Animated films were once limited to lighthearted, heartwarming cartoons with a moral message aimed mostly at young children. However, filmmakers discovered in the latter part of the twentieth century that these animation elements may be employed to create any style of the tale. Since then, several horror cartoon films with a lot of gore and carnage have been released. Animation features are no longer limited to stories that leave us with little more than a grin or a chuckle. Horror cartoon films may be so terrifying that they make our skin crawl or immerse us in bleak thoughts. Children and maybe some adults will find the twisted narratives, the prevalence of evil, and violent situations unwatchable. Today, we’ll discuss the best 11 adult horror animation films. Keep a tight eye on the situation and make sure the lights are turned on.
Mad God (2021)
In a diving bell, an assassin dressed in a jacket and gas mask dives into the shattered planet represented on his map which deteriorates as he travels. He ultimately finds the city behind enemy lines after traveling through mutant regions, where he sees prisoners who are victims of electronic torture, and other horrors such as drones with no names and no faces, governed by a baby-babbling horror with dirty fangs and burnt flesh. The assassin pauses here for a minute, debating whether or not to take an ally, before deciding to descend into the city’s depths, leaving a drone to be murdered for wandering away from the others.
Under the city’s depths, the Assassin discovers a mound of luggage identical to his own and plants explosives, which he will detonate. He fails to notice the creeping presence of a scientifically produced mutant which catches him and pulls him away. Sadly his explosive does not detonate. The assassin is publicly humiliated, tormented, and stripped. The onlookers appear to be human-like. As the movie proceeds, we see the assassin investigate a maze of weird settings inhabited by odd people.
Phil Tippett’s stop motion animated film Mad God is a culmination of 30 years of his work. A film, whose technical wizardry and shocking horror is far beyond verbal appreciation. This is the kind of work that receives a standing ovation. The lack of dialogue, tense background score, and of course the visual effects from an Oscar and Emmy award winner VFX artist, Phil Tippett has made this magnum opus a creative masterpiece.
Tippett mixed live-action, stop motion, and puppetry along with a brilliant soundscape to bring out the staggering horror which was a part of the darker aspect of his imagination. There is not much to the plot of the film, but it does convey a message which is of nihilistic hideousness. Tippet’s work in popular films like Jurassic Park, RoboCop, and the original Star Wars trilogy is praiseworthy and after being able to inject his own thoughts and expressions into his creative expertise he has been able to make a film of a lifetime. Mad God needs to be explored and is definitely a much watch for all horror lovers.
Seoul Station (2006)
The plot focuses on two major characters, Suk-gyu, a father in search of his wayward daughter Hye-sun, only to learn that she has become a prostitute. A zombie outbreak occurs in Seoul just as he is going to be reunited with her. A ragged man appears to be the root of a zombie outbreak in and around Seoul Station. A second squatter who sits next to him spots the blood and attempts to aid, but the injured guy is dead by the time he returns.
The second homeless person goes to the police station to report his friend’s death; the cops pursue him, but the man has vanished. When the squatter goes in pursuit of the elderly guy, he encounters him as a zombie, who attacks his return. Hye-sun, who fled her old life in a brothel, now resides with her lover, Ki-woong, who plans to sell her out again owing to financial difficulties. Following a fight about this, the two split up and become engulfed in the commotion erupting from Seoul Station.
Hye-sun and a few survivors escape and take shelter inside a police station, where they are imprisoned by a bunch of zombies within a detention cell, along with a police officer who has been bitten by a zombie. In the meantime, Hye-sun’s father, Suk-gyu, questions Ki-woong about his daughter’s whereabouts. When the two get to Hye-house, they discover that the landlady has turned into a zombie. Sun-gyu and Ki-woong both seek refuge in the restroom after being attacked by another zombie.
Written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho, Seoul Station, released on August 18, 2016, is a South Korean animated Zombie film. It is a prequel to the live-action film “Train to Busan”. The events in the movie take place one day before the events of its sequel. The film does not explain why the zombie apocalypse had occurred thereby not serving much to the expectations you keep from a movie that is a prequel to a zombie movie. Despite losing a bit of its appeal, for this reason, the movie is still a distinguishable zombie film with an artistic animation to support the gripping narrative.
