It’s that time of the year again! The crisp autumn air sweeps through Tokyo and you spot pumpkins smiling at you from counters and windows. If you’re visiting for the season, spending Halloween in Shibuya could be one of your top choices However, in light of safety concerns, the government is urging people not to visit. Even drinking on the streets in the area is banned for a few days leading up to Halloween. So why not stay in for a cozy night to binge watch a few Japanese horror movies instead? We’ll start you off with a few recommendations
1. Battle Royale (2000)
A classic movie that paved the path towards popular series like Alice in Borderland and Squid Game. These students are stuck on an island with an explosive device locked around their necks. Tampering with it results in an instant, violent death. The only way out is to eliminate everyone else and be the last one standing.
2. The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)
A family ridden with failures opens a bed and breakfast near Mount Fuji, hoping that it will be their chance to succeed, but things don’t go according to plan as bodies start to pile up in this surreal horror-comedy.
3. Confessions (2010)
Masterfully filmed to capture the eerie atmosphere, this movie is based on a novel by Kanae Minato. There are no ghosts in this one, but how this mother seeks to avenge her murdered child will leave you reeling long after the credits end.
4. As The Gods Will (2014)
Be careful what you wish for. A high school student obsessed with violent video games makes a passing comment that his life is too boring and gets transported into a nightmarish world where traditional Japanese icons reimagined as evil gods wreck havoc on him and his classmates.
5. Tag (2015)
Opening with an outrageous splatter scene, our main character in this movie has an elusive force of evil hot on her heels. It’s an entertaining watch all the way through as she is forced to meet puzzling characters in unpredictable scenarios.
6. Museum (2016)
A stressed out detective chases a sadistic killer wearing a frog mask responsible for several murders on rainy days through a gloomy and bleak-looking Tokyo.
7. One Cut Of The Dead (2017)
If you want a little humour with your horror, you’re in the right place. Throw your assumptions out of the window about this one. It’s better if you watch it without even watching the trailer.
8. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (2023)
Imagine being so overwhelmed by work and burnout that you rejoice when a zombie apocalypse happens. That’s how this positive protagonist in this movie feels as he embarks on a wild and hilarious journey through the apocalypse to check off his personal list of to-dos and meets both friends and foes along the way.