Foreign Films The Most Terrifying Japanese Horror Movies of All Time  

Ranker Horror
5.7k votes 1.3k voters 188.3k views 67 items

List Rules Japanese movies in the horror genre only

Are you wondering which Japanese horror films are considered the best by voters like you? Whether you're a huge fan of the Japanese horror movie genre or just beginning to dive into these creepy foreign films, this list (ranked by fans) will let you know which scary flicks are the most popular.

If your particular favorite Japanese horror movie is not at the top of the list, vote it up! Or, if you don’t see your favorite listed, go ahead and add it so that other lovers of Japanese scary movies can enjoy it as well.

Looking for a new scary movie that you haven’t seen yet? With this extensive list you are sure to find something new. Or maybe you're an old pro who wants to relive some of the best horror movie moments. No matter what, this list will help you find what you are looking for (as long as you're looking for awesomely terrifying movies).

Don't be afraid! Check out the list below to find out which fan favorites are considered the best Japanese horror movies.

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Ju-on: The Grudge 2002 Ju-on: The Grudge is a 2002 Japanese horror film written and directed by Takashi Shimizu. This film is the third installment in the Ju-on series and the first film to be theatrically released. ...more

340 90
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Ringu 1998 Ring is a 1998 Japanese mystery thriller film directed by Hideo Nakata, adapted from the novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki, which in turn draws on the Japanese folk tale Banchō Sarayashiki. The ...more

268 80
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Audition 1999 Audition is a 1999 Japanese psychological horror-drama film, directed by Takashi Miike and starring Ryo Ishibashi and Eihi Shiina. It is based on a Ryu Murakami novel of the same title, from a ...more

192 63
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Dark Water 2002 Dark Water is a 2002 Japanese horror film directed by Hideo Nakata, the director of Ring and Ring 2. Dark Water is based on Floating Water, a short story by Koji Suzuki. The plot follows a ...more

208 73
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Ju-on: The Grudge 2 2003 Ju-on: The Grudge 2 is a 2003 Japanese horror film and the fourth installment in the Ju-on series. The film was written and directed by Takashi Shimizu. It was released in Japan on August 23, ...more

216 81
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galenandrews added Battle Royale 2000 Battle Royale is a 2000 Japanese action thriller film adapted from the 1999 novel of the same name by Koushun Takami. It is the final film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, the screenplay written by ...more

176 63
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One Missed Call 2004 One Missed Call is a 2003 Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Miike and written by Minako Daira. The film is based on the novel Chakushin Ari by Yasushi Akimoto. The plot revolves around ...more

150 50
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Pulse 2001 Pulse, known in Japan as Kairo, is a 2001 Japanese horror film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The film is based on his novel of the same name. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard ...more

109 35
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The Curse 2005 The Curse is a 2005 Japanese horror, found footage film in the form of a documentary. The movie was directed by Kôji Shiraishi, and is unusually long and complex for the J-Horror genre, ...more

129 51
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Suicide Club 2001 Suicide Club, known in Japan as Suicide Circle is a 2002 Japanese independent horror film that gained a considerable amount of notoriety in film festivals around the world for its controversial ...more

70 20
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NatashaIzlin added Ju-on: The Curse 2000 Ju-on: The Curse, also known as simply Ju-on, is a 2000 Japanese V-Cinema horror film and the first installment in the Ju-on franchise, following two short films, Katasumi and 4444444444. The ...more

63 19
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dafullclip added Ichi the Killer 2001 Ichi the Killer is a 2001 Japanese film directed by Takashi Miike, written by Sakichi Sato, and based on Hideo Yamamoto's manga series of the same name. It portrays a story of feuding yakuza ...more

77 36
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Reincarnation 2005 Reincarnation is a 2005 Japanese horror film, directed by Takashi Shimizu, of a hopeful actress who wins a role in a film that takes her, the cast and the crew to a hotel where the present soon ...more

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Ring 2 1999 Ring 2, directed by Hideo Nakata, is the sequel to the Japanese horror film, Ring. Ring was originally a novel written by Koji Suzuki; its sequel, Rasen, was also adapted into a movie as the ...more

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Three... Extremes 2004 Three... Extremes is a 2004 international East Asian horror film collaboration consisting of three segments by three directors from three countries. It is a sequel to, and follows the concept of ...more

74 35
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Carved: The Slit Mouthed Woman 2007 Carved is a 2007 horror film written and directed by Kōji Shiraishi, and co-written by Naoyuki Yokota.

58 28
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Infection 2004 Infection is a 2004 Japanese horror film directed by Masayuki Ochiai, of a run-down hospital where a doctor's mistake unwittingly creates dark consequences for all. It was released as part of ...more

58 29
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Cure 1997 Cure is a 1997 Japanese thriller film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, starring Koji Yakusho, Masato Hagiwara, Tsuyoshi Ujiki and Anna Nakagawa.

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abyx added Uzumaki 2000 Uzumaki is a Japanese horror film directed by Higuchinsky. Uzumaki, released in 2000, is based on Junji Ito's episodic manga of the same name. The plot concerns a town infected with malevolent ...more

45 23
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Onibaba 1964 Onibaba is a 1964 Japanese historical drama horror film. It was written and directed by Kaneto Shindo. The film is set during a civil war in the fourteenth century. Nobuko Otowa and Jitsuko ...more

47 26
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galenandrews added Tetsuo: The Iron Man 1989 Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a 1989 Japanese cyberpunk film by cult-film director Shinya Tsukamoto produced by Japan Home Video. It is an extremely graphic but also strikingly-filmed fantasy shot in ...more

49 28
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RussellBrill added Grotesque 2009 Grotesque is a 2009 Japanese splatter horror and exploitation film written and directed by Kōji Shiraishi.