In the short run-time of 90 minutes, the film introduces three characters and talks about the hardships of vagabonds and outcasts in a big city, especially during an ongoing epidemic. The film does get overshadowed when compared to its sequel but still continues to be a good watch.
Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
In November 2005, Harvardville Airport was hit by a T-virus attack from both within the terminal and from a crashed airliner. Claire Redfield, a TerraSave employee, meets Senator Ron Davis, a strong opponent of TerraSave, and they are forced into hiding in the VIP lounge along with Rani, the niece of a TerraSave employee. By evening, the airport had been secured by the local Special Response Team and the US Army, who was assisting in evacuating the survivors. Federal agent Leon S. Kennedy joins officers Angela Miller and Greg Glenn.
Claire’s gang had been rescued. They were, however, obliged to abandon the afflicted Greg. Trucks from the drug company WilPharma come to give a T-virus vaccination that they developed, but are destroyed by explosives. Leon explains that a terrorist has threatened to spread the T-virus throughout the United States if the government personnel engaged in its development are not identified before midnight.
Claire travels to Harvardville with WilPharma Head Researcher Frederic Downing. Downing then reveals intentions to create a G-virus vaccine, which enrages Claire due to its severe risk. Downing excuses himself and leaves Claire in his office. Claire notifies Leon of what Downing told her and discovers that he and Angela had discovered her brother Curtis’s house on fire. Downing calls Claire and warns her about a guy who has detonated a time bomb. Claire sees Curtis momentarily in the building’s central garden before the bomb goes off.
Unlike Resident Evil live-action films Resident Evil: Degeneration follows the universe of the original game. The plot is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5 video games. Directed by Makoto Kamiya, this animated biopunk action horror film is the first full-length motion capture CG animation feature of the Japanese video game developer and publisher, Capcom Co., Ltd in their Resident Evil franchise.
Being faithful to the game’s storyline, Degeneration serves as a prologue for the Resident Evil 5 video game. Now if you are a fan of the Resident Evil franchise then this movie is a treat as the main characters of the game, Leon S.Kennedy and Claire Redfield appear together for the first time. The film has some of the best action sequences. Though the movie is a good watch for all horror lovers, the true extent of entertainment is far more for franchise lovers.
Dead Space: Downfall (2008)
Downfall occurs in the year 2508, millennia after mankind barely evaded extinction due to resource depletion by “cracking” planets in a three-year procedure to harvest their resources. The narrative begins during the second year of an illicit mining operation supported by the Church of Unitology on the planet Aegis VII. Jennifer Barrows, a colony geologist, discovers a monolith-like relic known as a Marker, an artifact revered by Unitologists.
In actuality, the Marker is a human replica of an extraterrestrial item that begins to have a devastating effect on the colony, eventually creating an outbreak of reanimated mutant corpses known as “Necromorphs”. Downfall tells the story of how the Marker’s infection infiltrated and eventually destroyed the Ishimura via the eyes of a variety of Aegis VII miners and Ishimura crewmates.
The film begins with a video message from security head Alissa Vincent, who declares that the Ishimura has been lost and that both the ship and the Marker that provoked its demise must be destroyed. The narrative begins with Barrows’ discovery of the Marker in an area with evidence of old human digging. The Aegis VII colony has suffered a catastrophic collapse by the time the Ishimuraarrived, with many slain and several reports of violent madness. The Marker is taken on board under the authority of Captain Mathius and Dr. Kyne, causing several Unitologist crew members, including engineer Samuel Irons, to worship it. Vincent becomes increasingly enraged at the presence of the Marker on board, believing it to be blamed for the colony’s demise.
Supervised by Electronic Arts, Dead Space: Downfall is a 2008 American psychological sci-fi horror film. Directed by Chuck Patton and written by Justin Great and Jimmy Palmiotti the movie is based on EA’s popular 2008 survival horror video game Dead Space. It is more like a prequel to the first game. With some great horrifying visuals, made of a mix of CG and hand-drawn animation, Downfall is a rare horror cartoon. With brutality resembling Japanese anime, the film can be said to be a mix of standard animation and anime. The film maintains a slow pace explaining the elements of the story to lay the narrative foundation for the game. There were mixed responses for the movie with a lot of scope for better animation but if you are fond of the game then all these won’t matter as the plot brilliantly connects to events at the beginning of the game.
