Foreign Frights!

Bored of the same old Hollywood horrors? Well here are 5 international gore-fests which offer 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. Based on a novel of the same name, it follows the unlikely friendship formed between a 12-year-old boy and the young blood sucker who moves into his apartment building. In time they help each other over come their personal problems and form a heart warming relationship - well, as heart warming as any relationship between a child and the un-dead can be. Boasting stellar performances, one kick ass scene towards its climax and no shortage of blood spurting gore, 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. The creepy count, played by the otherwordly Max Schreck, sends chills to this day despite minimal make up effects. The climactic scene of Orlok closing in on his sleeping prey, only to be thwarted by sunrise has become an iconic image of horror cinema.

However, if you're looking for something that packs a bit more punch, then why not check out the unforgiving French film Martyrs, certainly not one 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 antihero Anna is kidnapped by a group who'll stop at nothing to discover what 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 two seemingly polite strangers into their home, George, Anna and son Schorschi soon discover that they want to do more than borrow some eggs. What follows is a series of sadistic games pitting the helpless family against the deranged duo. 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!

1 comment:

Joe Avella said...

awesome posts. May I add a few of my own?

High Tension
Night Watch
The Descent

And there's a new one I've yet to see called Human Centipede that looks to top all of them! IFC just got the distribution rights. release in USA soon.