most thrilling and action-filled Asian movies to watch on a Halloween night in.
Parasite, 2019, South Korea
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard of Parasite. Dark, witty and comical – it’s everything you could (or couldn’t) have imagined. While it has been highly acclaimed, the South Korean movie has made its most notable reputation of winning Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars – the first ever non-English movie to win top prize.
Directed by Bong Joon Ho – he is no stranger to the big screen through his previous works such as Okja, and Old Boy. In this dark comedy he stages the juxtaposition of wealth gap between the low-income Kim family and wealthy Park family in a quirky way. Initially comical it turns dark real quick so be sure to have your eyes wide open for all the hidden eggs and symbolism throughout the movie.
Helter Skelter, 2012, Japan
Based on a Japanese psychological horror manga by writer Kyoko Okazaki during the nineties, director Minka Ninagawa brought Helter Skelter back to life in 2012 with a live-action cast. Japanese supermodel Lilico (Played by Erika Sawajiri) dominates the market with her charming good looks – only which has been obtained through a shady full body cosmetic surgery.
Despite the glitz and the glamour of her modelling career, Ririko struggles to maintain her spot as an A-list model and her troubled personal relationships hinders her way. With questions and suspicions surrounding her cosmetic procedures, a private investigation undergoes as investigators dots the lines of illegal practices and Lilico’s secret to beauty. She begins to hallucinate and harm herself and those around her.
Inhuman Kiss, 2019, Thailand
Also known as Karuse, Inhuman Kiss is a romantic horror film based on the Southeast Asian folklore. Karuse is a spirit that manifests as a young beautiful women who has her internal organs hanging from its neck down trailing behind her head. In a remote Thai village, Sai (played by Phantira Pipitayakorn) inherits the curse of Karuse which makes her hungry for blood and raw flesh.
The villagers live in fear of the mysterious killings of their livestock and neighbors, a second plotline follows two teenage boys Jerd and Noi who both fall in love with Sai. While Sai tries to keep her human appearance, the village hunters make it harder for her to conceal her hidden form and has to make a decision to flee or fight despite her budding romance.
A Better Tomorrow, 1986, Hong Kong
Hong Kong was once a powerhouse in the film industries, with it golden cinematic years during the 80’s and 90’s. Many magnus opuses has since been made. One of which is A Better Tomorrow. While it’s not of horror or thriller genre, it is action packed and blood filled enough to keep you on the edge of your couch.
A story of reconciliation and revenge, the plot follows an ex-gang member in Hong Kong who tries to reconciles with his estranged policeman brother. However, he soon realizes the ties made in his past are hard to leave behind. Following the movie’s success A Better Tomorrow has followed up with two other sequels; A Better Tomorrow II and A Better Tomorrow 3: Love & Death in Saigon that are also worth checking out!
Perfect Blue, 1997, Japan
If you’re a fan of old school anime’s and some goth animatics, you’ll surely be a fan of Perfect Blue. This animated psychological thriller directed Satoshi Kon follows the life of Mima Kirigoe, a member of a Japanese idol group CHAM!. Mima puts down her careers as a singer to purse acting. Following her career change, fans have quickly noticed how she has changed her persona from a innocent good girl image to a “bad” one and calls her a traitor.
Alongside the backlash Mima struggles from online harassment of an obsessed fan-turned doppelgänger who starts impersonating her on her blog entries and reveals disturbing information’s from her past. Mima struggles to differentiate between the palpitations in her head and reality – or could this just be her reality?