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Originally published by Paul Hsiao. Last updated by Jianne Soriano and Celia Lee.
If 2022 has not been scary enough for you, here are 19 spooky horror films on Netflix Hong Kong to make any Halloween watch party—socially distant or not—that much creepier.
Some of you horror lovers out there might have heard of the gorgeous gothic horror piece by Guillermo del Toro that is Crimson Peak. Although the film itself is a little dated now in 2022, it was certainly a frightful masterpiece filled with drama, suspense, and, of course, horror, in 2015. The story begins with Edith Cushing’s struggle to become a horror novelist as a woman in the nineteenth century. Although her manuscript was rejected by multiple publishers, one English gentleman by the name of Thomas Sharpe thought her story indulging and her style irresistible. Edith is enchanted by Thomas’s advances, and the couple marries after Edith’s father was brutally murdered. When Edith arrives at the Sharpe manor on Crimson Peak, strange and supernatural things begin to take place, and it is in this house that Edith discovers the gory secrets of Thomas and his sister Lucille.
Sightless is the psychological horror story of Ellen Ashland, a prominent violinist who is left blind after suffering a violent attack. She is assigned a carer to help her with recovery and reintegration into society but as the days go by and Ellen’s world remains shrouded in darkness, strange and terrifying things begin to take place around her. After being attacked again in her own apartment, Ellen decides to escape the hopelessness of life by jumping from her apartment balcony, only to wake up to a reality worse than she imagined.
Umma follows the life of Korean immigrant Amanda and her daughter, and the film interrogates complex questions of identity, belonging, and discrimination in the United States. After receiving her mother’s ashes from her uncle, Amanda is forced to face the heritage and culture she has been neglecting throughout her life as supernatural occurrences and appearances of creatures and spirits from Korean folklore and myth begin haunting Amanda, all seemingly echoing her abusive umma (엄마; mother).
Cloverfield is almost synonymous with mystery and suspense in the horror movie scene. The Cloverfield Paradox is the third film in the Cloverfield franchise, and this time, they are taking the iconic, supernatural suspense and mystery to space. Following a group of international astronauts, The Cloverfield Paradox follows their quest in trying to resolve Earth’s energy problem. A particle accelerator labelled Shepard is chosen for the task, but it causes a power surge on the space station after being activated. Strange happenings begin to occur from this point on. Not only has Earth vanished from sight, but the crew discovers strange transformations on their bodies, too.
When you think of vampires, what comes to mind is likely to be the film adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula—pale, disfigured monsters of the dark that feast on human blood. Or you might be reminded of Robert Patterson’s sparkly counterpart in Twilight. However, the vampires in Blood Red Sky are nothing like their filmic predecessors. As a mysteriously ill woman and her son journey across the Atlantic, their flight is hijacked by a group that threatens the survival of everyone on the plane. Little do they know, an unlikely passenger on the plane is ready to unleash her monstrous secret to protect her son.
This suspenseful piece is another brilliantly bone-chilling addition to the Scandinavian horror scene. The movie begins in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster in Norway and follows a family of three on their quest to survive in a city of ruins. After food supplies are devastated by the disaster, the starving family and their neighbours happily accept a charitable offer to attend a fully catered feast at an abandoned theatre. As the audience is lured in with offerings of food, they are unaware of the sinister game they are about to be a part of, and the dark truth behind the theatre’s opulent supply of food.
Researchers uncover an unknown species of pterosaur-like creatures from a mine and are immediately killed on-site by the creatures. As the “vesps” escape their ancient prison, they began to attack humans, who have grown to be noisy and loud in our contemporary world. The Silence follows the story of a deaf teenager, Ally, and her family as they try to survive a world recently made apocalyptic. Everyone must stay silent if they want to live.
The thrilling horror film Don’t Breathe returned with an equally chilling sequel in 2021. Don’t Breathe 2 begins eight years after the events of the first film. Norman, “the Blind Man,” lives quietly in a secluded location with his foster daughter Phoenix. However, their lives are disturbed when a gang abducts Phoenix. As Norman tries to save her, Phoenix learns that the leader of the gang is her real father, who was forced to give her up during an altercation when she was still a baby. As the film advances, things become complicated and Norman reveals to Phoenix that there may be other intentions behind her real father’s return.
While we often come across horror film premises that centre around the exploits of fanatical cults and unexplainable supernatural occurrences, it’s not often that we get one focused on mythological lore, and that’s what sets The Ritual apart. A group of friends set out on a trip through the Swedish wilderness in an attempt to console each other over a recent death and become entangled in the affairs of ancient evil beings. In order to survive, they have to face creatures from Norse legends and their corrupted followers.
