Real men watch horror flicks. On my end, it usually involves cowering like a little girl behind a throw pillow. If Stephen King’s IT had you traumatized back in the 90’s, then these foreign horror movies are far worse. These foreign horror flicks could give Stephen King, M. Night Shymalan, and James Wan a run for their money. Believe me when I say that these movies don’t joke around. Sure, you have your jump scares left and right, but these go far beyond a psychological level. They leave a mark, and sometimes, they make you want to sleep with the lights on.
Are You Man Enough? 23 Foreign Horror Movies You Need To Watch Right Now
These Horror Flicks Don’t Mess Around
Growing up, my dad and I watched a lot of horror flicks. My very first movie was Child’s Play, and it was quite the perfect movie for a 7-year old child. I’m being sarcastic. That movie traumatized me. If Chuckie still scares you to this day, then the following movies you are about to preview are not for the faint of heart. They’re downright thrilling, psychologically-scarring, and disturbing, to say the least.
Audition 1999 (Japan)
I have to give it to the Japanese for knowing their stuff when it comes to horror movies. Audition is all about a widower who finally finds a new lover after the death of his wife. But little did he know that his new found romance hides a dirty little secret.
Inside 2007 (France)
This film just gives me the shivers because a.) it’s a home invasion film and b.) a pregnant widow just so happens to be the victim of someone’s psychotic spree of terror. If you think Keanu Reeves’ latest movie with Eli Roth is scary, Inside is going to change your mind.
Dogtooth 2009 (Greece)
This movie is just plain sad. A very controlling father isolates his three teenage children from society, their only connection to the real world in the form of Christina, an employee of their father. It’s not so much as a horror film in terms of jump scares and monsters, but it does leave you with a heavy and surreal feeling after you watched it.
Martyrs 2008 (French – Canada)
Martyr is considered as the greatest horror flick of the 21st century! The premise is simple: a mother plots her revenge on the people who were responsible for the physical torture they had given her daughter 15 years ago. The movie has self-mutilation, vivid cinematography, and possibly an ending that would make even George RR Martin proud.
The Devil’s Backbone 2001 (Spain)
The Devil’s Backbone is a movie about a young boy who got sent to the orphanage after his father’s death, only to find out that the place is haunted. The boy eventually encounters the ghost that wanders the orphanage and uncovers the dark secrets that lurks in every corner.
Funny Games 1997 (Austria)
What is it with horror movies involving home invasions? This Austrian movie puts a family of three in complete terror when two strangers force their way into the family’s vacation house. The family is then forced to play the intruders’ twisted games, you know, just for the fun of it.
Them 2006 (French – Romania)
The French are on a roll when it comes to horror movies, and Them is a work of art. The solitary life of a young couple is disturbed when a group of strangers decide to terrorize them all throughout the night. Seriously, what is it with random strangers?
I Saw The Devil 2010 (Korea)
A detective plots revenge against the serial killer that took his pregnant fiance’s life. Simple premise, right? No, no… I Saw The Devil was directed by Kim Jee-woon. You know, the same guy who brought you that cult favorite Old Boy (and I’m not talking about the US version). If you are a fan of his films, you know that he likes to take you on a diabolical journey and I Saw The Devil is no exception.
Tesis 1996 (Spain)
You got to give these Europeans some credit when it comes to old school horror flicks. Tesis was the debut film of Alejandro Amenábar, whose known for films like Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos) and The Others. Tesis revolves around a young woman who discovered a video tape showing the torture and murder of a missing co-ed. This practically set the standard for snuff films, and Amenábar made this masterpiece when he was still in school.
Les Diaboliques 1955 (France)
If you want to go for the classics, then Les Diaboliques is just the film. The movie shows two women, the wife of the headmaster and the headmaster’s mistress, plotting to kill him. When they succeed, they are plagued by strange yet horrifying things. The bathtub scene in Les Diaboliques is a terrifying scene and cannot be wiped from memory easily.
Fermat’s Room (2007) (Spain)
This looks like something out of Saw, but with minimal gore and more intellectual. Fermat’s Room joins together a group of young mathematicians as they try to solve an enigma against a deadline. When I mean deadline, I mean the room becomes smaller and may crush them to death. This movie will have you sweating golf balls.
