Filled with plenty of high-quality and impressive works throughout the year, Asian countries produced a sparkling amount of Horror content for 2019. Indonesia took massive steps forward with a variety of productions that showed that a lot of impressive filmmaking talent was residing in the country. South Korea continued their impressive run of masterclass filmmaking that show they are capable of making spectacle on par with the best US blockbusters.
By contrast, the grittiness and less refined if no less impressive works coming from India and the Philippines also surprised as those stand out for their different nature. With the schlocky, over-the-top nature of Japanese entries rounding out the list, the year produced many notable and noteworthy genre efforts.
Without further ado, and with a focus on diversity, here are the best horror/exploitation films of 2019, in reverse order. Some films may have premiered in 2018, but since they mostly circulated in 2019, we decided to include them. (By clicking on the title, you can read the full review of the film)
While the dramatic elements might not be appealing to all out there and it’s ending twist feels like a cop-out, overall ‘Two Sisters’ manages enough to like that it’s entirely watchable and enjoyable. Give this a chance if you’re a fan of these dramatic slow-burn genre films and can handle the flaws, it’s certainly worth a look. (Don Anelli)
With some enjoyable elements about it but some big problems with the pacing and lack of zombie action, ‘Living Dead Idol’ emerges as a solid enough take on the Japanese zombie film. Go give this a shot if you’re into this type of silly Japanese effort or fans of the idol groups present, the craziness on display will definitely be quite appealing. (Don Anelli)
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“Mystery of the Night” is definitely an interesting film, which occasionally takes its narrative approach and the overall atmosphere a step too far, although not to a point that faults its overall quality. Fans of horror films will definitely enjoy this one, particularly the last part. (Panos Kotzathanasis)
Folk horror and surrealism mix to create a wholly original nightmare. Aniket Dutta and Roshni’s Sen’s feature length debut intertwine two stories of occultism within a small remote village as it’s visitors get engulfed in the villages superstition coming to fruition. The original score is an eclectic mix that blends well with the dreamlike surreal visuals. “Ghost of the Golden Grove” may be unorthodox in its delivery as a horror film, but it still manages to create some memorable moments that won’t ever be forgotten. (Adam John Symchuk)
Being a wholly watchable sequel with some flaws in a jumbled narrative and way too bland pacing, “Kuntilanak 2” features enough to like about it even though it’s a lower-tier film from the original. Give this a shot if you’re a fan of the first one and want to continue the story or an undiscerning Asian horror fanatic, there’s enough on display to make it quite worthwhile. (Don Anelli)
A slight but noticeable step down in quality from part 1, “3rd Eye 2” suffers in several areas but still manages to offer up the kind of enjoyable elements that make for a watchable effort. Those who enjoyed the first one should give this a go as well as fans of this style that takes heavy influence from American works, it’s one of the more impressivelymade films in this style. (Don Anelli)