In deciding a victory in this it’s necessary to understand all the components of a horror movie. There should be a distinction between horror movies and a new genre that I refer to as “torture porn”. Movies like Hostel and The Hills Have Eyes have little in terms of plot in exchange for gore, blood and violence. Those are mainly an American development and compete among themselves for the most demented slaughter. I for the most part exclude those in my analysis and center more on classics films.

Here is a breakdown of some elements that have become a staple of the genre. Though all these elements are rarely all packed in one movie there is not one I can think of that excludes any of these:

Psychotic Killer: Viewers may not know the origin or motive of the villain but for some reason One Missed Call(usually fully explained by the sixth sequel) he wants to kill little Sally down the street.

Teenage Girls: -Either the bad girl who dies after having sex, or the heroine girl next door every movie has at least one. Japanese films have a habit of featuring screaming schoolgirls.

Monsters: This is a broad category ranging from Gamera and Godzilla todawnofdead.jpg Dracula and Romero’s zombies. In Japan, monster movies are so broad that they encompass their own genre.

Curse/ Ghost: This is prevalent in Japanese horror and probably much more scary to them considering their culture. They believe quite fanatically in ghost and curses. I think some fear is lost in the transition. They could be trapped in a house or your computer but either way these spirits want revenge.

Jump Scares: Is it the neighbor’s cat waiting around the corner or the psychotic killer? The creepy soundtrack tells people the latter. This is a cheap parlor trick is a staple of American films though it makes some appearances in Japanese movies.

The Creepy Kid: Damien, Rosemary’s baby and Reagan started the trend. They are followed by the girl in The Ring and that funny meowing kid in The Grudge. Moral of the story being don’t have children, most have some relation to the devil.

Japanese films that make their way into American theaters have more original screenplays. An onslaught of remakes have hit the United States in recent years. Most of them are literally just translations featuring the same effects, storyline and actors as the original. American produced films have either been remakes or sequels. Overall America has the most memorable features from Psycho to The Omen which unfortunately have been, excuse the pun, done (and redone) to death.

My vote in this battle goes to the Japanese. The future of horror genre lies in the capable hands of Japanese directors like Takashi Miike.

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