The Vanishing (1988) (France – Dutch)
This movie is just one of those films where it hits close to home. The Vanishing is about a young couple who go on vacation and the woman gets kidnapped. Years after the incident, the man suddenly receives letters from her kidnappers.
Taxidermia (2006) (Hungary)
I don’t know where to start for this one. This movie revolves around body mutilation and is immensely gory. It’s a shock film of sorts, but the sick part is that it doesn’t allow you to stop and take a breather. Your curiosity betrays you and you end up finishing the movie in one sitting.
Tell No One (2006) (France)
If anyone knows their horror flicks, it’s the French. Tell No One starts off with the discovery of a woman’s body and the police immediately point their fingers at the husband. But the husband does not believe them and he tells them that his wife is alive. He spends the entire movie proving his theory. There are so many twists and turns that it’s so hard to keep track of what’s happening and what will happen.
Kill List (2011) (United Kingdom)
There’s nothing scarier than seeing a man go on a downward spiral. Kill List shows the story of a hitman on an assignment to kill three people. The moment he started, everything just went downhill for him. This movie is so intense it’s going to make you hold your breath for the final 30 minutes!
Le Corbeau (1943) (France)
Seriously. France knows the horror genre and they make other countries look bad. Le Corbeau, as old as it is, does not shy away from leaving you without a punch to the gut. This French movie shows a doctor being the victim of a smear campaign, or what was known back then as “poison pen letters in real life”, and accused of dark affairs and practicing abortions.
Let the Right One In (2008) (Sweden)
This is a story of a young girl who falls in love with the boy next door, who happens to be a vampire. No, this isn’t Twilight. There’s a reason why Let The Right One In is on this list, but I’m not going to spoil that for you. Let’s just say this is not your ordinary vampire movie.
The Tenant (1976) (France)
Directed by Roman Polanski, The Tenant is a psychological thriller about a young man renting an apartment, only to find out that the last tenant committed suicide in it and strange things start to happen. The Tenant is Polanski’s final installment in his Apartment trilogy, so if you enjoyed the movie Rosemary’s Baby, you’re going to appreciate The Tenant.
Goodnight Mommy (2014) (Austria)
Two young boys fear the worst when their mother comes back from plastic surgery a changed woman. But the question remains on their minds: is it really their mother who came back? The tension of this movie is impalpable as the boys investigate their “mother” and start to unravel the terror underneath the bandages.
High Tension (2003) (France)
A young couple’s holiday makes a turn for the worst as they end up in someone else’s bloody fantasy. The movie was so gory that they had to cut some scenes from the original movie for the US release. The gore was done by none other than extraordinary horror make-up artist Gianneto De Rossi. Let that sink in for a while.
Julia’s Eyes (2011) (Spain)
Julia’s Eyes showcases a woman who needs to solve her sister’s murder amidst a degenerative eye disease that makes her see things darker and scarier as the days progress. Everything about this movie gives me goosebumps, and this is not for the faint-hearted people. Seriously…
Suicide Club (2001) (Japan)
A detective investigates a string of suicides and uncovers a series of seemingly strange behaviors in the Suicide Club. Noted for its gore and the subject matter, the Suicide Club developed a cult following and was awarded the Jury Prize for “Most Ground-Breaking Film”.
The Orphanage (2007) (Spain)
A mother brings her son to the orphanage where she grew up, only to find it abandoned. When she reopened the orphanage, her son makes some strange (scary) friends. The film premiered in Cannes on March 20 2007, and was awarded 7 Goya Awards back in Spain too. Now, this movie grabs you by the stomach and doesn’t let go. You know, that tight feeling you get when you’re on the edge of fear.
Check out this awesome list of foreign horror films from our friends over at WatchMojo:
There you have it. An impressive list of the best foreign horror movies that went under the radar and have gone unappreciated by the masses. If you want a true cinematic experience packed with fear, suspense, gore, and amazing narration, then these horror flicks can deliver.
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