5 Reasons You Should Watch A James Wan Film This Halloween

Don’t know who James Wan is? Well you certainly ought to change that.

Responsible for films such as Insidious, The Conjuring, and the Saw franchise, James Wan has been shaping our nightmares for years now. The 36-year-old Chinese Australian filmmaker is overlooked far more than he should be. Many people know his films and yet they don’t know the man behind them.

At the young age of 11, Wan was already well-aware that he wanted to be a filmmaker. After he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, he instantly went on to make films with a fellow aspiring filmmaker, Leigh Whannell. The two have collaborated with one another for a handful of films which just so happen to be perfect for Halloween.

We encourage you to sit down with some popcorn, a protective blanket and a James Wan film of your choice. Here’s five reasons why James Wan should be part of you Halloween this year:



1. He understands that given the right setting, a doll can be our worst nightmare.
No seriously, these things are creepy.

doll 1 doll 2
doll 3



2. He understands the power of Audio.

Watch a James Wan film at the theaters and you surely won’t be disappointed with the audio. Many scenes use it very tactfully like this one from Insidious:

And lets not forget the way he manages to make a simple title score terrifying while it’s blasted at you in full volume:



3. Why yes, creatures that pop up at us are frightening. 

pop 1 pop 2 pop 3




4. He understands that sometimes “less is more.”

Don’t get me wrong. Wan is brilliant at scary images that stay in your head in the worst way possible, but he understands that there needs to be variety.

He can take a little girl pointing at a wall and horrify you. He can allude to a scary flashback without ever showing what happened, but still give you the creeps. Wan understands that sometimes, our own imagination can be much worse than anything he shows.

the counjuring



5. He makes you care about his characters and his storyline.

You may have turned away from the stomach-churning gore in Saw, but you have to admit, the movie got you thinking. He made sure you paid attention and ended up questioning whether or not you would be able to do the same thing. Would you make the same mistakes?


Often times, a horror film flaw is that we simply don’t care about the characters. We’re afraid for death itself, but we don’t actually know too much about the people who are about to die or worse, they take on stereotypical “scary movie” personas. Wan very tastefully avoids this mistake with a simple method: He makes you actually like his characters. You end up hoping for a happy ending and it makes you more invested in the film itself.



So take it from us and make sure Wan is part of your holiday. Happy Halloween everyone!




This story was originally published in 2013 as “Top 5 Ways James Wan Has Mastered Scary Films.” It has been republished just in time for Halloween.  

The Aswang: The Scariest of Filipino Folklore Featured in ‘Grimm’

Among the numerous monsters in Filipino folklore, the aswang is undoubtedly the most known and most feared of them all.

A ghoulish shape shifter that feeds on the unborn, the aswang is said to be a combination of vampires and werewolves. Although the creature is known to be a shape-shifter, they are often depicted as female with bloodshot eyes due to entire nights spent feeding on human bodies.

The most known tale associated with the aswang is the story of the creature hiding on a rooftop or near a window of a pregnant woman as she sleeps. The creature then releases its long proboscis (or tongue) to suck the unborn child out of the mother’s womb.

Disturbing? You bet.

This may be why Jim Kouf, executive producer of the American TV drama series Grimm, says that the aswang is the scariest creature that the show has ever featured.

True to his word, when the aswang made its appearance on an episode last week, audiences were surprised to see a monster even darker than Filipino folklore imagined– a bald, pale creature with sharp claws and skull-shaped face.

Despite the new and horrifying mental image, Filipinos are rejoicing. It is not too often that Filipino folklore is featured in mainstream media. This is all thanks to Filipino actor Reggie Valdez who plays the role of Sergeant Wu on Grimm.

“The creators are so wonderfully collaborative. They actually came to me and said, ‘Do you know any of – do you know any Filipino folklore?’” Lee said in an interview with Broadway World.com.

“And as you know, we believe these things in the Philippines,” he said. “I’m so grateful that the creators of Grimm decided to use my actual heritage to introduce my character to the ‘creature world.’ I mean, how often do we have a Filipino story line on mainstream television? It was probably one of the most fulfilling times I’ve had within my career both because of the connection to the Philippines and the tremendous amount of emotion involved. I am grateful!”



Top 5 Scariest Asian Myths and Monsters


Halloween is here! A time for carving pumpkins, dressing up in costumes, trick or treating and remembering the dead. Needless to say, there are plenty of ways to take part in this holiday. And though you might opt for a cute costume tonight, Halloween certainly isn’t known to be cute and sweet. No, we tend to celebrate it with all things scary.

When it comes to tales of ghosts, ghouls, and everything regarding your deepest darkest fears, the Asian culture definitely provides us with some of the most chilling tales. We’re here to share some with you.

Here are the top 5 scariest Asian Myths and Monsters you never want to encounter during your life.