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RussellBrill added Imprint 2006 An American journalist in 19th century Japan is hoping to find the love he left behind. His long search leads him to a dark island where the only sanctuary is a brothel. He ends up spending the ...more

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Gozu 2003 Gozu is a Japanese cult film directed by Takashi Miike and written by Sakichi Sato.

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galenandrews added House 1977 House is a 1977 Japanese horror film directed and produced by Nobuhiko Obayashi. The film stars mostly amateur actors with only Kimiko Ikegami and Yōko Minamida having any notable previous ...more

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Kaidan 2007 Kaidan is a 2007 Japanese horror film, directed by Hideo Nakata, of two young people who fall in love, but they're hounded by the ghost of a murdered moneylender who seeks revenge, which leaves ...more

32 18
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Strange Circus 2005 Strange Circus is a 2005 Japanese horror drama film written and directed by Sion Sono.

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JohnnyGuerrero added Premonition 2004 Premonition is a 2004 Japanese horror film directed by Tsuruta Norio. Yogen is based on the manga Kyoufu Shinbun by Jiro Tsunoda, published in "Shonen Champion" in 1973.

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Kuroneko 1968 Kuroneko is a 1968 black-and-white Japanese horror film, directed by Kaneto Shindo, and an adaptation of a supernatural folktale. Set during a civil war in Japan's Heian period, the spirits of a ...more

53 38
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Tokyo Gore Police 2008 Tokyo Gore Police is a 2008 Japanese-American film co-written, edited, and directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura and stars Eihi Shiina as Ruka, a vengeful police officer. Tokyo Gore Police was ...more

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abyx added One Missed Call 2 2005 One Missed Call 2 is a Japanese horror film, and the sequel to the J-Horror film One Missed Call.

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galenandrews added Lesson of the Evil 2012 Aku no Kyōten, known in English as Lesson of the Evil, is a 2012 Japanese slasher film directed by Takashi Miike, starring Hideaki Itō. It is an adaptation of Yusuke Kishi's 2010 novel of the ...more

13 4
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funny252 added P.o.v a Cursed Film

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Marebito 2004 Marebito Unique One is a 2004 Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Shimizu.

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abyx added Versus 2000 Versus is a 2000 Japanese independent zombie action film co-written, produced, and directed by Ryuhei Kitamura. The film is set somewhere in the deep forest of Japan, known as the Forest of ...more

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Tales from the Dead 2008 Tales from the Dead is a 2007 horror film, written and directed by Jason Cuadrado. The film is an anthology of four ghost stories as told by Tamika, a strange young girl with the ability to ...more

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Noriko's Dinner Table 2005 Noriko's Dinner Table is a Japanese horror drama film, and a prequel to the cult film Suicide Club, written and directed by Sion Sono, concerning a mass suicide of 54 schoolgirls and how it ...more

33 25
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galenandrews added Visitor Q 2001 Visitor Q is a 2001 film directed by Japanese director Takashi Miike. It was filmed as the sixth and final part of the Love Cinema series consisting of six straight-to-video releases by ...more

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dafullclip added Cold Fish 2010 Cold Fish is a 2010 Japanese serial killer film directed by Sion Sono. The film is about a quiet and unambitious owner of a tropical fish shop whose life and family are taken over by a fellow ...more

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Retribution 1999 Retribution is a 2006 Japanese mystery film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, starring Koji Yakusho, of a detective's investigation of serial murders that leads him to a mysterious woman in red who ...more

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Nightmare Detective 2007 Nightmare Detective is a 2006 Japanese horror film directed by Shinya Tsukamoto and released by Movie-Eye Entertainment Inc, starring Ryuhei Matsuda and hitomi. Masanobu Ando and Ren Osugi play ...more

17 11
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JohnnyGuerrero added Ju-Rei: The Uncanny 2004 Ju-Rei: The Uncanny is a 2004 J-Horror film directed by Kôji Shiraishi.

17 11
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galenandrews added Matango 1963 Matango, also known as Fungus of Terror, Curse of the Mushroom People and Attack of the Mushroom People, is a 1963 Japanese tokusatsu movie. It was directed by Ishirō Honda, and written by ...more

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abyx added Seance 2000 Seance is a 2000 Japanese horror/thriller television film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, starring Koji Yakusho, Jun Fubuki and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi. It is based on the novel Seance on a Wet ...more

13 9
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Occult 2009 Occult is a 2009 J-Horror, "found footage" film in the form of a documentary. The movie was written and directed by Kôji Shiraishi.

12 8
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The Black House 1999 The Black House is a 1999 horror film written by Yusuke Kishi and Sumio Ohmori and directed by Yoshimitsu Morita.

6 2
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dafullclip added The Ghost of Yotsuya 1959 Tokaido Yotsuya kaidan is a 1959 Japanese horror film, directed by Nobuo Nakagawa and based on the 19th century Japanese Kabuki play by Nanboku Tsuruya titled Yotsuya Kaidan.