Yay! HMAD 2K15- Beasts of the East

0 Comments 22 October 2015

Yay! Horror Movie A Day delves into the dark corridors of Asian Horror.

by Daniel Barron



It used to be that if you wanted to avoid evil spirits you just had to stay out of that house built on an Indian burial ground or that totally-sketch looking cabin in the woods. What, did you think you could read aloud from that flesh-bound book and demons wouldn’t attack you? You weren’t exactly on the honor roll, were you?

We think of the macabre as a rather analog menace in a vastly digital domain, manifesting itself in the foggy isolation of nature or dusty cathedrals. But as the films from Korea and Japan show us, the afterlife is a lot more hip than any of us ever expected. You watched a cursed videotape? Better cancel those vacation plans. Did you make a few wrong clicks on a suspicious-looking website? Smoke ’em if you got ’em. “Ha! VHS tapes are a dead technology now!” you say. Well you just put the wrong movie in your Netflix queue, pal. In fact, you should pretty much stay off of all apps, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Soundcloud, Spotify, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Vine, Tumblr, and even MeetUp. Ello is probably still cool, though. I don’t think ghosts give a shit about that.

If there’s one thing the following art series reveals, it’s that in Asia the dead really know how to hold a grudge. Actually, it pretty much shows that even the living do vengeance better than anyone else over there. You’re probably better just living the rest of your life sitting in a corner with a bucket over your head.





Attack on Titan (2013)- Lai Xu

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brian canio art


Audition (1999) – Brian Canio

Medium: ink on toned paper

Size: 9 x 12

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donia art


I Saw The Devil (2010) – Donia

Medium: ink and marker

“Psychological thriller with just the right amount of gore will have you questioning your own morality.”

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View more art by Donia in our Artist Spotlight.



lara dann art


Ju-On: The Grudge (2002) – Lara Dann

Medium: gouache on paper

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donia art


Oldboy (2003) – Donia

Medium: ink, marker, watercolor

“One of my favorite movies ever and Asian cinema is king when it comes to thrillers. Oldboy kept me on a ride with a crazy brilliant story line, what has to be best corridor fight scene ever filmed, and surprise twist ending that really got me the first time I watched it. (Something the American remake did not honor very well). Director Chan-wook Park uses a lot of visual symbolism in his movies which makes them rewatchable even when you know how they end. These little objects I’ve drawn may seem mundane but they are key pieces to the big picture.”

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View more art by Donia in our Artist Spotlight.



jenn woodall art


Parasite Eve (1998) – Jenn Woodall

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trevor henderson art


Pulse (2001) – Trevor Henderson

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emerald bakrley art


Ringu (1998) – Emerald Barkley

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devon lawrence art


Silent Hill (2006) – Devon Lawrence

Medium: watercolor

“I chose Silent Hill because of all the amazing dark imagery in the film. It’s not a great film, but many people seem to agree that it’s a visually stunning film. My favorite scene from Silent Hill is the encounter with the dark nurses. Moving slowly towards the light, with their disfigured swollen heads and sharp weapons in hand, the heroine had to carefully navigate through them. It’s one of the creepiest scenes in the film. I ultimately decided to paint one of the nurses in what I call a ‘Welcome to Silent Hill’ pose.”

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carolina seth art


A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) – Carolina Seth

Medium: graphite, colored pencils, and pan pastels on bristol

Size: 9 x 12

I chose A Tale of Two Sisters because I’m a fan of Asian Extreme Horror and this film made an impression on me, even though I watched it years ago. It’s a spooky and extremely sad story. I prefer psychological thrillers over gore and guts, and though this movie has its share of blood, it’s a human drama. It is a stylish and elegant film, with an eerie atmosphere. I found the photography beautiful, with many visual opportunities. I tried to convey the mystery and sorrow of how the protagonists are engulfed in the darkest nightmare using simple lines and an almost monochromatic palette. It is one of my favorite movies in the genre. I’m so happy that I was given the opportunity to create my vision.”

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Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) – MadHatta

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brad lacke art


Uzumaki (1998) – Brad Lacke

Title: “Spiral Into Nope!”

Medium: pencil, ink, painter

“Junji Ito is the man, but I can’t get any of my friends to read Uzumaki. I try to tell them that he’s seriously one of horror’s great masters, easily up there with Poe or Hitchcock. I try to tell them that some of his illustrations are ghastly enough to peel paint. I try letting them know that he makes Guillermo Del Toro, the guy who brought you The Pale Man, throw the book down and yell ‘NO!’. I try explaining that he regularly achieves moments so traumatizing, in that way that fans of the genre find irresistible, that they’ll probably ruin your week. In a good way. And they’ll just be like ‘A manga? About spirals? …Yeah…I’ll get right on that one…’ So my entire directive for this piece was to simply, hopefully, just to get people motivated to check out Junji Ito.

I wanted to highlight some of the amazing imagery and the overall mood in a way that didn’t necessary revolve around (ho ho!) spirals. In fact, I initially set out with the goal to do an Uzumaki piece that contained no spirals at all. However, that soon proved to be all but impossible. After all, spirals are in everything. I noticed that everything I drew eventually came back to a spiral in some way. Later I found myself drawing the spiral over and over again on napkins, and collecting snail shells. It’s such a wonderful shape, don’t you think? Sometimes I just sit and gaze intently at my collection of spirals. Thinking about spirals even now gets me so excited I almost want to HURKKK…”

[Editor’s Note: Shortly after sending in his piece police began receiving calls about a strange, man-sized snail in the area. Brad Lacke was never seen again.]

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- who has written 423 posts on Yay! LA | Arts & Culture Magazine.

Rudderless college graduate Daniel Barron founded Yay! LA Magazine on a love of writing, passion for the arts, and a firm belief that people really like talking about themselves. He contributed to a number of publications, including LA Music Blog and the defunct The Site Unscene, before deciding to cover arts and entertainment the way he wanted to read it. He works as a freelance writer and digital PR consultant in his current home of Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter at @YayDanielBarron.

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