1) TEKE-TEKE (Japan)


Legend has it that one day in Japan, a young girl fell onto a rail way line and was cut in half by an oncoming train. Due to her unpredicted fate, her spirit now roams around seeking revenge. She carries a scythe or a saw while traveling on her elbows or hands and if anyone meets her path, she will cut them in half. As she travels, the dragging of her upper torso scratches on the floor making a take teke sound.





Long ago, there was a wife of a samurai who was so incredibly beautiful. As years went by, she became extremely self absorbed and quite vain. The samurai suspected her of cheating one day and in response, he attacked her by cutting her mouth from ear to ear. The woman passed away and came back as an angry spirit known as Kuchisake Onna. She wears a brown trench coat with a surgeon’s mask to cover her mouth and as children are walking home from school, she will approach them with her mask and ask “Do you think I’m beautiful?” If the response was “No” she will take out a knife and kill you. If the response was “Yes,” then she will then take off her mask and ask you “How about now?” If the next response is a “No” you will get cut in half, and if it is a “Yes” then she will cut your mouth from ear to ear to make it look like hers.



3) WHITE LADY (Philippines)


In the rural areas of the Philippines, there have been many stories of the White Lady. The White Lady has been said to appear in other places such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, and Norway. Although there are several renditions of this legend, she is usually associated with tragedy. She will appear and not do very much, but any sight of her is surely not a good one. She is most commonly reported seen along Balete Drive in Quezon City. She was a young lady who was raped and killed by two Japanese soldiers during WWII. While there haven’t been stories of the White Lady being a purposefully malicious being, she has been the reported as the cause of more than a few car accidents by drivers who look in their rearview mirror and see a young lady in the backseat wearing a white dress. Sure, some strange, unknown lady sitting in your backseat is bad enough but the White Lady is also said to have no face or a face covered in blood.




Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 5.16.22 PM

Jayuro is a strip of highway just north of Seoul, Korea. Because the highway is often covered in fog, it is known for being prone to car accidents. However, many residents have a different explanation for it. Many people claim they see a distressed girl on the side of the road wearing sunglasses. As they got closer to the girl, to their horror, they realized that she wasn’t wearing sunglasses after all. The dark circles were there because her eyes were visibly gouged out and hollow.



5) AP/KRASUE (Cambodia/Thailand)


The Ap/Krasue is described as a floating female head with its entrails, spine and various bloody organs hanging from its neck. The myth behind this creature says that women who abuse black magic may be forced to turn into this creature as a punishment. The witch feeds on blood, feces, fetuses, and pregnant women. Apparently one way to stop the creature from entering your house is by surrounding it with thorny vines so that the creatures entrails will get stuck on them. This is important since an Ap/Krasue can turn you into the same creature if she gets to you consume her saliva.



 Have more scary Asian monsters in mind? Tell us your list!



(Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Scary Girlfriend Alert: Woman Arrested for Public Display of Humiliation

Story by James S. Kim

Public displays of affection always make a walk down the street considerably more interesting than most people would like. Still, they don’t draw the attention of crowds and video cameras like public displays of humiliation, as in the case of a viral video uploaded a couple of days ago. It captures a very loud dispute between a man and a woman, as well as an apparent third party.

The five-minute video has over 140,000 views on YouTube as of Tuesday since it was uploaded on Oct. 6. In a crowded street in Hong Kong, a man is shown kneeling in front of his girlfriend, who is scolding him in Cantonese for apparently inviting another woman to his apartment.

At one point in the video, the girlfriend grabs the man’s hair with one hand and begins to slap him repeatedly with the other as a growing crowd watches on. The man, weeping, asking his girlfriend, “Listen to me before beating me, I told her not to come!”

A second woman stands close by, but it is not clear if she is the “other woman.” The man pleads with her several times to confirm his story, but she remains silent for most of the altercation, only making a few halfhearted attempts to stop the beating. Individuals in what turns out to be a sizable crowd start chiming in, but the girlfriend yells back to mind their own business.

Although the video doesn’t show it, the 20-year-old woman, surnamed Cheng, was arrested by Hong Kong police for “common assault” after a bystander called the authorities. The 23-year-old victim, surnamed Chui, was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. The Hong Kong police has labeled the case as a “dispute over love affairs.”

This story was originally published in KoreAm Journal

Six Scary Things Found in Meat

Author: Eugene Sung

The average American eats approximately 2,000 pounds of food each year. Out of those 2,000 pounds, we consume 110 pounds of red meat, 62 pounds of beef, 46 pounds of pork and 73.6 pounds of poultry. Unfortunately, with large corporations controlling a vast amount of our food source, we need to be more diligent in educating ourselves about where our food is coming from and how it’s prepared. Below is a list of appalling facts regarding the meat industry that I hope will raise more awareness and assist you in being a smarter shopper.

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