For those more superstitious than others, Friday the 13th, which is today, is considered one of the most unluckiest—and ominous—days. Black cats, broken mirrors, walking under a ladder, not sharing that specific post on Facebook… Can you think of a few more examples that’ll give you seven years of bad luck?
If you’re also intrigued by the idea of spooky things happening on Friday the 13th, then you should totally watch these 13 spine-chilling Asian movies, for a change. 😉
#1 Train To Busan
There’s a good reason why Train to Busan is South Korea’s highest-grossing domestic film of all time. Trapped on a speeding train, a father and his estranged daughter must figure out a way to survive a zombie outbreak. It expertly blends the horror genre with compelling family drama, which doesn’t just elevate the stakes—it also (eventually) breaks your heart.
This film follows a Catholic priest that volunteers for a medical experiment only to find himself stricken with vampirism, Thirst is nothing like any vampire film you’ve seen. It’s weird, tragic, and darkly funny.
#3 Ju-on: The Grudge
The 2002 Japanese horror flick revolves around a tale of events that unfold after a homecare worker enters a house, which has been cursed by the vengeful feelings of a family that died there. A terrifying chain of events begin, passing through all those who set foot within its walls.
The 1998 Japanese horror movie, which is more famous for its American version The Ring, is a true horror masterpiece. Directed by Hideo Nakata, the movie revolves around a reporter investigating a string of deaths linked to a haunted videotape. The unbearable sense of dread as the investigation unfold is likely to keep you up at night.
#5 A Tale Of Two Sisters
Inspired by an old folktale, this psychological supernatural horror film is notable for being the first South Korean horror film screened in American theatres. The plot follows two sisters returning home from a stay at a mental institution. They find their father quite distant and their stepmother cruel and seemingly unbalanced. Their homecoming is further compounded by the presence of a ghost. It’s not the typical horror movie you’d expect—instead, it’s well-polished and deserves a watch.
#6 The Eye
Blind from the age of two, 20-year-old Mann now has a chance to reclaim her sight thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology. At first elated to have her vision restored, Mann’s joy soon turns to paralysing fear when she begins to see mysterious dark figures that foreshadow sudden, shocking deaths. This Singaporean thriller will definitely give you goosebumps.
#7 Dark Water
After winning a custody battle of her daughter, single mother Yoshimi moves into what she thinks is the perfect apartment with her daughter Ikuko. Not long after they’ve unpacked, strange things begin to disturb their new life. The conventional narrative follows Yoshimi’s increasingly desperate attempts to discover what force is haunting Ikuko.
#8 Into The Mirror
An ex-police officer working as a security guard notices something strange at the department where he works in this 2003 South Korean horror. He’s drawn into the mystery of a series of murders linked to mirrors. Great cinematography creates an atmosphere that’s consistently creepy and tense.
#9 The Maid
When a young Filipino woman arrives in Singapore to work as a maid, her naïve lack of superstition leaves her an open target for the supernatural forces. A box-office hit in its native Singapore, director Kelvin Tong’s homegrown tale of horror is at par with the best of the best of Asian films.
The movie revolves around the sensational trial of Diana Dahlan, a woman suspected of murdering a businessman in a gruesome way. Loosely based on a true story, the film was a gripping story as the real case was talked about endlessly due to its supernatural elements and the suspect’s widely-speculated profession as a shaman. The fact that it took 12 years before they released the movie says something, too!
#11 Nang Nak
This Thai supernatural movie was set in the 1860s, when a young villager Mak leaves his wife and child to fight in a war. When he returns, he finds the village is possessed by ghosts. Soon, local monks hire a Buddhist ghostbuster to thwart the supernatural scourge. This movie was screened at the 1999 Vancouver Film Festival, so it’s definitely worth your hour-and-a-half.
This is an Indonesian movie much like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The 2009 film follows newlyweds and Astrid and three friends on a road trip to reconcile Adjie with his estranged younger sister Ladya. The trip is interrupted by the “helpless girl on the roadside” trope and the group soon finds itself in an isolated house in the woods.
The 2012 Tamil movie about a pizza delivery boy and his encounters with the supernatural will give you some nice chills. With right toppings in the form of a taut script, eerie sound effects and nice background score, the movie manages to leave a mark.
Careful not to be spooked!