When you hear the word summer, a lot of things comes to mind like the sea, BBQ, camping and etc. One interesting category is a horror movie! In Japan, various horror films are screened, and there are many popular works worldwide. In this article, we will introduce the difference between Japanese and foreign horror movies!

Let’s look at the history of Japanese horror films!


In Japan, ghost stories from Kabuki and Rakugo have been published since around 1897. It is based on the teachings of Buddhism and is a content that encourages bad behavior.

The ghosts like the current horror films were not the ones that harmed people, such as those who were wrongdoers being punished, and those who died of worklessness were wandering without adulthood.

In Japan during this period, the movie industry was not very exciting, and there were no incidents that would put the people in fear, so there were many ghost stories of such content.

Japan’s horror films show excitement with the “actress spirit” released by Hideo Nakata in the late 1990s. Furthermore, in Ring released by Nakata Hideo in 1998, it became a global hit with a type similar to the current horror film, unlike conventional ghost films. “Juon” was released in 2003, and it was popular as a series.

Difference between Japanese and Foreign horror movies


Horror films are greatly influenced by the culture and life of the country. The difference in culture, life, and thinking between Japan and overseas makes the difference in horror films. Let’s have a quick look at what the difference is!

Characteristics of Japanese horror films

Content that depicts the fear that occurs in everyday life is not influenced by religion. It is not a direct fear like murder, but it is a Japanese horror film that forgives something and gives a mental fear.

We give people a mental fear by making full use of techniques such as the sound of a door, the sound of water, omission of a murder scene, and polite production of casual everyday life.

Characteristics of overseas horror films

Many foreign horror films contain religious ideas. It is impressive to use demons and witches as villain characters in Christianity. Foreign horror works are often different from Japan, where ghosts often give direct fear to people, giving spiritual fear.

Overseas reactions to Japanese horror films


What is the reputation of the Japanese horror film that gives spiritual fear overseas? The most common thing is “Japanese horror movies are the scariest.” Not only when you are watching Japanese horror films, but also in the rest of your life, where fear continues to last for a while and will give fear to people abroad.


It turned out that Japanese horror films give mental fears, and foreign horror films give direct fears.

Japanese films are highly valued abroad, causing many people to be scared.

Let’s watch horror movies with our friends this summer!