While most people are fascinated with the setting and cinematography of American horror movies, some find Asian horror movies exceptional, as they do a great job at sending shivers down your spine. They don't just try to shock you, but they make you scare yourself with their creepy scenes and twisted, sometimes true-to-life plots by playing with your fears.
Aside from ghosts and spirits, these horror movies have so much more in them. There is a wide range of classic and modern horror movies from different Asian countries you can choose from. In this article, we've provided a guide and a list of the 10 best Asian horror movies that will surely test your fears and hunt you even in your dreams.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Considering that there are a lot of Asian horror movie titles to choose from, we'd like to help you choose easily by gathering some of the important points that you need to consider to select the best one. Read on below to know more.
Just like the other movie genres, horror also comes with a few subgenres. These play a huge role in deciding what type of horror movie to watch. Each subgenre has a specific setting and theme that may or may not fit your preference, so read further to know more.
If you've watched the horror movies Shutter Island, Orphan, and Us, then you'll easily grasp what psychological horror is about. Horror movies with this subgenre often start unclear. You'll have to pay a lot of attention and listen carefully to its dialogues to understand the story well. Also, you'll need to pick up some pieces of important details on the movie to reveal its plot twists.
Psychological horror does not have a lot of intense, scary scenes and jump scares as it focuses on the characters' mental and emotional state. Still, it's one of the scariest subgenres of horror as it plays with the viewers' fears well, and it may contain disturbing and creepy scenes.
Supernatural horror movies involve elements, entities, and events that cannot be explained by science. They're about ghosts, demonic possessions, and witchcraft. The scenes are very scary to the point that you might have nightmares about them. It's the most common subgenre for horror movies.
However, it usually has a predictable plot and a lot of jumps scares as its main goal is to scare the viewers. Insidious, The Exorcism, and Paranormal Activity are some of the best examples of supernatural horror movies.
Gore horror is also known as splatter or slasher horror. This subgenre is not for the faint-hearted as it contains blood and extreme violence. The characters of this subgenre usually suffer in gruesome ways, like being tortured to death. The best examples of this subgenre are the movies Saw, Wrong Turn, and The Human Centipede.
Choosing a horror movie based on the country of origin can help you narrow down the choices and determine the Asian horror movie that will perfectly fit your mood and preference. Below are some of the common themes and settings of Asian horror movies from Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Most Japanese horror movies focus on psychological horror. Some of them are rooted in the folk tales from their culture. They also often feature ghosts and other supernatural beings. Meanwhile, Korean horror movies use the same theme and imagery as Japanese horror movies, but they apply them to a wider range of subgenres.
Both countries' horror movies give a good scare with disturbing scenes and spine-chilling plot. If you still don't know what to watch, you can always choose based on your mood. For instance, if you're currently hooked by KDramas, you can watch a horror movie from South Korea, but if you can't get enough of JDramas, then horror movies from Japan are a great option.
With the Philippines being one of the biggest Catholic nations in Asia, its horror films are more on the superstitious side. Usually, Philippine horror movies use religious symbols and imagery as the core of their scare factor to tell a frightening story and to trigger most Filipinos' fears. Multo or ghost also does a good job of giving the audience the creeps.
Ghost movies can easily make the environment spooky as if there's an eerie presence lurking around. Other Philippine horror movies are themed with scary mythological creatures like manananggal and tiyanak, but what really makes them scary is that Filipinos can relate to them as the events took place in the Philippines.
Thailand's film industry has a lot of great horror movies to offer. They're just like hidden gems waiting to be found as most of them are underrated. They're as good as the other horror movies from the other countries, and there's no denying that most of them are even better.
Thai horror movies have a good balance of jump scares and mind-blowing plot twists. Most of them are adapted from true stories and urban legends, and they also come with a touch of Thailand's culture and tradition. They might not be everybody's cup of tea, but the story and experience they offer are in a class of their own.
For most people, classic Asian horror movies are the best. Most of them are psychological horror as they focus more on the plot and the storyline. Also, every creepy scene comes with intense and suspenseful background music, making the viewers feel uncomfortable and anxious.
Meanwhile, modern Asian horror movies are feature more action and jumpscares, but most of them also have a good plot. They use technical equipment like CGI or computer-generated imagery to make the movie more realistic. There are also some classic movie remakes that are retold to make it more relatable and enjoyable for today's audiences.
