Horror Boom’s Ten Scariest Asian Horror Movies Ever Made! – #10: “Coming Soon” (2008)

So, a couple of years ago I made a list for the IMDB of what I consider the ten scariest Asian horror films ever made. By the way, do you know how hard that was at the time,  to only pick ten?  If you think it would be easy, you either 1. have not watched as many Asian horror films as the average horror fan, or 2. you are made out of steel with ice-water instead of blood running through your veins, and no movie you have ever seen in your life has ever scared you, even as a kid.

Since I posted this list, I’ve seen more Asian horror movies than I have leading up to the years posting the list. So, there’ll probably be an addendum of an extra five (or ten) posted after this series of ten separate posts is complete.  I’m going to have to just cut and paste the goddamned list because the only way to save it that the IMDB has is as a MS table-spreadsheet, which doesn’t translate well (even if it didn’t delete all my copious notes on the movies. You may want to check back, because sometimes I can only post when it’s 3AM, all the lights are off except my laptop, and I’m the only one awake in the house (even the cats are asleep), and when I was scanning the entire list tonight, I felt my heartbeat speed up just reading my descriptions and flashing back to the most nightmarish, blood-curdling scenes and moments.  If you’re a restless sleeper that needs to sloooowly power down in order to relax enough to fall asleep, do you REALLY want to recall the big reveal in the last five minutes of Parkpoom Wongpoom‘s Shutter (2004) vividly when you’re trying to mellow out?  My point is,  I don’t want to do an image search for, say, Spiral unless it’s light out, so there’ll be more added to these posts later (plus trailers).

#10 – Coming Soon (2008, Thailand)

Fuck everything and run!

Fuck everything and run!

 I replaced Cinderella with this title–unfortunately, I hadn’t stumbled across it yet at the time. I saw the trailer for Coming Soon (the English title of this little gem) and I ended up watching it online, at night, on my laptop. Funny coincidence, I didn’t sleep too well that night! I almost did something I’ve only done with two other titles on this list, which was to reflect that perhaps I should quit while I still have a chance of calming down and watch the rest of the movie in daylight. This plot was so tight, though, and filled with surprises (not just giant jumps–it was excellent storytelling and a script with a simple, yet brilliant, idea) that I was glued to it. Thai horror movies do NOT fuck around, and this is a perfect example. From the second the action starts (in this case, a movie-within-a-movie) to the last sudden GOTCHA! right when you thought the movie was about to fade to credits, the makers succeed in their goal–scaring the living shit out of you. Those lucky enough to see it on the big screen in Thailand must have had a very memorable movie-going experience –most of the movie is set in a multiplex movie theater.

And here’s that trailer…

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Nope, I do NOT mind waiting for the fresh popcorn.

Ten More Trailers to Keep You Awake- #2/10 – The Wishing Stairs (South Korea), 2003

NOTE: Yes, this is a re-print of an article originally published on 9/27/2012. Due to missing over a week of postings in late May (got kicked in the ass by pneumonia and the unexpected death of a good friend) things got pretty sparse here as everything else went out the window at the time …so I’m filling them in (and back-dating them for the days we were on the disabled list) in with cool stuff. Enjoy.

HORROR BOOM

 

Do you dare do climb the 29th step?  HELL NO!

…South Korean boarding schools for girls (especially those that focus on the arts) seem like wretched enough places already without having to deal with ghosts suddenly swooping down at you from the ceiling when you’re trying to sleep in a dark, spooky room,  or pale hands slipping out of nowhere to grasp your wrist or ankle in the middle of the night…

More skin-crawling Asian Horror- this time from South Korea.

 

I first saw this movie in Fall 2009, when it scared me so bad it actually kept me awake until I purposely watched the DVD extras to see interviews with the actresses to try to put things in perspective (just a movie…just a movie… ), got up and grabbed both our cats to sleep on the bed with me, and scooted as far over to…

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The Grudge (2004) – VERY Scary Apartment Scene Will Make You Sleep With The Lights On! (HD)

NOTE: Yes, this is a re-print of an article originally published on November 26, 2012. Why a re-run, you ask? Due to missing over a week of postings in late May (got kicked in the ass by pneumonia and the unexpected death of a good friend) things got pretty sparse here as everything else went out the window at the time …so I’m filling them in (and back-dating them for the days we were on the disabled list) in with cool stuff and postings you may have missed the first time they were printed, because I hadn’t fully understood how to publicize properly back then.. Enjoy.