Perfect Blue (1997)
MimaKirigoe, a member of the J-pop idol group “CHAM!” calls it quits with the group to pursue a career as a full-time actor. She is hounded by a creepy-looking admirer dubbed Me-Mania, who is furious over her departure from her previous persona. Mima discovers a website named “Mima’s Room” after following instructions from a fan letter, and it contains public journal entries written from her viewpoint, as well as detailed records of her everyday life and thoughts.
Her manager and former pop idol Rumi Hidaka, as well as her agency Tadokoro, assist her in her acting career. Mima tells Rumi about “Mima’s Room,” but is encouraged to disregard it. Mima’s first engagement as an actor comes in the form of a small role in a television detective drama called Double Bind. Tadokoro contacts the producers of Double Bind and is successful in gaining Mima a larger part that includes a rape scene. Ignoring Rumi’s misgivings, Mima accepts the position, despite the fact that it has a significant impact on her.
On her way back home, she encounters a mirror of herself dressed in her old idol’s clothes. The reflections, dressed like an idol,proclaims herself to be “the actual Mima.” Mima begins to suffer from insanity as a result of the constant difficulties of shooting Double Bind, her lingering remorse over quitting CHAM!, her terror of being pursued, and her growing fascination with “Mima’s Room”.
She, in particular, is having difficulty distinguishing her real life from her career in show business, as well as having recurrent, seemingly surreal sightings of her previous self. Several persons associated with her acting are assassinated. Mima discovers evidence that points to her as the major suspect in the killings, and her erratic behavior causes her to doubt her own recollections and innocence as she recalls viciously murdering photographer Murano.
Directed by Satoshi Kon and written by SadayukiMurai, “Perfect Blue” is a 1997 Japanese animated psychological thriller film based on the 1991 novel Perfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis by Yoshikazu Takeuchi. The novel’s sequel “Perfect Blue” was released two years before the film in 1995. The film portrays the horrors associated with fame addiction which acts as a form of a mutual dependency between the star and their audience.
Revolving around the character Mima, Satoshi and Murai develop a very complex structure for her hallucinations and fittingly named the show, where she is acting, “Double Mind” symbolizing how her alter ego and herself are knit by their addiction to fame. The film has some moments where it interestingly plays on levels and understanding of reality. The interesting fact is that the film was originally planned to be a live-action feature but later became an anime as several investors had backed out from the project during its pre-production. Although all copies available for the movie are from lower-quality prints as the film’s original 35mm camera negative was accidentally destroyed it still serves as a good horror animation film to watch.
Junji Ito Collection (2018)
The Junji Ito Collection is a horror anime that made its debut on January 5, 2018. It consists of 24 short stories. Mysterious monsters lurk in the darkest shadows of every corner, whether during the day or at night. They are inexplicable, unavoidable, and unbeatable. Prepare yourself, or you may become their next prey. As horrifying tales of unrivaled terror unfold, sit back in dread. Tales include a cursed jade sculpture that opens holes all over its victims’ bodies, terrible nightmares that last decades, an appealing spirit at a foggy crossroads who gives cursed advice, and a slug that develops inside a girl’s lips.
Proceed cautiously, for Itou Junji’s terrifying otherworldly tales are not a collection for the fainthearted. Horror anime anthology series Junji Ito is adapted from two of Ito’s manga collections, the single volume of Fragments of Horror and the 11th volume of Junji Ito Masterpiece collection. Premiered on January 5, 2018, the series collects Ito’s favorite 24 stories and puts them into 12 episodes and two Original Video animations focussing on the character of “Tomie”.
The series was animated by Studio Deen, co-produced by Crunchyroll, and broadcasted worldwide in 8 different languages. There are many variables in this film that engages the interest of its viewers ranging from getting accustomed to Ito’s abstract concepts to debatable comparisons with the original work of the manga. Although the plot is mainly focused on horror there are a few elements of comic relief that add a different taste to the film. Although the anime is loved by manga followers, the scary moments in the film and plot should appeal to all horror lovers in general.
Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic (2010)
The story is about Dante and his journey through Hell’s nine circles in the quest to rescue his true love, Beatrice. The nine circles of Hell were categorized as limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, rage, heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. Dante returns home from the Third Crusade to discover his servants murdered, his father dead, and his beloved betrothed Beatrice dead from a knife wound visible on her stomach.
