Where Are The Good Chinese Horrors?

Where Are The Good Chinese Horrors?

Horrorific content by TheArtyDans on September 08th, 2020 | Culture | Chinese Horror Movies Explained

Latex mask face reveals. Mental Illness. Fake medication. These are some of the most common techniques used by Chinese filmmakers to produce horror films that fall in line with Government censors.

In 2019 China had the world’s second biggest box office, raking in the equivalent of $9.2 Billion. There were over 1,000 movies produced, ranging from massive blockbusters to small made for web streaming productions, with about 11 of those being horror movies. But you’d struggle to call them traditional horror films if you’re used to slashers like Halloween or gore films like Saw.

Playing within tight boundaries, Chinese filmmakers aren’t allowed to show excessive gore, dismemberment, violence, sex, nudity, religious imagery, ghosts, zombies or pretty much anything that you’d associate with the horror genre.

Yet, in the last 10 years, there have been almost 200 very profitable horror films, all dealing with traditional horror movie tropes like ghosts, zombies, unstoppable killers and supernatural beings.

So how did they get away with making films like that?

Easy. They cheat the system, and essentially, they cheat the audience too! Sometimes with hilarious results, sometimes with groan-worthy explanations, but very rarely they’ll create a horror movie that’s pretty decent. Usually it’s when a director from Korea, Japan or Hong Kong takes the helm to steer the movie down the right path.

In the video below, we take a look at 10 random Chinese horror movies and explore how the filmmakers explained the horror elements to the audience.

From movies like “Zombie Island”, where an unlikeable group of tourists get stranded in a hotel on a island being overrun by zombies, to the awesomely titled “Games of Thrones Presents Dead Space”, where the filmmakers have created an almost 1 to 1 homage to the original Nightmare on Elm Street movie, complete with the same one-liners, death scenes and music.

But there is more, including a movie about a beautiful woman who has the ability to turn into a giant fish, a rich businesswoman driven crazy after purchasing a beautiful diamond ring and a group of children who pretend to be mountain ghosts to get revenge on their parents!

This video is the beginning of a series called Chinese Horror Movies Explained where we pick one of these modern Chinese horror movies and break it down, explore the plot and characters, discuss the overall quality of the film and most importantly explain how filmmakers worked within the government regulations.

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