HORROR BOOM

When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage…

It’s almost impossible to pick the ten–hell, I’d have to really apply myself to get it down to twenty– scariest scenes or moments from the Ju-On (AKA The Grudge) series, let alone the scariest. OK, that’d be the stair-crawl,  but you get the idea. However, I’m pretty sure that this scene would probably make the top ten. Full of creepy moments (seeing Toshio pass by the elevator on EVERY goddamn floor, seeing your husband through the peephole and opening the door to the sight of an empty hall), Shimizu saves the best scare in the scene for last.

We doubt it’s necessary to sell you on Asian horror knowing exactly how to scare you and stand out from 90% of US horror films, but the idea of not even being safe in your own (formerly) cozy warm bed, with…

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See All Five Creepy-Ass TV Spots For The Blood-curdling Upcoming Movie “Mama” (2013) Right Here… Baby!

The TV spots for one of the most-anticipated fright flicks of 2013, Mama  (opening on January 18, there’s even a “countdown” box at the bottom of our homepage, along with another counting down the days till the next episode of American Horror Story Asylum), probably already has your attention. Mama  (the movie, not the creature itself) also started its own You Tube channel, which helpfully groups them all together on a playlist. Everything else You Tube has on Mama is already up on Horror Boom, including the first sleep-with-the-lights-on trailer, the original short film (no sleep whether the lights are on OR off, we’re heard expressed) the second freaky trailer with alternate footage, and the new re-cut version of the short film that Guillermo Del Toro introduces. The original short film Mamá  (which is always on our stats as one of the top ten ‘most viewed’ pretty much every day) is the version we found most nightmarish, for what it’s worth. There’s some new footage in these spots as well. Check out the playlist for the TV spots below, after dark if you’re feeling brave…

Speaking of feeling brave, we’re adding new ‘screen grabs’ from the TV spots tomorrow (as well as more links), because we are already  up very late and would like to get some sleep tonight. They’ll show soon. Just need to wait till we wake up and the sun is still up… till then, here’s a couple familiar ones.

This still is from the Mama Trailer, not the short below-but I thought it was worth including...

If I walked into a deserted cabin and laid eyes on the sight depicted in the below still, I’d just back quietly out of the room, out of the house, briskly go home, and call 911 (even though you should never walk backwards in a horror movie, would YOU turn your back to these feral creatures?

 

VERY Creepy Short Horror Film “Mama” Inspired The Upcoming Full-Length Movie “Mama” – The Stuff Of Nightmares – See With An All-New Intro By Producer Del Toro (HD)

“Mamá’s back.”

 

Usually, the above is a warm, comforting phrase. Mama’s home. Mama is here. Shhhh, my baby, all is well, you’re safe now, Mamá won’t let anyone hurt her babies.   Not in this case; in the context of this short scary-ass film (and the feature-length movie of the same name coming in late January 2013)  it is NOT  good news.
Not at all.

Well, according to Horror Boom’s year-end stats from WordPress, not only did this three-minute short feature get more hits than every other short horror film we featured combined,  it even crept into the top five posts of 2012. So, we were psyched to see a HD version with a brand spankin’ new intro from Guillermo Del Toro. He explains how badly it frightened him and why he saw potential for a full-length movie …that would also scare the hell out of everyone. Since this writer first saw the trailer in Fall of 2012, I’m now able to watch trailers for the feature-length Mama  (opening January 18, 2013) after dark …as long as I’m not feeling jittery in the first place.

Am I brave enough, though, to watch this  short film after dark?  Not really.  No. This second version does have alternate footage, but it’s no less scary for the switch. Daytime, lights on, had to turn the sound down just to give to short film a watch and ensure it was the real thing before we posted this new version. You think something can’t be scary that is only three minutes long, with no blood and gore? Watch this, because you will find yourself mistaken.

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 6.00.26 AM

Even if the movie is mediocre –which we seriously doubt; as a rule, these Spanish film-makers* know how to inspire nightmares above and beyond that of what most US film-makers are capable of– this short, written and directed by Andy Muschietti, is still actively terrifying. We’re now working up an entire piece on it, since as of this writing it may very well be the most anticipated horror film of Winter/Spring 2013.  Right now, though, we just want to get the film with the new intro up. MUCH more coverage is coming soon, keep your eyeballs out for it right here on Horror Boom.

And you have been warned.

