Two recent horror flicks suggest that Taiwanese directors are finally willing to break some longstanding taboos, with promising results
The News Lens
Date: 2016 / 05 / 30
By: Hélène Belaunde
When it comes to the horror genre, Asian movies are legendary. Japan, Thailand, South Korea and
Hong Kong boast prolific industries and some of the scariest movies of the last decades. Whether it is the 1998 Japanese cult classic Ringu (The Ring), the Korean family drama “Tale of Two Sisters” (2003) or Hong Kong’s spine-chilling ghost film “The Eye” (2002), Asian movies usually hold a special place in the hearts of horror movie fans. They are known for their distinct, heavy atmosphere and minimalist setting, as well as the singular appearance of ghosts — usually white figures with flowing black hair — who have returned with a vengeance.
Compared to its neighbors, Taiwan’s horror movies are both scarce and relatively unknown. You will seldom find one on the lists of best Asian horror movies periodically released by sites like horror-extreme.com. Not only that, they are not considered to be particularly scary. As one report on Asian horror movies stated, Taiwanese thrillers ”aren’t scary at all (…) they have mediocre make-up and special effects.”
Nevertheless, a few exceptions have managed to fly under the radar.
“Double vision” (雙瞳, 2002), “The Heirloom” (宅變, 2005), “Silk” (詭絲, 2006), for example, didn’t fare very well with critics, but they were a success at the box-office and praised for incorporating Taiwanese folklore and Chinese mythology. In a less traditional vein, let us not forget the gory “Invitation Only” (絕命派對, 2009), which was dubbed Taiwan’s “first-ever slasher horror.” [FULL STORY]