The Best Anime Horror Movies, Ranked – MovieWeb

Japanese horror is internationally famous, but even anime movies have tackled the genre in scary, intelligent, and original ways.
Japanese horror ranges from bloodless, purely psychological films about ghosts and spirits, to surrealistic trash films saturated with the most sophisticated violence. Anime as a medium particularly excels in the nightmare industry, giving us some of the most important horror movies and leaving a huge impact on the genre as a whole. Animation is not just for kids, after all, there is a huge pool of animated movies aimed at adults.
Those who want to get scared for real must be familiar with Junji Itō, the King of Japanese Horror. Horror manga fans no doubt know and love his works. Taking common plots and old horror cliches and subverting them with bizarre spins, his stories leave the audience equal parts scared, sick, and craving for more. In the best traditions of Lovecraft and Stephen King, his story Uzumaki concerns a small Japanese town with ordinary people and usual problems, who are suddenly "infected" with the idea of ​​a spiral. The obsessive delirium of one person becomes the passion of the entire population, as the spiral twists thoughts and bodies, curls hair and souls; the spiral kills.
Uzumaki is set to premier as an original Adult Swim show this fall (October 2022), and will continue a great lineage of Japanese horror as expressed in the medium of anime. For those who cannot wait to watch it, here is the list of the best spine-tingling, bloodcurdling, and hair-raising anime movies of all time.
Hellsing is a gothic horror classic, pumped up on gory steampunk madness. Hellsing is the last thing that stands between humankind and its extermination by evil. Its head, Integra, holds a secret weapon — vampire Alucard (an anagram for Dracula). What Hellsing promises is gratuitous violence, badassery, and exploitative Christian imagery. And oh boy, does it deliver exactly what it promises! As NefariousReviews puts it: “The Protestant versus Catholic conflict reaches new heights of savagery; throw in Nazis, and the fight becomes rather bloody – Hellsing Ultimate is very gory.”
Having just graduated from university, Kaori and her friends celebrate their transition to adulthood on a vacation, in the series Gyo. They enjoy a new stage in their lives when they can finally go outside without a hat and without reporting to their parents what they ate. Then suddenly, in the beach house where they settled, the girls are attacked by a strange walking fish. Thus begins a series of events that are difficult to surpass in their hellish derangement. Gyo is a fast-paced, unhinged body-horror gem.
Related: These Are Some of the Best International, Non-English Horror Movies This Century, So Far
Vampire Hunter D was created by writer Hideyuki Kikuchi and artist Yoshitaka Amano in 1983, in a period that was rich with provocative and stylish 80s vampire movies. Adapted for the big screen in 2000, this dark fantasy occult adventure follows D, a dhampir — half-human and half-vampire (and originally a part of Balkan folklore). Because of his origin, D is a perfect vampire hunter. BloodyDisgusting, an all-about-horror resource, writes: “The movie is an out and out surreal dreamscape. The world that we are thrown into is one of wonder.” They continue to firmly state that the movie holds up even more than 20 years after its release, something very little anime does.
This one definitely deserves all the trigger warnings. Wicked City is a sleek and brutal neo-noir that enjoys its demonic images, Freudianism, and David Cronenbergian erotic body horror. It finds inspiration in sci-fi features like Blade Runner, Akira, and an amazing cyberpunk adventure game Snatcher, by the illustrious Hideo Kojima.
It is Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s directorial debut, and his penchant for unorthodox camera angles and high-powered fight choreography can be traced to this movie. With its surreal and horrific imagery and dark sexuality, Wicked City is just not translatable to live-action, as a failed (and heavily tamed and re-written) 1992 adaptation attests to, all of which is another argument why animation deserves more respect in the movie industry.
Seoul Station is a prequel to the brilliant and one of the most realistic zombie movies of all time, Train to Busan. Piercing irony from the start, the movie shows how young people, who operate with concepts like the necessity for universal healthcare, ignore the real suffering. An old man collapses right in front of them, and he is denied help. The old man is disregarded as a ‘stinky homeless guy.’ effectively becoming socially invisible.
This film has its gore and its grotesqueness, alright, but a zombie setting at a second glance is a political metaphor. It is not all about zombie bites, as Diabolique Magazine callsSeoul Station a biting critique of how our society treats the most vulnerable.
Berserk: Golden Age Arc is, in some ways, the most brutal and terrifying of the Berserk chronology, because it is the very beginning of the story. The audience, same as the characters, still holds some semblance of hope. There is even a chance of happiness (it seems), despite the ugliness and cruelty of this world. That is why the ending is all the more shocking, as it strips away the last remnants of optimism.
Adapted from Kentaro Miura's legendary manga, admired for its beautiful, exhaustively detailed art and sophisticated character development, Berserk follows a mercenary named Guts, who dares to allow himself to form warm human connections: loyalty to the Band of the Hawk, becoming friends with a mysterious but charismatic Griffith, and even falling in love… Losing everything in the most horrifying way.
In terms of form, Memories is quite enigmatic in the world of anime. This is a collection of three films, each telling a different story, in different genres. The only aspect that stays the same throughout the anthology, the red thread, is the extremely eerie and jittery atmosphere.
Related: J-Horror: Some of the Scariest Movies From Japan, Ranked
The first part, The Magnetic Rose, is by far the most interesting, in virtue of its hauntingly beautiful color palette and exquisite music score. The second feature, Stink Bomb, has a unique sense of dark humor, very uncommon for anime. The third part is Cannon Fodder, which strikes with its character designs, inspired by heavy metal, Ralph Bakshi, and Gerald Scarfe. The Anime Review describes the artwork, saying, “the world itself takes these artists, combines them with the dirty grandeur of Moebius' cityscapes and filters it all through a brown haze of war”.
Perfect Blue is often named one of the best animated horror movies of all time. This mind-bender is the blueprint of a psychological thriller, where the horror comes not from the amounts of physical struggle, severed limbs, and jump scares, but from within the human psyche. This movie shows that the nonchalant brutality of the entertainment industry and fandom's sense of obsessive entitlement can be far more frightening than rivers of blood. The lines between reality and illusion blur, and an ominous veil falls on the screen, blocking any glimmer of faith or happiness. Perfect Blue should be on everybody’s must-watch (or re-watch) list.
Paprika is set in the relatively near future of Japan, where a revolutionary experimental device called DC Mini allows users to interact with their own dreams and those of others. Satoshi Kon's dazzling virtuosity reminds us of the need to appreciate the human imagination behind his two-dimensional work. This is a very complex work of the imagination. A journey into the labyrinth of dreams and exploration of the boundary between dreams and reality. It's complex, unsettling, and strange in the way that the nature of dreams reflects their strange logic, volatility, and ability to find even the deepest nightmares.
Another of Junji Itō’s cult classic films is a series about a girl called Tomie. During the boom in Asian horror films, the first film about an eternally young and beautiful girl was created. Girls with long black hair were no longer a novelty to the viewer. However, the fact that a schoolgirl, killed because of jealousy, is resurrected endlessly and pursues the offender has excited fans of the genre. The dead Tomie returns to her family: she smiles and laughs, as if alive, but this is her no longer. Although her skin is warm, and her heart is still pounding in her chest, this girl’s breath is as cold as a grave. Who returned from hell instead of Tomie? Itō’s interpretation of a femme fatale and murder in a grotesque body horror is sublime, disturbing, and very creative.
Writer, self-proclaimed movie and TV-reviewer, and a certified connoisseur of twitter memes


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