What I’ve Learned from J-Horror

I love J-horror movies. I find them more frightening, more sutble sometimes, than any American slasher flick. For those not in the know, J-horror simply means scary movies from Japan. The Ring, The Grudge, etc. Many have been remade in America but retain their stylish psychological anticipation which is good – nothing like letting an American fark up a perfectly good foreign film just so the audience doesn’t have to READ in the movie theater.

WARNING: This post may contain SPOILERS and also LANGUAGE. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’ve put together some lessons from these movies, in honor of upcoming Halloween.

1. Don’t fuck with Japanese spirits. Apparently, once you piss off one, or you piss off a living person enough, you’ll never get rid of it. This is especially important when dealing with children or spurned lovers. It will ride around on your shoulders. It will kill you and everyone who comes in  your house. It will eat all your friends.

2. If you have a spirit problem, psychics and mediums are NO HELP. See above. You can try to talk to the old dude who specializes in ghosts and hauntings and beg him to help but he will be USELESS. He will send you away to deal with this on your own. And you will cry. And probably see your spirit’s image in a window reflection, probably without skin.

3. It’s never over when you think it’s over. Just when you thought finding the spirit’s human body and giving it a proper burial…someone is going to jump out a window and/or drown themselves.

4. Japanese spirits are apparently unappeasable. They refuse to rest. Unlike American spirits who contact you because they want to finish their business on earth before moving on and they just want you to HELP, Japanese ghosts are hella vengeful and they don’t stop being vengeful. (See also: number 1 above.)

5. Moving won’t help. The stain will follow you, you’ll still have bad dreams, and zombies are MOBILE.

6. Pay attention to the lights. Japanese ghosts are fond of messing with lights. It means, “I’MMA FUCK YOU UP,” or, “LOOK.”  As a secondary warning here, cameras count as light. Japanese ghosts like cameras and they’re always showing up in random photos. Lurking. Waiting to rip off your face or suck out your soul.

7. If you see a chick sitting in a chair with her back to you, just run. Mmmkay? I realize she’s going to follow you but trust me, her face is going to be all farked up or bugs are going to come out of her eyes, or she might not even have a face at all, just hair. You don’t need that, especially if you have already pissed her off.

8. Hair, baby, there mama, everywhere daddy daddy HAIR. Japanese spirits do wacky things with hair and they leave it in the most odd places – it comes out of the walls, its left in the tub. Just…ew.

9. Oh no she didn’t! Don’t expect the film to follow your basic sense of right and wrong. The humans don’t usually WIN against a ghost. And sometimes well…we cross a line into a world that wouldn’t go over well with a Western audience.

It’s probably best to just stay out of Japan if you’re afraid of pissing off a ghost.



  1. I love/hate/hate/love/hate J-Horror movies. Love because they’re original and incredible and unpredictable. Hate because I can’t get their freaky images out of my mind long enough to fall asleep. In fact, this post has conjured up some images of J-Horror flicks past to the point that I may not be able to sleep tonight.

    Thanks. Thanks a lot. 😉

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