5 Horror Movie Beauties

I’ll admit: I think horror movies that I actually enjoy are rare things. However, there are movies even from this genre that I enjoyed. Personally, I think there is something even more chilling in good horror movies when a pretty face is also involved. Thus inspiring this list of some beautiful women to have starred in my favorite horror movies.

5. Shiina Eihi
Notable work: Audition (1999)

I’d apologize for putting in a spoiler if this wasn’t easily one of the most famous bits from the Japanese horror scene.

Audition (オーディション, oudishon) was a creation of acclaimed Japanese horror movie director Miike Takashi, and is easily one of his more famous works alongside Ichi the Killer. It follows the widowed Shigeharu (Ishibashi Ryo), and how he holds an audition to find a new wife upon his son’s recommendation. Little does he know that the winner of said audition is a psychotic killer. Much of the appeal of the movie came from the first half leading you into thinking it is a romantic comedy and the incredibly disturbing performance Shiina Eihi gave as Asami, the woman almost marries (and kills) Shigeharu. The last 15 minutes were easily the most memorable part of the movie, which featured easily the most disturbing scene of torture I have ever seen, and that was partly because of Shiina saying, “kiri kiri kiri!” in a stereotypical, cute Japanese way as she was driving long pins into Shigeharu. Needless to say, Audition is not an easy movie to watch (many veteran horror movie directors walked out of the movie before it was over), but it’s worth seeing for Shiina Eihi’s performance if you can handle it.

4. Kuroki Hitomi
Notable work: Dark Water (original Japanese version, 2002)

The second entry on this list is also Japanese. Dark Water (仄暗い水の底から, Honogurai Mizu no Soko kara) follows Yoshimi (Kuroki), a woman of questionable mental health, as she moves into an apartment with her daughter while fighting a nasty divorce case. Dark Water is an instance of the common theme in Japanese horror of spirits haunting something the deceased had strong emotional ties to, in this case the apartment building. What I really liked about this movie was how Yoshimi’s psychological state played into the movie, where oftentimes she had no idea if what was going on around her was the result of an actual haunting or her own mind. Kuroki was already at the “old woman” age of 40 when she made Dark Water, but I have to say she still looked absolutely stunning as the increasingly crazed Yoshimi, and I thought her performance in general was easily the best part of the film.

3. Kara Zhang
Notable work: Retribution (2012)

Retribution was a short movie (which was reviewed here) and filmed in the Philadelphia independent film scene. It also happens to star my good friend, the lovely Kara Zhang as Jill, a woman about to go on a date with murderer Marcus (Walter DeShields). This movie pulls an interesting twist about halfway in (that is to say, half of the 9-minute length). Furthermore, I will reiterate what I said in my review of the movie: I think the best horror movies are the ones filmed on a more modest budget and rely a lot less on special effects. Overall, the movie had some pretty solid acting both from Zhang and from DeSheilds. Also, I think director Bernard Grey made some terrific directing decisions for Miss Zhang’s appearance onscreen. Kara will also be starring in the upcoming feature-length film Alpha Girls, and you can see the trailer here.

2. Naomi Watts
Notable work: The Ring (2002), Mulholland Drive (2001)

Australian actress Naomi Watts is rapidly becoming known as one of the best bits of acting talent to have entered American cinema. Her big break came in with 2001’s Mulholland Drive, directed by David Lynch. Mulholland Drive was an interesting movie, thanks to Lynch’s direction, because while nothing jumped out and scares you, you always have this feeling that something is just off about what is going on. Watts then followed up with the 2002 American remake of Japanese horror movie Ringu (The Ring) where she starred as a single mother who stumbled upon a video cassette and receives a warning on the phone informing her she has seven days to live. In both movies, Naomi Watts was not exactly the blonde beauty in need of saving from the leading man as is typically seen in Hitchcock, but rather pulled her own weight both times and looked great doing it. And speaking of Hitchcock….

1. Janet Leigh
Notable work: Psycho (1963)

I think it’s impossible to make a list like this without mentioning Janet Leigh in her memorable scene from Pyscho. Having watched the scene again just a few hours ago on YouTube, despite the relatively primitive special effects, the shower stab scene remains every bit as chilling to me in 2012 as it probably did to audiences in 1963. Despite having only made two major horror films (this one and The Birds), Alfred Hitchcock is regarded as one of the best horror movie directors to have ever filmed, and a lot of that can owe itself to the rightfully acclaimed Psycho.