It is not something you could have ever imagined. Animated Horror is not a genre. It sounds more like a parody or a joke gone terribly wrong. But there are some really good horror flicks hailing from the animated department. Let’s check them out. Brace yourselves because it is going to be a bumpy ride.
Lily C.A.T is another pastiche of the template that was immortalized by Ridley Scott’s Alien. The movie also borrows heavily from John Carpenter’s The Thing. There is fan-service, explosive alien reveals, and nasty tentacle-laden other worldly beings. The synopsis for the movie is that a crew of a spaceship encounter an unknown species of shape-shifting alien. One of the aliens infiltrates the ship and starts killing off the crew. There is mass confusion as to who is the perpetrator. Lily C.A.T should always be watched on an empty stomach because sometimes it shows way too much than it should have.
Two worlds exist parallel – Earth and the mysterious Black World. For hundreds of years, a pact between the two worlds has stopped tensions from escalating into a full-blown war. Taki Renzaburo and a demon warrior called Makie are tasked with protecting and aiding diplomat named Mayart. Every couple of decades, the agreement peace treaty between the two worlds is renewed. Mayart holds the key to the agreement and mysterious assassins from other worlds would stop at nothing from killing Mayart and ensuring Earth and the Black World never find peace.
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The Deadspace series of games are known to have some pretty good jump scares. Generally speaking, any adaptation – whether they are live action or animated, tend to be really bad pieces of work. But Deadpsace: Aftermath is a clear exception. The plot of the movie stays true to the core competency of the franchise and cuts straight to the chase. It is the year 2059. Humanity has found a way to colonize different planets by sending colony ships loaded with sedated human beings across to other star systems. The Colony Ship USG O’Bannon’s entire crew and all its passengers got wiped out. The movie is told in the flashback format, depicting the horrifying and traumatic memories of the survivors of O’Bannon as they see cannibals and monsters take over the ship, killing countless innocent lives in the process.
Belladonna of Sadness
Belladonna of Sadness is another movie that was released decades earlier. It is the oldest entry in this list. The movie has admirers in both the animated as well as the horror department and for obvious reasons. Belladonna of Sadness states the story of Jean and Jeanne, a lovely young couple who are about to be married. Their happiness is tossed to the winds when the local Village Lord rapes Belladonna and leaves her to the dogs. Jeanne then vows for revenge against the powerful Lord. To do so, she must contact and make a pact with an evil spirit that comes to visit her every night. Belladonna of Sadness is a stunning piece of work but it has extremely graphic content. So it is not everybody’s cup of tea.
Seoul Station was released on the same year as the critically acclaimed Train to Busan. Both are of the zombie horror genre. But it was Train to Busan that got international recognition while Seoul Station did not get the spotlight. In Korea though, Seoul Station was a huge hit. Director Yeaon Sang-Ho has created a masterpiece animated production that more or less depicts the story of what happens after Train to Busan. Seoul Station takes place in the titular location. Zombie hordes take over the entire area as a couple of survivors barricade themselves within a building, hoping for a way to get out of the place alive. There is also some really great character development throughout the course of the movie.
Nobody thought that a movie like Monster House could be this good. The movie is a mix between animation and jump scare scenes that the movie is absolutely riddled with. Monster House is an ode to all the classic 80’s Horror shows out there. A group of kids find out that the neighbor’s house could be haunted. It is later that they found out that the entire house itself is a man-eating monster. Many children watched this movie thinking it will be full of light humor. And that is how they committed their biggest mistake. There are some scenes in Monster House that are so scary not even adults can watch them alone.
It is hard to imagine an animated movie could actually do well in the horror genre. Both genres are like water and oil. They tend to never mix well. Perfect Blue tells the story of a singer who quit the band she was a part of in the dreams of going solo. But to make the world see here in a different image, she has to first shed her ‘good girl’ impression. That is easier said than done. The anime movie came out way back in 1998 and it still is enough to send chills down your spine. Perfect Blue adds subtlety and symbolism in ways you could have never imagined. It is a trip but a roller-coaster ride down horror lane. Not many could stomach the end. Only a chosen few even watch it again.