To know if a movie is worth watching, you can spend a few minutes reading some of its reviews online. Movie reviews contain a summary of the movie, analysis, and critiques or opinions that will help you decide whether to watch it or not.
However, some reviews might expose a lot of details that might spoil you. If you don't want to risk the fun by reading reviews, you can opt for reading short synopses on AsianWiki or IMDb, and watching its trailer. These are great options, as they only show an overview of the storyline, allowing you to see just a sneak peek of the movie.
Click to purchase
Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom
Dealing With the Ghost of the Past
The Terror of Isolation in a Zombie-Infested City
Watch What Happens When a Family Moves to a Strange Neighborhood
A Movie Based on a True Story That Will Truly Haunt You
Unraveling a School's Mysteries
Connected by Phone but 20 Years Apart
Kuwaresma (The Entity)
A Supernatural Horror With a Touch of Family Drama
The Bridge Curse
A Ghost Tale With a Lot of Unexpected Twists
Frasco S. Mortiz
Pagpag: Nine Lives
A Horror Movie About Filipino Superstitions
A Not-Too-Scary Horror Movie for Beginners
Shutter is one of the best Thai horror movies up to this day. The horrifying events started when a couple, Jane and Tun, gets into a car accident as they unintentionally run over a woman. They couldn't find the woman's body, so they decided to run away from the incident.
Tun is a talented photographer, and as he looks at his photographs, he noticed mysterious shadows and faces on them. Jane thinks that it's the ghost of the woman they ran over, as it also keeps showing in Jane's dreams. This movie is not just a simple ghost story, as it comes with a lot of twists about Tun's past that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
As a virus outbreak decimates Seoul and turns its residents into zombies, Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) is stranded alone in his apartment. Running low on supplies and morale, Joon-woo's only chance may come from a woman (Park Shin-hye) living in the building across from his.
#Alive is a modern take on the zombie subgenre as it integrates the use of technology like drones, live streaming, and other innovations in its plot. You can count on Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye's excellent performances in this South Korean movie. Go see this film for a thrilling and heart-pounding story of survival!
Ladda Land is based on a true story about an abandoned village in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Wanting a fresh start with a new home, a family decides to move to a small community. Their peaceful days in the neighborhood ended when their neighbor's maid was found dead inside a refrigerator with broken limbs.
Since then, paranormal events started happening, and they slowly realize that there's something wrong with the place they're living at, including its people. What's worse is that all those are just the beginning of unfolding the secrets of Ladda Land, and there's a lot more to come.
This supernatural horror movie directed by Gilbert Chan will surely give you goosebumps. The story centers on a group of young recruits in the Singaporean army. One night, one of them shares a story about a woman who died at the exact hour of 23:59 on the same island they're training at.
After that night, Tan, one of the main characters, keeps telling his friends, especially Jeremy, that he will be the next target of the woman's ghost. As Jeremy doesn't believe in ghosts, he laughed at Tan and told him that it was just his imagination. But during their 24-km march, Tan was found dead by the river.
Because of guilt, Jeremy started to investigate Tan's death as he suspects that it's not just a simple accident. While he digs deeper, he discovers the dark secrets of the island. This is based on a true story that takes place in Pulau Tekong in 1983.
Philippine horror movie, Eerie, will make you refuse to sleep with the lights off. It's set at an all-girls Catholic school where a student named Erika committed suicide. All the mysteries started when Pat Consolacion, a caring guidance counselor, receives statements from the students that Mother Alice, a strict and sadistic head of the school, is behind Erika's death.
After all these, a series of supernatural events kept happening, and the whole school was shocked when another student named Clara took her life. As Pat digs deeper into these strange occurrences, she meets a ghost who's willing to help her unravel the school's mysteries.
If you could change something in the past, what would you change? This Korean mystery movie starring Park Shin Hye is a good watch if you're looking for a horror movie that will make you feel anxious as you try to predict what will happen.
The movie starts with Kim Soyeon, the main character, moving to a new house. On the way, she losses her phone, and upon entering the house, she receives a call on the house's telephone. As she answers, she hears a crying young woman that says her mother is trying to kill her.
After talking to each other for quite a while, the two soon realize that they live in the same house, but they're actually 20 years apart. This movie requires your full attention as you'll need to focus on its details to understand its timeline and story.
A college student, Luis Fajardo, receives a message that notifies him about the sudden death of his twin sister, Manuela. This made Luis return home to Baguio City. Upon arriving, his mother and father wouldn't tell him the cause of death. His sister's death had a huge impact on him, to the point that he often gets nightmares about it.