We recommend watching the earlier version here too – the ending is extended and different, and so is the lighting (also, no intro by Del Toro). I assume this is some specially restored, re-mastered version they put together to promote the feature film. They’re both scary as hell. They’re also both written and directed by the same team!  We also strongly encourage you to check out both the first and  the second theatrical trailers (there’s new footage) right on Horror Boom. We aim to please (and scare) our fellow horror fans! Happy New Year.

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 5.05.36 PM

*if you’ve seen [REC],  [REC] 2 , or  The Orphanage,  then we highly doubt you need much convincing about the previous statement.

 

The Grudge (2004) – VERY Scary Apartment Scene Will Make You Sleep With The Lights On! (HD)

When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage…

It’s almost impossible to pick the ten–hell, I’d have to really apply myself to get it down to twenty– scariest scenes or moments from the Ju-On (AKA The Grudge) series, let alone the scariest. OK, that’d be the stair-crawl,  but you get the idea. However, I’m pretty sure that this scene would probably make the top ten. Full of creepy moments (seeing Toshio pass by the elevator on EVERY goddamn floor, seeing your husband through the peephole and opening the door to the sight of an empty hall), Shimizu saves the best scare in the scene for last.

We doubt it’s necessary to sell you on Asian horror knowing exactly how to scare you and stand out from 90% of US horror films, but the idea of not even being safe in your own (formerly) cozy warm bed, with the covers pulled up to your chin? If that isn’t the stuff of nightmares, we don’t know what is.

Scariest Short Horror Film Of The Week – Check Out The Disturbing Japanese Found-Footage Short: “Haunted Hospital”

Four of us from work got together and went inside the hospital to test our courage. I got separated from the rest of them…
…I think I saw something red…   –Anonymous source

I swear, I’ve been sitting through WAY too many J-horror shorts lately to make sure I have enough ‘scariest short horror film of the week’ entries for the next couple of months. At this point, I’ve got almost a dozen stand-out scary ones. Now would be a smart time for me to stop watching the creepiest ones I can find, and quit while I’m ahead!

Right off the bat, this one begins with more of a statement than a warning: The images that follow have reportedly driven many viewers to insanity or suicide.  Since it’s a very cleverly put-together found footage ‘mockumentary’, we don’t have to worry about that*, but when you’re watching dozens of these after dark, in a fairly jittery mood (presidential elections do that to me, though this isn’t as bad as 2004) it slows you down just a tad. I wasn’t scared, but it sure as hell got my attention fast. At the very least, they’ve got balls to start with it right out of the gate. BAM!

Spirit photographs are creepy enough (especially if you’ve seen the original Shutter ).  When you’re watching “Haunted Hospital” and you get to a card that says THIS:

…and even the tiniest part of your brain speaks up in a polite, cautious voice, asking  uh, do you really want to watch this?   Unless there’s a warning about animal violence, if I’m watching horror deliberately (which is 99.9% of the time, I don’t watch horror accidentally) this usually never slows me down for a second.  Now that’s what makes an impression on us horror fans. Not too shabby!

Haunted Hospital

*though many comments on You Tube from younger (well, I hope  they’re younger) viewers of this piece swear it’s real – from reading the comments, they’re not trying to start anything troll-ish , they really seem convinced. Though I suppose if you watch past the part warning that people who have seen these images have gone insane and/or blind,  some doubt exists (that or they’re really, really bored and decide to take their chances). If I thought it was real (on really scary short movies, the majority of people on You Tube, including me, scan the comments to make sure we’re not wasting our valuable minutes) from reading comments that repeatedly said so, seeing a message that The images that follow have reportedly driven many viewers to insanity or suicide  would make my brain call  Whup! Time out. How about you sleep on that and maybe check back in the daytime?   Actually, Brain, that’s a good idea. Thanks.

 

Heads Up!

Happy Halloween! Five Last-Minute, Fun Time-Killers Before Things Get Kickin’!

Hey! I’m pretty sure you’ll all be busy tonight. Whether you’re waiting for your friends to come over and watch some scary 80s classics and get tipsy, taking your kids out to trick or treat, going to a party, or to pass out candy yourself,  or to watch Trick ‘R Treat   and wait for American Horror Story to come on like we are, you may have some time to kill. Here’s some last-minute suggestions.

1.  Remind yourself of the four Halloween Rules with this twisted, fun list Fearnet.com put together to promote their Trick ‘R Treat marathon last year. You can tell they had a pure blast creating them. Check them out below!

