This Halloween I’ve looked to provide lists of horror films that I’d watch and enjoy and I’ve tried to make them a little different by picking films that are not the same old ordinary ones. Sat at my computer I thought about what list to do next and the one that struck me next was to look at European horror and name a few that are perfect for the night.
The Orphanage (El Orfanato)
The Orphanage has a good old fashioned haunted house feel to it with a hint of fairy tale. The story of a missing boy and an orphanage that holds a dark secret, the end is both tragic and beautiful and it’s no surprise at all to see Guillermo del Toro as executive producer to what is an excellent tale for Halloween.
I’m sure that there are a lot of people that know about Martyrs and may frown reading this on a list for Halloween movies, but I wanted to give an edge to my European choices. Martyrs is easily one of the best horrors to come from Europe and is at the top of many horror fans favourite movie lists. With rumours of remakes quietening down it would be nice if this one is left in its own unique form.
Inside (À l’intérieur)
To continue the intensity of European horror the perfect movie to recommend would be Inside. With most of the action taking place in a small house in the middle of nowhere and the violence concentrated on a pregnant woman and her baby this is horror at its most unsettling and intense. Like Martyrs this movie can be a little too much for some, but for fans they heartily recommend it as one of the best examples of French horror.
From directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury who brought us Inside Livid moves more into the fairy tale territory that is mixed with a beautiful dose of horror that could be described as a more intelligent Silent Hill. Livid may be a “marmite movie” for horror fans, especially with the ending’s lack of cohesive storyline but I tend to like the films inventiveness and fearlessness in creating something both unique and stunning.
Masks is somewhat of a cult option as many won’t be aware of it, but for those who have seen this movie I’m sure they like it as much as me. With a similarity to Suspiria, Masks looks at a school of acting where strange practices are taking place to tap into actresses talents to pull out their best performances. A homage to the GIallo style if you get the chance to see this film never pass up the chance.
Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in)
I won’t complain about Hammer’s remake because that was a very good movie and interpretation of the original novel. For me though Let the Right One In is a truly beautiful film that catches the magic of the book and the unique relationship between Oskar and Eli. One of the truly unique vampire tales Let The Right One In is a perfect way to calm down from the more extreme horrors such as Inside and Livid and fit in with the fairy tale style that many European horror films seem to tap into.
Attack of the Werewolves (Lobos de Arga)
I’ve only seen Attack of the Werewolves recently and just from that initial viewing this has gone high in my list of werewolf movies. Never taking itself seriously but not being afraid to tap into the gothic style of Hammer Attack of the Werewolves is a must see for any werewolf movie fan.
Yes [REC] may be “found footage” but the European style of intensity is in full effect and I doubt many horror fans will complain about it. With a virus turning people into rage style monsters that may or not be zombies, the religious themes that are hidden within the story actually make this movie interesting. Most people have probably already seen this one so I don’t need to say much more but to say if you’ve seen Quarantine and not this? Then come check out the original.
Haute Tension was the film that opened our eyes to the style of Alexandre Aja and although his Hollywood style tends to not reach this intensity this is a highly re-watchable movie, even if the twist somewhat weakens it on repeated viewings. With an almost gleeful love of gore this may not hit the intensity of Martyrs but its violence will keep the gore hounds happy.
Cemetery Man (Dellamorte Dellamore)
When I started this list I knew that this would be on it somewhere because it has to be one of the craziest and most perfect for Halloween. With Rupert Everett as Francesco Dellamorte the guardian of the cemetery who has to make sure the dead stay dead I won’t say much more because you need to experience the film to truly understand its strangeness. A film about death and love Cemetery Man is one that has to be seen to be believed, and will most likely to be loved.
As with all lists I’m sure that people will not disagree and will no doubt have a whole host of better picks. All I thought I would do though is pick a few to get your mind working and when we complain about “Hollywood” so much why not take a look to Europe for some fiendish delights.
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