Three Asian horror films that haven’t gotten the American makeover

Forget The Ring, The Grudge, Pulse, Shutter, The Eye, Dark Water…Geez. We’ve remade so many Asian horror films here in the U.S. But not these three films!

GUROZUKA (2005)

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Imagine if a scary tape turned you into a masked killer at a cabin in the woods and you’ve got Gurozuka. Indeed, it’s basically an American slasher in Asian horror clothing.

A group of female students goes to an isolated house in the woods to make a film for their private movie club. Turns out some girls did that seven years ago. One died, another went insane. The students find the creepy film those victims apparently made, keep catching glimpses of a masked figure, fight with each other over missing personal items, and try to out the lesbians.

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The videotape of a masked figure committing some murders is creepy enough and there are a few eerie “Asian-esque” visuals, but overall, this isn’t the most exciting slasher. It relies mostly on false scares and cheap dream scares.

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Things do suddenly ramp up at the end when there’s finally a super tense chase and stalk scene in the kitchen…which is ruined by a really bizarre edit that catapults the killer to the other side of the room in an instant.

RINNE (aka: Reincarnation) (2005)

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Rinne is like The Grudge and The Shining all rolled into one. It’s also confusing as fuck to follow. But the basic premise is that this girl who believes she was reincarnated gets a role in a horror film based on a true story of murders in a hotel. And it’s being filmed in the hotel. And the girl feels like she’s been there before. And she’s not the only one. I think….

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CONFUSING. But still uber creepy even if it is completely typical of supernatural Asian horror films. There are eerie apparitions everywhere. There are loads of ghostly flashbacks and dreams. And most importantly, there’s a little girl ghost who has one of the most horrific looking dolls ever. And this fucking doll comes to life.

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Yes, this reincarnation/ghost movie becomes a killer doll film for a while. Plus, the hotel turns into The Shining of the Living Dead. And when the truth of who exactly has been reincarnated comes out, it adds a good twist to the mix.

Fuck you, doll!

INFECTION (2004)

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Infection is absolutely my favorite Asian horror film ever and my favorite hospital horror film ever (sorry, Halloween II). And that’s pretty much because it’s essentially Asian Argento. No, not Asia Argento. Asian Argento. The look, the atmosphere, the bizarro happenings. Infection totally gets under my skin and leaves me feeling unsettled throughout.

It’s the story of a hospital that is on the verge of closing. They don’t even have enough medical supplies and are ready to start evicting patients simply because they don’t have the staff or resources to help them.

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One night, when it’s time for lights out, the quickly unraveling crew has a meltdown that begins mentally…because an ambulance simply leaves an infected patient in the ER who is actually fricking melting! At the same time, the doctors and nurses on staff make a huge mistake treating a burn victim and decide that they must cover up the error.

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Infection is a mind fuck. I seriously dreaded the characters walking to any single room because there’s crazy shit happening everywhere. There’s a loony old lady who talks to imaginary people. There’s a creepy doctor who stands frozen and stares blankly like a cardboard cutout. The liquefying patient disappears through vents, leaving a green slime trail behind. Nurses float. A ghost appears that shows as headless in mirrors. People start acting like possessed zombies. And to top it all off, there’s a little boy roaming around in a mask.

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Whatever the hell is going on here, it’s clear it all has to do with doctors’ morals and their ability to hold up their code of ethics.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES.

I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.

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