2. Have half an hour to kill and want to watch a J-Horror short movie that’ll scare the HELL out of you? Check out my earlier post on Scariest J-Horror Short of the Month (Hell, this YEAR so far) by clicking here.

3.  Want to see one last really great Grim Grinning Ghosts video (until the 2012 Halloween season, that is), this time that someone who knew their old-skool Disney put together?  Depending on your age, it may very well take you right back to your childhood. Being forty-COUGH COUGH…ahem (clearing throat) years old, I didn’t think this was still actually possible for me. If you remember watching Disney’s  Sleepy Hollow  on TV when they used to run it the Sunday before Halloween and getting the hell scared out of you by the Headless Horseman chasing Ichabod Crane over the covered bridge, this will warm (or chill) you right up. Those skeletons really know how to kick up their heel-bones and dance, too.

4. Have you heard of perhaps the scariest goddamned flash horror games on the internet, The House and The House 2? Well, if you haven’t seen them, hold off since I’ve been working on a piece for both. However, this truly frightening, interactive Halloween greeting-game from the same studios that created the aforementioned soil-yourself frightening games. When I played the flash games,  I got the suspicion they were created by a team in South Korea, Japan, or Thailand, because they had a serious Asian Horror vibe.  At the time (in between my high, girly screams and yelps caused by jump scares), I also remember thinking, There is NO WAY anyone in the US could have come up with something this fucking terrifying. Well, after I finished playing this one, a card hops up from the team that created it, and wouldn’t you know,  the studio that created all three was Sinthai studios in Thailand. Patted myself on the back for that call!

Before I give you the link to “The Halloween”, some hints:  at least three things will be swooping down or rushing past you onscreen. Just start moving your cursor around and clicking on everything it indicates you can click on. It’s not a first-person shooter game,  it takes place all in one room, (unlike, say, House or House 2) and not really a puzzle game. The closet it comes to being a puzzle game is you have to click on everything multiple times, in various orders, sometimes many times, for the sudden scares. Light switch, the corner of a piece of paper sticking out of a grate, a pumpkin, if you can click it, keep trying.Turning the lights on and off a bunch of times will give you something …but at some point when you click them on and the room is light again, something blood-curdling may be there this time. You’ll see something when the lights are off, too.
It could take you up to fifteen minutes to get to the grand finale that wraps up the game (and the biggest scare), depending on whether you’re new to this style of point and click game,  maybe less if you play these kinds of horror flash games on a regular basis. If you need hints, comment or drop me a line. If all else fails, I’ll post a walk-through, but since there’s not much exploring to do, you’ll probably get it. You’ll discover just how brave you are, based on knowing you have to click the same item a dozen or more times before it activates the next big scare. Oh, and don’t bother scanning the code with your smart phone, it just takes you to the Sinthai company’s URL–nothing much to see there. Well, you CAN get the URL, I’m just saying it’s not a missing puzzle piece or extra to the game. I believe at the end some kind of thank-you note from the creators pops up with a friendly message and Halloween wishes. I’m sure as hell not going to play the game NOW to find out.

Brave enough to click until the game is completed? If you are and it’s after dark and you’re alone, I’m impressed. Oh yeah… here it is: the link for “The Halloween”. BTW, this is a very safe, trustworthy site, you don’t have to register (though I did), and I’ve gotten zero junk mail or newsletters since I registered. Not too shabby for a free site.

5. Watch the last five minutes of Halloween – Season of The Witch   (AKA Halloween 3 )  below:

…and there you have it. Enjoy your night!

Heads Up!

Heads Up! It’s That Time of Year Again!

Horror Boom Halloween Treat – Giant Ju-On Gallery, Featuring Kayako Saeki!

Ok! So here’s the second Halloween 2012 treat (three more to come).  I promised another Ju-On  gallery, and this time– y’know, Halloween Treats and all– I’m going to focus on Kayako. It also seems fitting,  since on Halloween 2004, I was first introduced to the series and to Kayako (and her family) when my mom and I went to see the movie The Grudge in the theater (in a packed house, closer to the screen than was optimal when seeing a really scary movie). By thirty minutes in, we were holding hands!

Looks like lots of people have been doing searches and landing here because they want to dress like her for Halloween. Maybe this will help you out with the make-up. There’s a couple of make-up tutorials on You Tube but it seems as though most of them don’t understand Samara from The Ring and Kayako from The Grudge/Ju-on are two different characters. Here’s the closest I got, just taking photos to use on T-shirts I’d be selling. I wanted a recognizable image yet needed to do my own to avoid copyright infringement. Well,  I gave it a shot, anyway!

