Why Are the New Japanese Horror Movies So Frightening?Recently we've seen a lot of Japanese horror movies being released in America, such as The Grudge, The Ring, Audition (which is one of the creepiest movies I've ever seen), etc. I've been trying to figure out why these movies are so incredibly frightening, and I've come up with a few ideas.
The first is the fact that they're quite unique, especially when compared to the typical slasher horror movies that we make a lot of here. I mean, I certainly never would have come up with the idea of a girl in a well that comes out of the television screen. I think this uniqueness is what makes these movies so memorable, as well as so startling. We're expecting the ghosts to jump out and attack people, not to slowly crawl towards them out of a television.
The crawling aspects also ties into another idea that seemed prevalent in these new Japanese horror movies, and that idea is tension. If you've seen The Ring and Audition, you will understand what I mean by "tension." In Audition, much of the movie involves the creepy girl just standing in front of the camera, staring silently into it. This creates the effect that she is staring directly at the viewer, which creates tension because it generally makes people uncomfortable when people just stare at them, silently, intently. This tension also ties into the idea of patience, which I think is something that American movies tend to lack. The Japanese filmmaker are perfectly content with having a slow, uneasy build up instead of having lots of action and a fast moving plot. Lots of action doesn't always make a better movie.
Well those are just a few ideas that I have, feel free to disagree with me or even send me flames if you really want to.