5 SEA Horror Movies based on true events that will make you feel like you are never alone.
Everyone loves a ghost story or haunted house movie. Did you know that Southeast Asia is home to the most gruesome, spine-chilling horror stories dating back hundreds of years? Rich in myths and legends, many of which come from unsettling and true events, Southeast Asian horror has transcended mere folklore to become real and present hauntings that persist until today. If you’re curious as to what these stories are, here are 5 Southeast Asian horror movies based on true stories that will guarantee you will never feel alone again even if you are or make you feel you are in a haunted house.
1. Indonesia Horror Movie: Ruqyah The Exorcism (2017)
This true story is set in mid 2012 and tells the story of a film actress who is disturbed by a spirit and is advised by a reporter to find an Ustad (religious Shaman) for a Ruqyah (exorcism). The creepy part of this movie is that fact and fiction in this case are eerily intertwined.
Trivia: According to the filmmakers, the person who first inspired the movie is a friend of the lead actress. According to the friend, the actress actually dabbled in black magic to get fame for herself and in return is haunted by the devil. If you have watched horror movies like The Conjuring or The Exorcism of Emily Rose, you might enjoy this film, which is available on Iflix. Given the story surrounding the making of this movie, we hereby indemnify ourselves from all hauntings that result from watching the movie so proceed at your own risk.
2. Malaysia Horror Movie: Karak (2011)
Next movie on our list is something very close to home. The movie follows four friends who, after a night out in Kuala Lumpur, in an attempt to make it back for their morning classes, they take a detour back to college via a single carriageway. The decision ultimately changes their lives forever in ways that we will leave you to imagine. This horror movie is in the horror comedy genre but still packs some decent scares that might make you want to sleep with the lights on. You may catch this show on Netflix.
Trivia: Most Malaysians would be aware of the infamously haunted Karak highway and the movie is eponymously named Karak, after the small rest town in Bentong, Pahang along the Kuala Lumpur - Kuantan federal route. Karak is well known for perhaps the wrong reasons - Old Karak road boasts numerous ghost sightings, spirit possessions, and inexplicable disappearances that most motorists today will try to avoid driving down that road. You are well-advised to make sure your petrol tank is full before embarking on a goosebump worthy drive through there and our advice is as much as ghost sightings may be in the back of your mind, DON’T IMAGINE! You have been warned.
3. Philippines Horror Movie: Aurora (2018)
Aurora, our Phillippine entry on this list, tells the story of Leana and her younger sister Rita as they look for missing bodies in the wreckage of a passenger ship that ran aground on rocks off an island. If spirits of the dead, ghosts and the deep mysterious ocean give you a kick, this horror flick is for you.
Trivia: The movie is based on a true event that occurred on December 20, 1987, when 4386 people perished in an incident known as Asia’s Titanic. The ferry Doña Paz was making its twice-weekly journey from Leyte island to the Filipino capital Manila, when it collided with the oil tanker MT Vector, claiming the lives of most on board. If that is not gruesome and horrific enough, the hauntings that come after will be enough to send chills down your spine. For those who believe that one cannot cheat fate, this horror movie will be a good watch with nods to the Final Destination genre of horror movies. You can catch this show on Netflix.
4. Singapore Horror Movie: 23:59 (2011)
Inspired by the true story of a Singaporean army recruit who goes missing and is later found dead, 23:59 is a gripping horror retelling of the incident. Made on a modest budget, this movie is light on horror but heavy on suspense and dread and is worth a watch as a low budget indie movie that is available on Netflix.
Trivia: Perhaps what makes this storyline all the more creepy is the fact that Pulau Tekong is a well documented haunted place. Stories abound of sightings of spirits and repeated sightings of the same ghosts by numerous people, in particular the ghost at Charlie Company - the old military camp. Unfortunately, teasing out fact from fiction may prove difficult as the stories have been distorted over the years such that what is true and what isn’t is not so apparent. Perhaps the best way to figure that out is to pay the island a visit yourself.
5. Thailand Horror Movie: The Unborn Child (2011)
Finally, Thailand. Home to some memorable ghost stories, this film is sure to delight those with a penchant for paranormal malicious spirits. The movie tells the story of a couple and their young daughter who are haunted by an evil presence linked to a temple and a series of gruesome abortions. The storyline is scary enough as a work of fiction but is creepily and tragically based on true events and this promising premise for a quality horror flick is brought to life by a storyline that features a young girl and her mischievous invisible friend.
Trivia: This story is based on a true event - the gruesome discovery of 2002 dead bodies of babies from illegal abortion clinics found in a Bangkok Buddhist Temple. The snuffing out of life of innocent children is always difficult to stomach and the film draws some comparison to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie. This show is available on Netflix.
And that completes the list for our top 5 horror movies from Southeast Asia based on true stories! For lovers of Asian horror films, these movies will be sure to delight (or scare, if that is your goal). We dare all fans of horror movies to try watching these 5 most frightening horror films from Southeast Asia in 5 nights straight and see if any uninvited visitors decide to show up. Just writing this is giving me the feeling of chills up my spine...
If you are not a fan of horror movies but fans of real haunted house places, check out other articles about world's most haunted places or horror stories telling.