Ok, I lied, I bleached out color a little bit, but trust me, I used a TON of make-up.
©2011 D.D. Reinert/Horror Boom

Oh, and please note I’m going to be adding to it over the next 48 hours until it is juuuuuust right. I have over 100 images but need to start sleeping before dawn breaks. It can’t be healthy for my system to keep the sleep-cycle of an undead crack whore, so I’m making an effort to get in bed and at least TRY to fall asleep before I hear birds chirping outside. Keep checking back,  as you’ll keep finding plenty of new, scary, Ju-On photos and content all the way up to Halloween night!

Overall, I really made this as a tribute to her character. I even added a little behind-the-scenes stuff on the multi-talented Takako Fuji, who has played Kayako six times in full-length features, in addition to the two short films. As far as I’m considered, The Grudge 3 doesn’t even count as part of the series, since she didn’t play Kayako in it; in fact she wisely turned it down. I’ve read a few recent interviews with Fuji-San (they needed a translator) which I purposely sought out to remind myself that the Ju-on series were only movies,  and Kayako doesn’t really exist.   Fuji-San said that even though she has a strong background in modern dance, her back would always hurt for a day or so after each time she filmed a staircase-crawl (that makes my back hurt just thinking about it), that she’s a smoker who would take cigarette breaks in costume as Kayako which would make anyone walking by seeing her start to laugh, that she sometimes gets asked to “do” Kayako at parties (she always does), but most of all, kept apologizing “for all the nightmares!”  That helped… sort of…  a bit… a little, tiny bit, anyway.

So here’s that gallery, in some different formats to mix it up. She remains one of the most frightening female horror icons of all time, even probably up in the top five for me.

The above and below are shots where the lighting is dim, but what you CAN see is clearly Kayako,  just enough to know who you’re looking at and to scare the shit out of you.

mirror mirror, on the wall, who’s the scariest one of all?

Fuck!

You’re not even safe under your own bed sheets…

This is from the very first Ju-On TV movie, and the first time I’ve ever let out a shriek watching something on my TV in my own home. During daylight, no less. Almost had a goddamn heart attack when Kayako quietly said, “Kobayashi?” held still for a long moment, then suddenly SWOOPED down close to his face. And that was the last time we (or anyone) ever saw Kobayashi Dear…

Here’s some really frightening PR shots taken…

When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage…

…a curse is born.

…The curse gathers in that place of death.

 

Those who encounter it…

…will be consumed by its fury.

More quotes from this interview later on.

 

More coming soon; I’ve now looked at the maximum amount of depictions of Kayako (after dark) that I can without risking nightmares.  If you have requests for photos/pics, please put them in the comments below and I will do my best to accommodate them!

Red Band Trailer of the Week – “Maniac” Remake (2012) Doesn’t Screw Around

I still remember watching William Lustig‘s original Maniac  (1980) …on a VHS tape rental in my bedroom in high school; I had lugged the TV set and VCR in there because I was stuck in bed nursing a flu at the time.

I’m pretty sure Maniac  (along with a few other serial-killer horror movies; I saw Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer  at SIFF in 1990 and purchased my first purse-sized canister of pepper spray shortly after) was a big part of the reason I took the first “Self-Defense for Women” class I could find (and the second, and the third, and the…) and developed habits that I keep to this day, like always having my car keys in my hand by the time I left a building to walk through the parking lot to my car, even if it’s only ten yards away. Also probably among the reasons why, after dark, I keep them in my hand, with the self-defense trick of holding them in your fist with the pointy end of the keys jammed between my fingers and pointing out, so you have a better chance of breaking your attacker’s skin, or putting out an eye, if you need to strike out to defend yourself.

Frank Zito’s victims get themselves some payback in the fucking blood-curdling, nightmarish finale of the original Maniac (1980).

Here’s the HD red band trailer for the Maniac (2012)  remake – there’s a separate piece coming on why I’m actually optimistic about the chances of it being successful. Don’t expect to see the titular character Frank Zito even remotely resembling Joe Spinell, though!

*I didn’t actually SEE it in 1980 (that’d be a great movie for a girl still  in elementary school to watch, scarred for life? Check!), I think it was 1984.  My mom would buy me a Fangoria–and even Famous Monsters Magazine– in 1981, though.  Towards the end of the run of Famous Monsters of Filmland, I had a subscription. I wish I’d held onto it!