It is already October, and everyone knows what that means – Halloween! There are plenty of ways to celebrate this time of the year, and Netflix is not disappointing with its line up of new releases to scare everyone. But did you know there are also quite a few anime horror movies out there for those of us with more otaku tastes? And you probably have not heard of very many of them!


There are a lot of anime movies great for Halloween out there that are based on anime series or other movies, like Resident Evil or Ajin. This list, though, is only going to have anime movies that can be watched on their own. They do not need any other prior information to enjoy them, and when they are finished, the story is over. This makes them great for a scary night at home, or for people with busy schedules who still want to enjoy some horror anime. Most of them are also not well-known, so there is a good chance you have not watched them already.

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Aragne: Sign of Vermillion

Aragne: Sign of Vermillion is a psychological horror film that may not be the highest quality ever, but is great for a scare. The story follows a university student named Rin who moves into a mysterious apartment that is nothing like what she has been expecting. There are terrible crimes happening all around her neighborhood, and the apartment building itself is full of brooding, mysterious strangers.

That’s not all, though; something even more dark and foreboding is coming, something between mythos and monsters that Rin cannot even begin to imagine. As she searches for answers in a strange library, she only finds more questions. If you don’t mind a movie that may not be the best but definitely ticks the boxes for “mysterious” and “dark,” Aragne: Sign of Vermillion is worth the watch at least once.

Hells

Hells is something between a horror movie and a comedy, making it have the right mood for Halloween without being too scary for those a little more faint of heart. In Hells, the main character Rinne Amagane dies on her way to school one day. She still goes to school, though, but the twist is that now her school is in Hell! And it is full of demons!

All Rinne wants to do is return to her old life in the land of the living, but all the while she begins to become friends with her demon classmates. She never could have expected the bond she would end up forming with them, which means she has to decide if she really does want to go back… but maybe she is just as happy living in Hell.

Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek

Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek is the shortest movie on our list at only 24 minutes long, but it has an intriguing enough story that we did not want to leave it out. It is actually about a game of hide and seek, but not your average schoolyard version. Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek is set in a broken city where children play in the ruins of what used to be. There, there exists a special game of hide and seek called “Otokoyo.”

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Otokoyo can only be played by people wearing fox masks to hide their identities, and can also only be played with seven people. The risk in playing this special game, though, is that everyone who plays mysteriously has disappeared. Now, seven children have gathered to play the dangerous game – what will happen to them?

Beauty Water

Beauty Water is a special entry on our list because it is not Japanese anime, but Korean. Based on a web manga, Beauty Water explores what it means to be beautiful, and how that pursuit can destroy someone’s life. The product at the center of the plot is called beauty water, and it can be applied to someone’s face to let them mold and shape their features into how they want them to be.

But when Yaeji gets her hands on the beauty water completely by chance, it takes over her life. She becomes obsessed with using it to change her appearance, and can only focus on becoming what she thinks is the most beautiful woman in existence. Her pursuit is endless, and eventually it destroys her. Beauty Water has some disturbing imagery, and is a scary commentary on the dangers of becoming obsessed with one’s appearance.

Guilstein

Guilstein is a sci-fi horror movie based on a manga by Tamaki Hisao. The animation is a mix of digital, 3D animations and the usual 2D style, which sets it apart from most other anime. It is set in the year 2088, and the future is dark indeed. There are no many longer humans, and instead they have been changed into terrible creatures known as guilsteins. These creatures no longer contain souls.

The guilsteins were created by the rich as they experimented on their fellow humans in pursuit of making bioweapons. While Guilstein may not be your typical horror movie, we have included it because the monster designs are really cool, and pretty scary, too. The guilsteins themselves are definitely something out of our nightmares, and they are what make the movie most memorable, and what you’re most likely to keep thinking about even after the movie is finished.

Karura Mau Movie

If you are a fan of classic horror and want to check out something Japanese, Karura Mau Movie is what you’re looking for. It was made in 1989, but don’t let that put you off immediately. It is by far the most Japanese-style horror anime movie out there. The two main characters are sisters Shoko and Maiko. While they may appear to be ordinary students, they are actually exorsists from Karura Temple.

Together, they are powerful exorcists that fight demons, but they have to be together as each girl only holds half of the powers needed to do so. Maiko can banish the evil spirits, but only Shoko can see them. Originally a manga, Karurua Mau Movie is heavily based on Japanese occult stories, and has a lot of traditional ghosts, demons, and other spirits throughout the film. It also has a lot of gore.

Sadly, stand-alone horror anime films are not very popular, and they are not made very often. It is much more common to find anime movies that are based on an already-existing property that you have to also watch in order to understand them. But we know not everyone has that kind of time and commitment, so sometimes it is definitely nice to just sit down and watch something less than two hours long.

All of these anime horror movies have horror elements, whether they are monsters, gore, jump scares, demons, ghosts, and more to thrill and scare you. And while they are perfect to watch during the Halloween season, don’t let that stop you from watching them any time of the year that you are looking for a little scare. Japan does horror differently, and it’s great to see it expressed in anime movies!

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