“The rules are simple, just pick your favorite horror film for each day! However, you can’t pick the same horror film more [than] once. So once you pick say THE EXORCIST for your favorite horror film involving the powers of Hell, you can’t [pick] it again for any other day [whatsoever,] including favorite horror film.”

Source: Dollar Bin Horror

Day 18 – Your favorite foreign horror film (outside of your country of origin)
Film: Ju-On: The Grudge (2002) – dir. Takashi Shimizu

I first mentioned Ju-On back on Day 7 when talking about my favorite supernatural horror film, but since I’ve used Let the Right One In already (which would have easily taken today’s category), I’m bringing Ju-On back, and this time it gets more than an honorable mention.

It took me a long time to give subtitles a try, and I had no idea what to expect when I first ventured into the “Foreign” section at Blockbuster.  When I first seen this, I didn’t know anything about The Grudge, and I’m ecstatic that was the case.  Ju-On is better than The Grudge in virtually every regard, and it made me realize how much smarter and subtler Asian horror cinema can be, and in turn, how much scarier.  The terrifying little boy-cat is something of nightmares, and director Shimizu sets the scares up masterfully (at a level that James Wan is finally reaching with his latest, Insidious).   This film, thankfully, opened my eyes to foreign cinema, and allowed me to discover other excellent foreign films like the unforgettable Audition (1999) or the action-packed Oldboy (2003).

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn't until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor's and master's degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.