13 Chinese Horror Films

The Chinese horror movie industry has really blossomed in the 21st century, especially mainland output. Here is an unlucky selection of Chinese horror movies for you to enjoy over the Halloween weekend.

16302845579_230X306The Beast, directly by Ah Gan, 2001

A group of young urban dwellers go on holiday to China’s exotic south-western region of Yunnan. They stay in a hut by the primeval forest, their host, an elder of the Naxi ethnic group, entertains them with tales of Shanling, legendary monster of the Naxi. As they realise that the Shanling is a legend forbidden to outsiders, they find themselves being picked off, one by one.
41QSH7AA7CLThe Eye, directed by the Pang Brothers, 2002

A blind girl undergoes a cornea transplant so she could see again. When she wakes up however, she finds herself seeing more than this world. Creepy scares and jumps from the masters of Hong Kong horror.
51P8JNVZFVL._SY300_Dumpling, Fruit Chan, 2004

A wealthy woman finds her whole life hanging in the balance as her youth slips away. She visits a quack who peddles recipes that guarantee eternal youth. Gruesome and twisted food related horror from a Cantonese director? It figures.





050E000053C330D567379F11460406DFThe Fox Girl, Shiyu Lu, 2009

China’s favourite horror genre, set in the Ming Dynasty, a fox spirit is wrongly accused of murders.
8693053172168339297Scary Market, Zhuoxin Ji, 2011

Having lost his job, a young man gets embroiled in a robbery and is taken hostage to a supermarket in the woods, where he comes face to face with the living dead. Comedy zombie action.
220px-Blood_stained_shoes_(2012)_filmBlood Stained Shoes, Weimin Ye 2012

Set against the backdrop of a war torn southern Chinese village in the 1940s and their ancient traditions. Beautifully shot. Very atmospheric.





360vp1569228828BiXian Panic, Guan Er, 2012

A group of bored art students rent a remote old house, and summon the spirits via BiXian. One of the mainland’s first “Ouija Board horrors”.





nightmare posterNightmare, Herman Yau, 2012

Memories blend with dreams. Eerie. Close camera angles very effective.





LIFT-TO-HELL-PosterLift to Hell, Jingwu Ning, 2013

Set in a beautiful old hospital in Northern China, where mysterious heart-related deaths start to occur. The old lift goes off the rail, heading straight to the 18th floor, underground. Gritty, visceral, a rare treat from mainland. Based on an online novel “Eighteen Floors Underground”.




25E91A933A92EC1AD0B69C744F9A1ECCThe Chrysalis, Qiu Chuji, 2013

Is it really her under that skin?






050E0000551D088F67379F174E0DCFE7Demon Slayer Thirteen, Zhang Tao, 2015

All his life Thirteen has been training hard with his manual, a family heirloom. While at the pool with a friend, Thirteen saves a girl who is plagued by malign spirits. And the rest is history. Mainland continuing the excellent tradition began by Hong Kong in the 1980s, full on magic CG, Red Army zombies and so forth.
20150407085254208951Variation in Crisis, Zhong Hai, 2015

One of mainland China’s first biohazard horror films. A laboratory successfully develops a bioweapon virus. A scientist tries to save his daughter who has been infected.
01300000804744129540402384684_sAnd finally, just to remember that there are good, old, mainland horror films, if you know where to look: an excellent classic from 1981: The Shadow of a Ghost, directed by Guo Baochang and Wang Ling.

An old mansion, sealed for years, re-opens as a museum. A ghost is sighted by the museum’s guide, our heroine, who has fallen for a social outcast, a scientist obsessed with finding ghosts with his machines. A film with a ghost, but a lot more than just a ghost story. A film about embracing the advancement of society, opening one’s mind and pursuing one’s beliefs against all odds. Based on a scifi novel.






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