Some of my favorite Foreign Horror Movies

Many American horror movies are remakes of foreign movies with original ideas, over the top gore, and sometimes wit.  Here is a list of my 5 favorite foreign horror movies:

5.  High Tension (2003) France.  This French movie shows that those people from France can come up with some pretty sick stuff.  Maria and Alexa, college friends, go to Alexa’s parent’s house in the French countryside when a truly sadistic killer shows up.  The movie has a unique plot twist and the cinematography really adds a “scare” factor to an already frightening movie. Movie directed by Alexandre Aja who is known for several other horror films such as The Hills Have EyesMirrorsP2, and Piranha 3-D.

4.  Battle Royale (2000) Japan.  I classify this one as horror because of sheer body count although one could make the argument that is more like a thriller.  The Japanese government has set up relief for the increasing delinquency of minors by taking one ninth grade class, putting them on an island, and forcing them to kill each other over a 3 day period with the winner earning their freedom.  The story alone makes an accurate American remake impossible (which is probably one of the reasons I enjoy the movie as much as I do).  But despite the terrible premise of the movie, there are many good emotional scenes between the students.

3.  Tale of Two Sisters (2003) Korea.  Twin sisters are admitted to a mental institution after a strange death of their mother and are discharged to their father and his cruel, strange new wife.  The sisters are tortured by their new stepmother and a ghost that resides in the house in this beautifully shot, well scripted Korean jewel and has been awarded with 12 wins from various film festivals.

2.  Audition (1999) Japan.  When a widower arranges a special film “audition” to find a girlfriend, he becomes entranced with one particular woman despite repeated warnings of his friends. The woman winds up being a little more than he bargained for and in the end shows her true personality.  This Japanese masterpiece is revered by such directors as Rob Zombies (Devil’s Rejects, Halloween I and II), and Eli Roth (Hostel I and II) and is listed as #8 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movies.  This movie makes Asami Yamazaki one of my favorite Asian actresses due to her role of Eihi, a petite and quiet girl with very sadistic intentions.

1.  Let The Right One In (2008) Norway.  Oscar, a 12 year old boy bullied by his peers, befriends a mysterious new neighbor girl named Eli in his apartment complex.  As their friendship deepens, Oscar begins to realize that Eli is not your typical 12 year old girl.  The Norwegian movie is so good overall (script, cinematography, and acting) that to classify it as a horror movie almost does it injustice, as did the terrible American remake, Let Me In.  Kåre Hedebrant as Oscar and Lina Leandersson as Eli make an incredible combination on screen, which even more impressive that two actors so young can have more chemistry on screen that most adult American actors.  This is a crown jewel on foreign horror films in my opinion.

          There are many more very good foreign movies out there to discover whenever the “horror” bug bites you.