Bored of the same old Hollywood horrors? Well here are 5 international gore-fests that offer a little more than cheap scares and bad acting. So without further ado. . .
If you haven’t seen Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In, the Swedish vampire film with a twist – then take this Halloween as an opportunity to drop what you’re doing and find a copy of this recently remade beaut. Based on the novel by John Adjvide Lindqvist, it follows the unlikely friendship between a 12-year-old boy and the young blood sucker who moves into his apartment building. In time, they help each other overcome their personal problems and form a heart-warming relationship – well, as heart-warming as any relationship between a kid and an un-dead tween can be. Boasting touching performances, a kick ass retribution scene near its climax and no shortage of blood-spurting gore, the original 2008 Let the Right One In is the perfect Halloween date movie.
With an abundance of modern horror choice, it’s important not to forget the origins of the movie scare. So if you’re feeling exceptionally cultured, why not check out the 1922 classic Nosferatu this October 31st. Thomas Hutter gets a bit more than he bargained for when he’s sent to Transylvania to meet with Count Orlok. This very creepy count, played by the otherwordly Max Schreck, manages to send chills to this day despite his minimal make up effects. The familiar scene of Orlok closing in on his sleeping prey, only to be thwarted by impeding sunrise has since become an iconic image of horror cinema.
However if you’re looking for something that packs more of a punch, then why not watch the unforgiving Martyrs, a French film that’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Making Saw or Hostel look like kids films, director Pascal Languir’s tale of a troubled girl seeking revenge quickly shifts gear into something more sinister. Imprisoned and routinely beaten, our unfortunate anti-hero Anna is kidnapped by a group who’ll stop at nothing to discover what, if anything, lies beyond death. Stripping away her will to live – and her skin – Anna achieves transcendence, becoming the world’s first witness to the afterlife. If you’re after a challenging horror film, look no further.
Staying within the vein of horror movies that make you not want to look, yet unable to look away, Austrian director Michael Haneke’s Funny Games is definitely worth a mention. Inviting a couple of seemingly polite strangers into their home, George, Anna and son Schorschi soon discover that this cruel duo are after a little more than they originally let on. What follows is a series of sadistic games pitting the helpless family against their tormentors. As the brutality increases, the family’s chance of survival decreases, resulting in a pretty bleak outcome. A tough watch but an interesting exploration of the horror genre’s limits.
Quickly given the Hollywood remake treatment, the Spanish thriller [Rec] offers more originality and suspense than its American counterpart Quarantine. As reporter Angela begins coverage of a normal night with the local firemen; things take a turn for the abnormal. Responding to a apartment building disturbance, on arrival they discover an elderly woman infected with a bloodthirsty virus, and several panicky residents. Soon the inhabitants of the building are quarantined and must find a new exit without falling victim to their zombie-like flat mates. Watch in the dark, with the sound up!
Got any more suggestions? Let me know in the comments below.
This post was originally featured on IReviewToo.Blogspot.com back in October 2009.