It is the highest-grossing horror film of all time, making more than US$700 million on a “shoestring” budget of US$35 million, so it did not come as a surprise when Argentine director Andy Muschietti returned for a sequel two years later. It Chapter Two picks up the story almost 30 years after the events of the first film; the Losers Club are now all grown up, but they are forced to reunite in their hometown of Derry when the evil cosmic entity known as It returns to terrorise its residents. With a stacked cast that includes the likes of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, and Bill Skarsgård, what’s not to like?
Here, the stacked cast alone—featuring Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Jennifer Jason Leigh—is worth the price of admission. When her husband goes missing, biologist and former soldier Lena joins a mission to enter “the Shimmer,” a mysterious plot of land where the laws of biology are bent. Unsettling, tense, and with a completely bonkers ending that you will not see coming, Annihilation is one of the best examples of cosmic horror. Fun fact: At the time of release, this film was notable for being the highest-profile direct-to-Netflix purchase the streaming giant made!
Florence Pugh shines in this nail-biting story that follows the misadventures of a team of con artists led by brother and sister Jackson and Angela, who run fake paranormal encounters for profit. During their recent assignments, strange and unexplainable things begin to occur to the siblings, and Angela suspects that there is more to their new clients than they are letting on. Angela looks into the history of the estate and comes across a string of unsolved murders and the malevolent spirits that are haunting the mansion.
Horror films where “a family moves into a haunted house and disturbing things ensue” is the bread and butter of the industry, but if you’re looking for a truly good scare, critics agree that Don’t Listen is a must-watch to add to your list this Halloween. Directed by Angel Gómez Hernández, this Spanish thriller follows a family whose latest house-flipping project turns out to be more than they bargained for when Eric, their son, begins to hear strange voices from within “The House of the Voices” shortly after moving in.
Now for something a little different: Apostle is a period horror film set in the Edwardian period, with a cast that includes British stars Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, and Michael Sheen. Former missionary Thomas (Stevens) makes a journey to a remote island in Wales to rescue his sister Jennifer, who is being held hostage by an infamous religious cult. As he investigates, he uncovers dark and dangerous secrets. Expect sacrificial rituals, a steady build-up of tension, violent confrontations, and a supernatural twist.
South Korean filmmakers just seem to have that special touch for dystopian zombie flicks, and #Alive is a worthy addition to its growing repertoire. Penned by Hollywood screenwriter Matt Naylor and co-developed with director Cho Il-hyung, the film centres around Oh Joon-woo, who locks himself inside his family’s home when a mysterious disease breaks out across the city. While fighting off infected neighbours and other victims of the virus who attempt to break into his flat, he comes across another survivor of the zombie outbreak.
Author Stephen King has long been at the top of his game in the horror genre, so when his 1992 novel of the same name was adapted into a psychological thriller, long-time fans were excited to see what was considered an “unfilmable” work hit the screens. Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood star as a married couple who go to Alabama for a vacation in order to rekindle their lacklustre sexual relationship, but things go awry when the husband suddenly passes away, leaving the wife handcuffed to the bed without a way to escape and no hope of rescue. Hallucinations soon take over as she tries to find a way to survive.
Long before winning the Academy Award with his black comedy thriller Parasite, director Bong Joon-ho caught our attention with this horror film. Similar to his award-winning picture, The Host also touches upon themes of inequality and generational consequences, albeit with a gory twist. After a monster emerges from the Han River in Seoul and kidnaps his daughter, Gang-du, a slow-witted man, stops at nothing to get her back.
If you are in the mood for a slasher horror, the critically lauded Hush comes highly recommended. Maddie, a successful deaf and mute author, retreats to a cabin in the woods to work on her next book, but ends up fighting for her life when a masked killer ambushes her in her home and cuts her off from the rest of the world.
From the producers of The Haunting of Hill House comes another horror sensation that’ll have you fearing creepy medical facilities more than you already do. Eli Miller is a young boy who suffers from a rare disease, causing him to live life in protective gear. His parents have almost given up on finding a cure to his illness when Dr Isabella Horn steps in, offering treatment in a large, old house that has been modernised for medical purposes. Eli begins to undergo painful procedures, causing him to see spectres, and he takes it upon himself to investigate his convictions that the house is haunted. Equipped with jump scares galore, Eli offers horror fans a truly terrifying story. In a humorous turn, Indiewire dubbed it as a meeting between Bubble Boy and The Conjuring—which is pretty accurate.