She transforms into a spirit when she dies and begins her ascension into Heaven. However, a shadowy Lucifer snatches Beatrice from the heavens and transports her to Hell’s gates. Dante pursues them through Hell. Dante fights and slaughters a swarm of animals before being seized by a swarm of serpent-like arms that sow a crimson cross into his chest and torso – a living tapestry depicting his worst misdeeds in life. Virgil approaches and offers to escort Dante through Hell. Dante, using his faith, rips through the gates and advances.
Dante along with Virgil board the Charon, a gigantic, demonic, living ferry that transports souls over the river Acheron to Hell’s First Circle. As no living person is permitted to enter, Charon orders demons to assault Dante. Dante beats them up but he loses his sword in the process and must rely on one of the demons’ scythes. He then murders Charon and leads forward in his quest to meet the master of Hell, Lucifer.
Released on February 9, 2010, Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic is directed to DVD animation dark fantasy action film directed by six directors: Michael Disa, ShūkōMurase, YasuomiUmetsu, Victor Cook, Jong-Sik Nam, Kim Sang-jin, and Lee Seung-Gyu. Each of them worked on separate circles of hell that Dante and Virgil travel through on their way to Lucifer and you might notice the animations changing with the progress of the film. Based on the video game of the same name the movie is filled with bloodshed and gore and has a very unique style which makes it very appealing. The film takes aspects from the game, thereby giving a very strong build-up to the central character and also a good historical context of the crusades which deliver a lot of depth amidst the violence and bloodshed. The animation offers impressive designs making the film entertaining to watch.
Blood: The Last Vampire (2000)
The story features Saya, a vampire, who works for a covert government agency that exterminates demons. She is taken to a military academy to find out who is a demon in disguise. The narrative takes place in 1966. Saya, a young girl, features the primary character who hunts bat-like animals known as chiropterans. Saya first appears on a metro train, when she murders a guy in a suit. Her connections or handlers from the United States arrive.
One of them, David, starts briefing Saya on another operation, while the other, Louis, determines that the guy Saya just murdered was most likely not a chiropteran. Saya’s next assignment begins at the American Yokota Air Base, which is preparing for the Vietnam War. Somehow one of the chiropterans succeeds in infiltrating the airbase, and it’s only a matter of time until they feed again, hibernate, and vanish.
Saya is to disguise herself as a schoolgirl, enter the nearby high school, and then pursue and kill the chiropterans. On the eve of the school’s annual Halloween party, Saya bumps into a modest nurse, Amino Makiho. Sharon and Linda, two of Saya’s classmates, pay a visit to Makiho in the nurse’s office when Saya breaks into the room, murdering Linda and injuring Sharon, breaking her sword in the process. Both girls turn out to be chiropterans.
Premiered in theatres in Japan on November 18, 2000 Blood: The Last Vampire is a horror anime and also the first fully digitally animated film from Japan produced by Production I.G and SPE Visual Works. The film does not have any separate audio track for English or Japanese but rather switches in between the movie depending on whom they are conversing with. With immersive music and some high-end animation, director Hiroyuki Kitakubo sets a dark and eerie atmosphere in the anime throughout its run. The film manages to set up a provocative link between American involvement in Asia and Vampires. The background score ranging from Orchestral to Jazz enhances the realistic value of the scenes. The film follows the standard anime style but is far easier to absorb, unlike other famous anime which are complex. This short, 48-minute, action-filled horror anime is entertaining enough to give it a watch.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)
The plot revolves around a girl who is kidnapped by a vampire and a famed bounty hunter who is recruited to get her back. The movie is set thousands of years in the future. Vampires once ruled the night, but their forces have been decimated by daring bounty hunters. D, the half-breed son of a human mother and a vampire father, is one such hunter. Charlotte Elbourne, a young human lady, is kidnapped from her house in the dead of the night by Baron Meier Link, a vampire aristocrat.
