3 Japanese Horror Movies to Make You Question Society

3 Japanese Horror Movies to Make You Question Society
Image credit: Legion-Media

"We live in a society", as a certain DC villain used to say.

Indeed, we have to interact with society on a daily basis, adapting to norms or, conversely, going against them.

But it is these norms that shape us as individuals, with all the advantages and disadvantages.

This theme is explored in the works of contemporary Japanese authors. Of course, there are many arguments as to why Japanese society is not 100% identical to that of the West.

And yet, regardless of culture, themes of envy, loneliness, and society's attempts to make sense of established norms are common to all.

Eerie and not always comprehensible images (without any "exoticism"!). The growing tension, the transcendent darkness beyond reason.

It's all Japanese horror. Here are 5 of the best Japanese horror films that will make you question the goodness of humanity.

Kwaidan (1964)

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi, Kwaidan is a movie based on traditional Japanese horror stories called "kaidan". The legends were intended not only to scare the audience, but also to teach Buddhism.

The movie consists of four stories that deal with the karmic punishment of peasants, musicians, and samurais in a horrific and mystical way.

In most cases, however, the victims condemned themselves to such a fate: greed, blind curiosity, and a willingness to make others suffer led each unfortunate character to dire consequences.

Cure (1997)

The director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, has been called the Japanese David Kronenberg for his contribution to the creation of eerie yet profound horror films that have influenced the global film industry.

Cure is a chilling psychological thriller that tells the story of a detective investigating a series of mysterious murders committed by acquaintances or loved ones of the victims who have no memory of what happened.

The themes of hypnosis and the innermost dark secrets of our minds force us to reflect on those undesirable aspects of the human instincts that modern society ignores.

Audition (1999)

Based on the novel of the same name by Ryu Murakami and directed by Takashi Miike, Audition has become a cult classic among horror fans.

For most of the movie, the viewer is immersed in a kind of uncanny romantic life that a middle-aged widower has decided to create for himself.

Through an audition, the protagonist falls in love with a young girl, supposedly because of the depth of her soul. However, the old man's dreamy idyll is interrupted and gives way to a disturbing body horror.

Warmly received in both Japan and the West, the film explores themes of misogyny, childhood trauma, and men's paranoid fear of women caused by their own mistreatment.

Overall, as horrifying as these movies are, it is shocks like these that allow us to reflect on our own behavior and how society affects us. Besides, horror movies are fun!