Six of the Best – International Horror

When it comes to the thrills and spills of a good horror movie, Hollywood doesn’t have the monopoly. So many international film makers have made their mark on a cinema within the horror genre. From gorgeous-to-look-at slow burns such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night to graphic violence (a la Martyrs), there are so many well made horrors for genre fans to choose from.

So we thought we’d take a look at some of our favourites just in time for spooky season. (And yes, we’re aware that so many of these films end up getting remade in English, but we want to celebrate the original efforts.)

Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments below which films you would have included.

Train to BusanTrain to Busan

Zombie movies are nothing new. We’ve been running away from slobbering former-humans for decades. But Train to Busan feels, well, real. The tensions is palpable throughout and is allowed to build perfectly. There are some strong performances from the group of leads and – as ridiculous as it sounds – some really well choreographed zombies. You’ll never look at a packed commuter train the same way again …

The Orphanage Horror FIlmsThe Orphanage

A sort of supernatural gothic horror, The Orphanage is home to some really striking imagery. Despite possessing all the “haunted house” potential for movie tropes aplenty, it’s not full of cheap jump scares. Instead it allows you to get to know the characters whilst exploring themes such as grief, loss and belonging. It’s one of these films that will have you doubting what you saw – really getting under your skin and into your head.


Taking it waaaay back, Nosferatu is one of the most definitive vampire films. Using shadow and light – and absolutely nothing in the way of gore – F.W. Murnau’s classic creates a creeping sense of unease. Max Schreck, shrouded under layers of make up, gives a stunning performance as Count Orlok. It’s perhaps not as flashy and gory as contemporary horrors, but it boasts some of the most haunting (and frequently copied) horror imagery.

REC Movie[REC]

Where to start with this one … If you like all-out, balls to the wall jump scares and disorientating found footage movies, REC is the film for you. The film centres around a viral infection – yikes – that has given an elderly woman inhuman strength. A camera crew and the fire brigade lock themselves in a building and try to capture her. Without giving too much away, you will need a fresh pair of pants. Utterly, utterly terrifying.

Audition MovieAudition

You could be forgiven – on first watch – for thinking that the villain of the piece was the sleazy Shigeharu Aoyama, the man who is literally auditioning girls to be his new wife. That is, until you see that garbage bag move … Eihi Shiina gives a truly fascinating performance as the seemingly sweet but ultimately twisted as fuck Asami Yamazaki. Kiri kiri kiri kiri!

Switchblade Romance MovieSwitchblade Romance / Haute Tension

Best friends Alex and Marie travel to the French countryside for their summer holiday, alongside Alex’s family. But when the family are brutally murdered, the girls must fight for their survival from the violent killer in pursuit. In true French extreme style, there is spatter patterns galore, with lots of of bloody and gruesome close ups. A very clever film with a shocking ending.

Mary Munoz
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