A few weeks later, Charlotte’s affluent and wheelchair-bound father, John, engages D, a dhampir, to discover and save her. He promises D a substantial incentive, which he subsequently doubles upon D’s request. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s elder brother Adam has contracted the Marcus Brothers, which include their leader Borgoff, the monstrous Nolt, the blade master Kyle, the frail/physically bedridden psychic Grove, and a lady named Leila, who has a vendetta against vampires. D and the Marcus Brothers pursue Meier, discovering along the way that Charlotte was not abducted but willingly joined him out of love for the vampire.
Directed, written, and storyboarded by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Bloodlust is a 2000 dark fantasy horror adventure anime film. The film is produced by Madhouse, Film link International, BMG Japan, Movic, Good Hill Vision, and Soft Capital. Unlike almost every other anime film Bloodlust’s original audio track is in English as it was planned to be shown in American theatres. The film is the spiritual sequel to the 1985 anime “Vampire Hunter D” and is based on Hideyuki Kikuchi’s third novel from his Vampire Hunter D series. The visuals are simply brilliant in setting up a rebuilding post-apocalyptic world with plenty of details on towns, forests, deserts, and mountains. It is a wonderful mix of different imagery and genres, more like a successful experiment where the witty and provocative aspect of the film makes it appealing to both fans and non-fans alike.
One Night in City (2007)
Elegant stop-motion animation in the misanthropic horror toon “One Night in One City” tells a triptych of gloomy, surreal fables. One of the filmmakers of Fimfárum 2 has created a feature-length narrative animated picture, stories that are both intriguing and remarkable. What can happen in one city in one night? Do you know what happens when someone sews on another person’s ear? Can you encounter a genie in Zizkov who will grant you anything you can think of? Do you believe there are areas where time stops?
Do you know what can sabotage an insect circus performance, what a local hunter’s purpose is and what his neighbor is excited about? Is it possible for a carp and a tree to become friends? In a dilapidated apartment building, numerous individuals with deformed heads engage in activities such as dead bug circuses, urban bear hunts, pet cremations, and donkey worship. Later, a fish and a tree celebrate Christmas together. Finally, two drunks embark on a night-time thrill trip.
Also known as “One Night in a City” and “One Night in the city” the film is a Czech stop motion animated feature-length black comedy horror film. It’s directed by Jan Balej and written by Ivan Arsenjev and Balej. With a hefty amount of 1.875 million contributed by the Czech government, which was also the highest grant given to an animated production for the year 1998, the film took 6 years to make. Investing 6 years in a challenging project Balej can be considered as patience personified. From shaping characters and their sketches, creating dolls, filming it image by image and then finally establishing a story, the film’s making has been very taxing for Jon Balej. The film has a lot of intricate detailing and is a must-watch for horror lovers.
The Apostle (2012)
The story is about a prisoner who escapes and ventures to a secluded community to collect treasure concealed years before. When he encounters dangerous elderly folks and spirits, he gets more than what he had bargained for. Euliss F. “Sonny” Dewey is an eloquent Pentecostal preacher. His wife Jessie had begun an extramarital affair with Horace, a youth preacher. Sonny’s wish to reconcile is rejected, but she tells him that she will not interfere with his right to visit his children. She has also plotted to depose him from power using their church’s rules.
Sonny prays to God for guidance but receives no response. In this debate, the majority of the congregation supports Jessie. Sonny, on the other hand, refuses to join a new church, arguing that the one that threw him out was “his”. Sonny, during his child’s Little League game, assaults Horace with a bat and puts him in a coma, which subsequently leads to Horace’s death. Sonny, on the run, leaves his automobile by a river and destroys any identifying information. Sonny rebaptizes himself and lauds himself as “The Apostle E. F.” after eradicating all evidence of his former self.
Spanish stop motion animation horror film “The Apostle”, is director Fernando Cortizo’s flawless debut film. Spending 7 long years in its making Cortizo created dolls and decor which were examples of artistic finesse. He made his voice actors record their parts outside the studio to match the expressions and movement of the puppets which helped to add a natural look to the scenes. All of this and a dark soundtrack composed by Philip Glass make “The Apostle” a truly inspiring, innovative, and unique animated film. The film’s Gothic style fed with Galician myths is a first of its kind thereby making Fernando not just a director but a visionary. The movie is not really horrifying but oppressive and maintains constant tension throughout its run. If you are a fan of stop motion animation films then this one is definitely a treat for you.