It’s a fact of life that summers in Japan are hot and humid, and the Japanese people have a long history of trying to find ways to cool down in hot weather. One tradition that has come about as a result is the telling of terrifying horror stories in the summer, for the purpose of getting “chilled with terror”. And right now with the summer in full swing in Japan, we are indeed in need of some “chilling”.

Well, to help those of us desperate to feel just even a little bit cooler, Japanese entertainment group Culture Convenience Club (CCC), which operates TSUTAYA, one of the largest Video/DVD rental chains in Japan, has released a list of the 20 most-rented horror movies in Japan over the past three decades (1983 to 2012 to be exact). So, let’s see which movies made the list!

Below is the list published by CCC – they’ve even rated the “scare factor” of each film on a scale of one to three stars, with three being the scariest.

1. “The Sixth Sense” starring Bruce Willis, directed by M. Night Shyamalan ★★★
2. “Constantine” starring Keanu Reeves, directed by Francis Lawrence ★
3. “Van Helsing” starring Hugh Jackman, directed by Stephen Commers ★
4. “Juon (Japanese version of “The Grudge”) starring Megumi Okina, directed by Takashi Shimizu ★★★
5. “Ring “ (Japanese version) starring Nanako Matusushima, directed by Hidoe Nakata ★★★
6. “Chakushin Ari (One Missed Call)” starring Ko Shibasaki, directed by Miike Takashi ★★
7. “Paranormal Activity” starring Katie Featherston, directed by Oren Peli ★★★
8. “28 Days Later…” starring Cillian Murphy, directed by Danny Boyle ★★
9. “Rasen” (second movie in the Japanese Ring series) starring Miki Nakatani, directed by Hideo Nakata ★★
10. “The Blair Witch Project” starring Michael C. Williams, directed by Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sánchez ★★★
11. “The Others” starring Nicole Kidman, directed by Alejandro Amenábar ★★★
12. “The Ring” starring Naomi Watts, directed by Gore Verbinski ★★
13. “Dawn of the Dead (2004)” starring Sarah Polley, directed by Zack Snyder ★★
14. “Juon 2″ (Japanese version) starring Noriko Sakai, directed by Takashi Shimizu ★★
15. “Chakushin Ari 2 (One Missed Call 2) starring Mimura, directed by Renpei Tsukamoto ★★
16. “Sleepy Hollow” starring Johnny Depp, directed by Tim Burton ★★
17. “Underworld: Evolution” starring Kate Beckinsale, directed by Len Wiseman ★
18. “Silent Hill” starring Radha Mitchell, directed by Christophe Gans ★★
19. “Ghost Ship” starring Julianna Margulies, directed by Steve Beck ★★
20. “Freddy vs. Jason” starring Robert Englund, directed by Ronny Yu ★★

So, what do you think? It’s not surprising to see movies from the Ring series, both the Japanese version and American version, make the list. There are some thoroughly terrifying classics like “The Exorcist”, “The Omen” or  “The Shining” that aren’t on the list, but I guess it’s difficult for older movies to rank high on a DVD rental list.

One movie I’m surprised is not on the list is “Cube” – now, that is one seriously scary movie which I would recommend to anyone who loves horror. I would also have expected to see “Saw” on the list, as the series was quite popular in Japan, but maybe the movie is a bit too gruesome to have mass appeal. Well, I’m sure you all have your favorite horror movies. Do let us know if there are any you can recommend to chill us to our bones on a hot summer night!

Source: ITmedia (Japanese)