As he feels guilty leaving his sister alone with their strange parents, he starts to believe that the horrific events he's been experiencing were caused by his sister's ghost. This made him more curious about the mysterious death of his sister, so he starts gathering information that uncovers the dark secrets of his family.
This Taiwanese horror movie revolves around six college students who want to explore the cursed bridge in their university. They made fun of the bridge by filming a live video as they explore it. The bridge is said to have 13 steps in the daytime but 14 steps at night. What's scary about it is that anyone who looks back while stepping on it will die.
The movie jumps a lot in four different timelines from 1990, 2012, 2016 to 2020. It has an intriguing plot, a lot of unexpected twists, and a great mystery until the end of the movie. Most viewers highly recommend it as it a refreshing change from the typical cliché horror movie plots.
This Philippine horror movie follows a group of teenagers who ignored superstitions while attending a wake. One of the biggest mistakes they've done is not doing a Filipino superstition known as pagpag - you should not go directly to your home after attending a funeral as evil spirits might follow you.
The story goes on as the characters try to get away from the vengeful ghost named Roman. The main characters, Leni and Cedric's goal is to find a way to stop the ghost's gruesome attacks by discovering his past and dark secrets. Viewers say that it contains a lot of jump scares while maintaining its story, so prepare yourself before watching it.
This newly released horror, thriller, psychological, mystery, and Sci-Fi Japanese movie will be your best bet if you want to watch something fresh and different from typical horror movies. Although it might not contain shocking jump scares and intense horror scenes, its weird, trippy visuals and dark character moments make it scary for most viewers.
It's about Susumu Nokoshi, a 34-year-old homeless man who agreed to volunteer to undergo a surgical procedure known as trepanation for 700,000 yen, without knowing its purpose. After the surgery, he starts to see people having a distorted appearance. These people turn out to have a dark side in their minds.
As many of us have stayed at home since last year, you might have binged-watched a lot of movies and TV series to stay entertained. If you're running out of new titles to play or you don't know what to watch next, we got your back! Below are our other articles for more guides and recommendations.
Author: Erika Nollora Ceguerra
No. 1：Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom｜Shutter｜2004
No. 2：Cho Il-hyung｜#Alive｜2020
No. 3：Sophon Sakdaphisit｜Ladda Land｜2011
No. 4：Gilbert Chan｜23:59｜2011
No. 5：Mikhail Red｜Eerie｜2018
View Full Ranking
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
BeautyBody care, Makeup, Skincare
CamerasCamera supplies, Digital cameras, Drones and multirotors
HealthBeauty supplements, Medical supplies, Feminine care
Household goodsAir treatment, Bath and shower supplies, Blankets
PCs and laptopsComputer accessories, Computer components, Desktop pcs
Home appliances and electronicsAir conditioners and coolers, Air treatment, Blenders, mixers, and food processors
Food and drinksAlcoholic beverages, Baked goods and desserts, Baking
Kitchen suppliesBaking tools, Coffee and tea accessories, Food containers
ClothingBrands and shops, Men's coats and jackets, Men's innerwear
ShoesMen's shoes, Other shoes and footwear, Outdoor footwear
AccessoriesBags, Accessories and jewelry, Belts
Mom and babyBaby books and toys, Baby food and snacks, Baby supplies
Interior and furnitureBeds, Carpets and rugs and mats, Chairs
HobbiesAnimes, Arts and crafts, Board games
OutdoorCamping beds and cots, Camping stoves, Coolers
DIY and tools
Sports and fitnessAccessories, Badminton, Basketball
PetsCat supplies, Dog supplies, Fish and aquarium supplies
Books, CDs, and DVDsBooks and magazines, CDs, Linguistics, dictionaries, and phrase books
GamesConsole accessories, PC and console games
Cars and motorcyclesCar accessories, Car seats, Car supplies
GiftsChristmas-related gifts, Gifts for kids, Gifts for men
Home improvement and toolsDoor hardware and locks, Electrical, Gas stoves
Smartphones and tabletsSmartphone accessories, Smartphones, Storage
Investment and asset management
Banking and financeCredit cards, Debit cards, Services and apps
InsuranceCar insurance, Life insurance, Medical insurance
AudioEarphones, Gaming, Headphones
Smartphone applicationsBusiness apps, Dating apps, Education apps
OthersOthers, Merch, Recreation