A Tale Of Two Sisters

Friday Fright Fest: The Best Foreign Psychological/Mystery Horror Films

There are horror films that ask you to unravel mysteries, sometimes truly twisted ones, as the film progresses. These films also fall under the psychological banner, but today I wanted to look at some that truly give us a real mystery that can leave viewers second-guessing their thoughts. By now, you should all have realized that I have a very high standard when it comes to Horror, so take this list for what it is and check these gems out. Some you may have seen before, some you may have not.

So who’s tired of seeing me ramble, huh? I know you are, don’t lie to me. Let’s dive into today’s list which is in no particular order, just films that are truly mysterious and amazing.

#8. Noriko’s Dinner Table | 2005 | Japan

norikos dinner table

A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko’s “family circle”, which grows darker after the mass suicide of 54 high school girls.

Noriko’s Dinner Table is a film that serves as a concurrent/sequel film to one of my personal favourite Japanese Horror Films in Suicide Circle. While NDT isn’t a truly in-your-face horror film, the psychological impact it has on viewers cannot be denied.

It’s a story of two sisters Noriko and Yuka, who live with their parents in Toyokawa, a sleepy seaside town. Mousy Noriko is unhappy with this existence and runs away to Tokyo. There she meets Kumiko, who runs a fantasy service in which young ladies act as daughters for lonely men, amongst other things. Yuka eventually runs away and does the same thing. Their father pieces together clues as to their whereabouts and doing and goes to Tokyo to find them.

First of all, the settings are excellent. Like New York City and London, you see Tokyo in all its glory, neon etc. The story itself is also great, flowing & unfolding slowly until it reaches an explosive climax. However, that would only make a good film if the acting was merely adequate. The acting is uniformly superb. Kasue Fukiishi plays Noriko so well, you don’t realize she’s acting. Likewise, Yuka (Yuriko Yoshitaka) and Kumiko (Tsugumi) also give great performances.

This film is much more psychological than “Suicide Club”, and for that, it shines. The “Family Rental” aspect of this film adds so much to the psychological element. You see how far lonely people are willing to go to find a sense of belonging, of family.

If you’re a fan of psychological horror, add Noriko’s Dinner Table to your list. The film is incredibly powerful and will keep you guessing throughout the entire runtime. Yes, it is a very long movie at almost 3 hours, but it is so worth the view.

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