It’s already October and everyone knows what that means – Halloween! There are many ways to celebrate this time of year, and Netflix does not disappoint with its array of new releases to scare everyone. But did you know that there are also quite a few anime horror movies out there for those of us with more otaku tastes? And you probably haven’t heard of very many of them!
There are many anime movies that are great for Halloween out there that are based on anime series or other movies, such as Resident Evil or Ajin. However, this list is only going to have anime movies that can be watched on their own. They don’t need any other advance information to enjoy them, and once they’re done, the story is over. This makes them great for a spooky night at home, or for people with busy schedules who still want to enjoy some horror anime. Most of them are also not well-known, so there’s a good chance you haven’t seen them already.
Aragne: Signs of Vermillion
Aragne: Signs of Vermillion is a psychological horror film that may not be the highest quality ever, but is great for scaring. The story follows a university student named Rin who moves into a mysterious apartment that is nothing like what she expected. Horrible crimes are happening all around her neighborhood, and the apartment building itself is full of brooding, mysterious strangers.
That’s not all, though; something even more dark and wary is coming, something between myth and monster that Rin can’t even begin to imagine. As she searches for answers in a strange library, she only finds more questions. If you don’t mind a movie that may not be the best, but definitely ticks the boxes for “mysterious” and “dark” Aragne: Signs of Vermillion is worth seeing at least once.
Hells is a cross between a horror film and a comedy, giving it the right feel for Halloween without being too scary for the faint of heart. IN Hells, the main character Rinne Amagane dies on the way to school one day. However, she still goes to school, but the twist is that now her school is hell! And it’s full of demons!
All Rinne wants to do is return to her old life in the land of the living, but all the while she’s making friends with her demon classmates. She could never have expected the bond she’d end up forming with them, which means she’ll have to decide if she really wants to go back… but maybe she’s just as happy living in Hell.
Kakurenbo: Hide and seek
Kakurenbo: Hide and seek is the shortest film on our list at just 24 minutes, but it has an intriguing enough story that we didn’t want to leave it out. It’s actually a game of hide and seek, but not your average schoolyard version. Kakurenbo: Hide and seek takes place in a ruined city where children play in the ruins of what was. There exists a special hide and seek game called “Otokoyo”.
Otokoyo can only be played by people wearing fox masks to hide their identity, and can also only be played with seven people. However, the risk of playing this particular game is that everyone who plays has mysteriously disappeared. Now seven children have gathered to play the dangerous game – what will happen to them?
Beauty water is a special entry on our list because it’s not Japanese anime, but Korean. Based on a web manga, Beauty water explores what it means to be beautiful, and how that pursuit can destroy someone’s life. The product at the center of the action is called beauty water, and it can be applied to someone’s face to allow them to mold and shape their features to how they want it.
But when Yaeji accidentally gets her hands on the beauty water, it takes over her life. She becomes obsessed with using it to change her appearance, and can only focus on becoming what she thinks is the most beautiful woman there is. Her pursuit is never-ending, and in the end it destroys her. Beauty water has some disturbing imagery, and is a chilling commentary on the dangers of obsessing over one’s appearance.
Guilstein is a sci-fi horror film based on a manga by Tamaki Hisao. The animation is a mix of digital, 3D animations and the usual 2D style, which sets it apart from most other anime. It is set in the year 2088, and the future is really dark. There aren’t many people anymore and instead they have been changed into horrible creatures known as guilsteins. These creatures no longer contain souls.
The Guilsteins were created by the rich as they experimented on their fellow humans in the pursuit of creating bioweapons. While Guilstein might not be your typical horror movie, we’ve included it because the monster designs are really cool and pretty creepy too. The Guilsteins themselves are definitely something out of our nightmares, and they’re what make the movie most memorable, and what you’ll most likely keep thinking about even after the movie is over.
Karura Mau movie
If you’re a fan of classic horror and want to check out something Japanese, Karura Mau movie is what you are looking for. It was made in 1989, but don’t let that immediately put you off. It is by far the most Japanese horror anime movie out there. The two main characters are the sisters Shoko and Maiko. Although they may appear to be ordinary students, they are actually exorcists from Karura Temple.
Together they are powerful exorcists who fight demons, but they must be together since each girl only has half the powers needed to do so. Maiko can banish the evil spirits, but only Shoko can see them. Originally a manga, Karurua Mau movie is heavily based on Japanese occult stories, and features many traditional ghosts, demons, and other spirits throughout the film. It also has a lot of gore.
Unfortunately, standalone horror anime movies aren’t very popular and they aren’t made very often. It’s much more common to find anime movies that are based on a pre-existing property that you also have to watch to understand them. But we know not everyone has that kind of time and commitment, so sometimes it’s definitely nice to just sit down and watch something that’s less than two hours long.
All of these anime horror movies have horror elements, be it monsters, gore, jump scares, demons, ghosts and more to thrill and scare you. And while they’re perfect to watch during the Halloween season, don’t let that stop you from watching them any time of year you’re looking for a little scare. Japan does horror differently and it’s great to see that expressed in anime movies!
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