Japanese horror films are mainly based on psychology. Less special effects, but more anticipation and tension. Some J-Horrors have ghosts and poltergeist apereance, but that is not necessarily. There is some tradicional and Japanese folk culture involved, too. Yokai (also known like yookai or youkai) are creatures, some kind of deamons or spirits, that appears in Yapanese horrors often.
Ringu – The Ring
Hideo Nakata directed Ringu by Koji Suzuki novel in 1998. The story is about curse, spirits, videotape, with lots of tension you can’t miss. There are several films about Ringu story, The Ring, The Ring 2, The Ring Virus. This film already become clasic in horror world.
Dark Water, or originaly “Honogurai Mizu No Soko Kara” is another great J-Horror film. Hideo Nakata (Ringu director) directed this movie 2002. And again, film is based apon Koji Suzuki story – Floating Water. 2005, Walter Salles made USA remake of this movie.
The Grudge – Ju-on 2002
Takashi Shimizu, Japanese film director, filmed old Japanese haunted house legend in film series named Ju-on. He directed “Ju-on”, “Ju-on 2”, “Ju-on: The Grudge”, “Ju-on: The Grudge 2” and “Ju-on: The Grudge 3”. Plot is again about evil curse, and big grudge was born. Tension is constant. Realy one of the best J-Horrors. In The Grudge, acting Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Takako Fuji and others.
Pulse is J-horror directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. He made this film based on Kairo novel in 2001. Plot is about ghosts and spirits in the internet world. Philosophical, psychological, modern horror with technology mixed by spirituality and mistery tradicion. In 2006. for the Pink Floyd concert video purpose, some kind of Pulse remake was filmed.