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On The Table Read, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, Jenny Han explores the differences between Western and Asian made horror movies.
Written by Jenny Han
Horror has become a staple in modern pop culture. People all around the world attend horror movies, read scary stories, and indulge in the popular entertainment genre. The two dominant sides of the horror genre come from Western culture and Asian culture. Though both thrill audiences and tell chilling stories, the two subgenres of horror are unique. Here are the key differences between Western and Asian horror.
Asian Horror Focuses Heavily on Supernatural Elements
The reason why Asian horror can be so eerie and frightening is because of its realistic use of supernatural elements. In Asian culture, there are countless tales, lore, and stories about paranormal activity and the supernatural world. This cultural inspiration has been heavily adapted into the Asian horror genre.
Movies such as “Shutter” and “The Uninvited” have been exponentially influential in the horror scene. This inspired filmmakers in Hollywood to make their own films inspired by Asian horror favorites. “The Ring” is notably the most notorious example of Hollywood adapting Asian horror into Western culture. This paranormal tale is about a tape that informs those who listen to it that they would die in seven days. While the trope itself is derived from Western horror, the supernatural elements come from Asian horror.
“The Asian horror subgenre is far more specific then the Western horror subgenre. While Western horror highlights a variety of niches, Asian horror tends to focus on paranormal urban legends,” observes Mark Santos, blogger at Movie Review Writing Service and Paper Fellows.
Western Horror Slasher Films & Inclusion of Serial Killers
While Asian horror is typically centered around ghosts, curses, and lore, Western horror favors movies with more realistic threats. Slasher movies are an iconic part of the Western horror movie scene. In these movies there will be a killer or multiple killers, typically with a direct motive as to why they are going on a murder spree.
During the 90’s, slasher movies became a distinct trope in Hollywood. Franchises such as “Scream”, “Friday The 13th”, “Halloween”, and other similar slasher film series became instant sensations. While the slashers themselves are most often human, they possess almost supernatural abilities, allowing them to come back from the dead in some cases.
Along with slasher films that feature killers, Western horror also showcases movies inspired by real live serial killers. “Silence of the Lambs” based on Hannibal Lecter is a telltale indicator of the obsession of serial killers in Western culture. This same fascination carries onto the high interest for true crime content such as podcasts, documentaries, and novels. Though Western horror dables in all sorts of stories, killers will always be a favorable choice in this section of the horror scene.
Shock vs. Psychological Strategies
Western horror most often uses shock value to scare audiences. From jumpscares, to plot twists, and immense use of gore, this is how Hollywood develops fear in audiences. Shock value is a reliable strategy to produce a quality horror movie, but Asian horror uses psychological strategy to invoke fear in viewers. This is conducted through the build up of the atmosphere and setting of Asian horror movies. They will use scenery, sound, and plot to slowly scare the audience, making it feel more realistic and therefore effective.
Due to shock being so popular in Western horror, the meaning behind the films is often absent or shielded. Scaring an audience is undoubtedly a goal of a top tier horror movie, but without a clear meaning behind the film, it can lack substance. Since Asian horror relies on storytelling, a detailed buildup, and distinct themes inspired by cultural aspects, it can have more impact on the audience overall.
“Both of these approaches have gotten millions of people interested in the horror genre. Shock value, and psychological strategy can cause audiences to appreciate watching a horror movie,” shares Dustin Elliot, writer at Order Essay and Uktopwriters.
The Shared Purpose of Western & Asian Horror
While both subgenres are distinctively different, the two share one main purpose: scaring the audience. Both sides have been successful at fulfilling this purpose for decades. Despite your preference, all areas of the horror scene deserve credit and admiration. Both Western and Asian horror have valuable aspects and dedicated fanbases.
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Business development writer Jenny Han works at Write My Personal Statement and Marketing Essay Help. Jenny has been married for ten years, and has built a healthy connection with her husband. Jenny also writes for Buy Essay service.
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