I think there is definitely potential. As someone who never gets frightened from Western horror, I have found some anime scenes to be scary as fuck, creepy, startling etc even when the anime they were in weren't of that genre. Some were even comedy.
Early on, Ghost Hound was pretty creepy, like when they were exploring the old hospital or when the kids saw the black ghost thing get hit by a truck over and over.
But that all went away after the kids figured out astral projection.
Boogiepop Phantom was kind of creepy
I loved Ghost hound, but yeah I agree it lost all is creepy atmosphere when they introduced the astral projection.
It's not exactly horror, but anime like Madoka and Brynhildr where people's very lives are on the stake if they don't consume a limited substance always freaks me out. Much more than, say, outright "horror" anime like Shiki.
The moment 'scary' anime decides to push for a different style to compliment the subject matter is the moment there are at least decent horror anime.
Yami shibai kinda had this going on up until they ran out of horror
Western horror tends to rely on excessive gore and jumpscares too much. The best type of horror is the truly unnerving kind, the kind that makes you feel that everything is wrong and it's not going to get better.
I think one of the best ways to make a horror like this is by making the viewer feel completely out of their depth. ODDSAC and Lain have made me feel far more unnerved and anxious in the past than any big budget Western horror could.
Horror is a very difficult genre to write well. There's been a few anime shows which have come close or been going in the right direction, but when they do trip up it seems to be from the desire to explain and categorize everything and make everything neat for the viewer later on.
>tfw no Silent Hill anime
Would probably suck though and sell badly since no one cares about it.
>mfw when a mermaid romcom has done one of the most scary chapters in anime.
With enough budget I think an abstract style horror could be very unsettling. They aren't really restricted with this medium.