8 Japanese Horror Classics Streaming Now

As a horror fan who writes streaming guides, I felt it was my duty to alert the masses that we currently have eight Japanese horror classics streaming today. I’m talking about stuff older than our beloved titles like Ringu, Ju-On: The Grudge, and Audition. I’m looking at the films that probably inspired the filmmakers who made the titles many of us grew up with. While I’ve seen a couple of these gems and enjoy recommending them, I’m more excited to introduce you all to the ones I’m about to watch for the first time. Call me selfish, but I cannot wait to see some of these ghostly tales as a newbie. Check out the eight movies I’m about to marathon below! 

Evil Dead Trap (1988)

Where You Can Watch: AMC+, Prime Video, Plex, and Shudder

After receiving a snuff film, a late-night TV personality takes a crew to the filming location and finds out the dangers are still real and present. They had me at a supernatural slasher film, so I knew I was the audience for this going in. This film is directed by Toshiharu Ikeda and is not to be confused with the Evil Dead franchise.

Genocide (1968)

Where You Can Watch: Sling and Xumo Play

The insects turn on the humans, resulting in a buzzy Armageddon. This horror sci-fi is probably not on the same level as everything else on this list. However, it is a classic Japanese film that is currently streaming. It is also giving me big B-movie vibes and I love to see it. While I don’t do buggy genre films, I know Dread Central’s Girl, That’s Scary recently covered a ton of that subgenre. I wonder if they have seen this one…

Godzilla (1954)

Where You Can Watch: Max

A giant beast is woken up from its hibernation undersea by atom bomb testing. This is the first movie in what has become a neverending legacy for the most infamous kaiju in cinema. This first outing for the king of his subgenre holds a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is required viewing for anyone enjoying the Godzilla renaissance we’re currently living in.

Horrors of Malformed Men (1969)

Where You Can Watch: Plex

A medical student escapes an asylum and assumes the identity of a dead man. This leads him to an island filled with malformed people and the scientist who made them. This is another Japanese classic that has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sadly, it only has six reviews by critics because it’s not usually this easy to find. Hopefully, more people catch it before it disappears again.

House (1977)

Where You Can Watch: Max

A girl takes six classmates to her aunt’s haunted home. This chaotic horror comedy has picked up quite the cult following over the decades. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is one of the more well-known titles in this streaming guide. However, I’m excited because I haven’t seen this title on an ad-free platform in a few years. We should take advantage of this moment because who knows when we’ll have it again.

Kwaidan (1964)

Where You Can Watch: Max

This Japanese anthology, based on Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn, adapts four folk tales into ghostly stories for the screen. I love anthologies and most Japanese horror films I have gotten my hands on. More importantly, this award-winning film has been on my watch list forever. So, this feels like it needs to be my top priority this month.

Onibaba (1964)

Where You Can Watch: Max

A woman and her daughter-in-law await the return of her son from war while killing samurai and selling their victims’ belongings. Weirdly enough, I discovered this film because of Willem Dafoe. I figured he knew what he was talking about. However, I did not expect this movie to be as good as it is. I love seeing women be the danger in the swamps, and I enjoy the wild turns this story takes. It is now my mission to make everyone watch this deadly little gem.

Ugetsu (1953)

Where You Can Watch: Max  Plex, and Tubi 

This fantastical tale is set during the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century. This wartime tragedy has death, a severed head, and a sleek 94-minute runtime. This Kenji Mizoguchi-directed film is based on Ugetsu Monogatari by Ueda Akinari. It also has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes to further support it is probably worth your time and attention.

Let me know if you have already seen these Japanese horror classics at @misssharai. Also, let me know which ones are your favorites.



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