About the Book

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There is a dark side within each of us. Paranoia, jealousy, hatred, insanity, murderous intent - all lie fallow in the deep places. Fortunately for most of us, we never have to face the fact that, given the right circumstances, we are capable of anything. However, we are free to explore the dark side of our nature through the transporting experience of film. Filmmakers the world over have charted these dark places of the soul, but none have ventured farther nor deeper than the filmmakers of Asia.

The dark side of Asian cinema is a region of harrowing, unremitting horrors. Unlike Hollywood films, which come with a host of societal filters and cultural buffers, Asian film is much less restrained. There are virtually no rules to limit how far one can venture into the dark realms of extreme experience. In short, nobody does dark like Asian cinema.

Asia Shock Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong & Thailand takes you on a journey to the dark side of Asian film in the horror, exploitation, black comedy, arthouse, supernatural and psychological thriller genres. Roughly half the films covered date from the 1990s and 2000s. The book also discusses ground-breaking motion pictures from the '50s and '60s plus innovative films from the '70s and '80s. Asia Shock features over 60 original reviews of a wide variety of daring, and at times depraved, films ranging from J-horror like Ju-on and The Ring to cutting-edge Korean films like Oldboy and The Quiet Family to cult classics like The Seventh Curse, Versus, and The Untold Story. The reviews are accompanied by amusing and informative sidebars as well as a wealth of images including film posters, headshots, production stills, and original illustrations.