10 Best International Horror Movies | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 Best International Horror Movies

If you’re looking for a good jump scare or a horror movie to make you hide behind your cushion, there are loads of movies globally that will give you what you’re looking for.

In this article, we have picked out 10 movies from around the world that we think horror fans will appreciate. These are the movies that transcend borders to give most of us a fright, regardless of language barriers and cultural differences.

Do you agree with our picks? Have we failed to mention an international horror movie you think deserves a place on this list? Let us know in the comments below.


Let the Right One In (2008)

Country of Origin: Sweden

Tomas Alfredson’s film tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy named Oskar who finds an unlikely saviour when he meets a beautiful but peculiar girl named Eli. As their romance begins to blossom, Oskar realizes his newfound friend has an appetite for blood. 

This tale about a boy and his vampiric protector is a sinister and haunting watch, but it’s also quite cathartic due to the justice meted out by Eli when she strikes out against the bullies that have been tormenting her mortal companion.


Ringu (1998)

Country of Origin: Japan

Thank goodness for streaming services! With the likes of Ringu and the V/H/S franchise striking fear into the heart of anybody who still owns videotapes, it’s a good job we are no longer reliant on physical media for our film-viewing pleasure.

Hideo Nakata’s disturbing film is about a cursed videotape that brings about the death of anybody who lays eyes on it. Their demise isn’t caused by an aggrieved Blockbuster employee who is angry that they haven’t rewound the tape! Rather, it’s a long-haired spirit named Sadako who crawls out of their television screens and frightens them to death! Several sequels followed as well as a remake but none had the power of this J-horror classic.


Raw (2016)

Country of Origin: France

Vegetarians might want to avoid Julia Ducournau’s coming-of-age horror film as it tells a story about a young woman in her first year at veterinary school who develops an unhealthy appetite for human flesh. 

This is obviously a film that’s not for all tastes and is only recommended to those with a very strong stomach. But if you are able to sit through this bizarre and blackly comic tale, you will get a surprisingly insightful film about teenage independence. 


Train to Busan (2016)

Country of Origin: South Korea

Train journeys are problematic enough when they’re overcrowded by people who aren’t willing to offer up their seats to the aged or infirm. But they are even more nightmarish when the passengers onboard are ravenous zombies who aren’t prepared to let their victims get off at the next stop!

Sang-ho Yeon’s thrilling and claustrophobic zombie movie is one of the most entertaining horror flicks in recent years due to its white knuckle scenes of terror and imaginative action setpieces. An American remake titled The Last Train to New York was expected in cinemas in April 2023 but like the trains we so patiently wait for, its release has been delayed.


Goodnight Mommy (2014)

Country of Origin: Austria

Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s troubling film centres around two twin boys, Elias and Lukas, who are suspicious of their mother when she comes home with her face in bandages after having cosmetic surgery. They are unsure of her identity – is she their mom or could the person in their house be an imposter?

This brilliantly sinister film about childhood paranoia has a brilliant twist ending that you probably won’t see coming. As it also contains moments of sadistic torture, this is definitely not a film you should let your own children see – especially if your face is currently wrapped up in a bandage. 


Hatching (2022)

Country of Origin: Finland

A metaphor for puberty? Or a lesson about the challenges associated with birdkeeping? This unusual film about a girl and the creature that hatches from the egg that she finds offers a bit of both and is well worth a watch if you don’t have Ornophobia (a fear of birds).

What could have been a family movie about a girl and her feathered friend becomes something far more horrific when the girl’s parents find out what she has been hiding in her bedroom. This is a bold and nightmarish feature debut from director Hanna Bergholm that will make you think twice before cracking open your next egg!


Sara

Piggy (2022)

Country of Origin: Spain

From director Carlota Pereda comes this horror-thriller about an overweight teenage girl named Sara who is bullied by her peers because of her size. She is ridiculed on a regular basis and taunted with the word ‘Piggy,’ a daily trauma that she keeps to herself instead of seeking help from her overbearing parents. 

When Sara sees her tormentors getting abducted by a serial killer, she has a choice to make. Does she tell the authorities about what she has seen? Or does she leave the bullies to their fate? This dark and intelligent film about bullying and teenage angst is well worth seeing, not least because it might make you dwell upon Sara’s dilemma. Would you save your bullies if you knew they were in terrible danger?

You can read our review of Piggy here


The Innocents (2021)

Country of Origin: Norway

Kids aren’t always as innocent as they appear, which you will know already if your own children get up to no good in or outside your home. Hopefully, their mischief is harmless and not caused by the dark and supernatural powers that the prepubescent boys and girls have developed in Eskil Vogt’s menacing film about the occasionally violent world of childhood. 

The adults in this tale are oblivious to what their children are becoming. This lack of attention leads to horrible consequences when one of the kids in this unnerving tale decides to use his powers to harm those around him. This morally complicated movie is a gripping watch and is a reminder if any were needed that our kids are neither adorable angels nor little monsters, but something in between.

You can read our review of The Innocents here


Speak No Evil (2022)

Country of Origin: Denmark

The next time you strike up a friendship with people you meet on vacation, think twice before accepting an invitation to spend a weekend at their home. Sure, they might seem like really nice people that you could become lifelong friends with but then again, they might have hidden secrets that are best left uncovered.

In Christian Tafdrup’s dark horror film, married couple Bjorn and Louise, along with their daughter Agnes, are invited to spend a weekend at the home of a family that they met while vacationing in Tuscany. Not long after their arrival, they discover their hosts have an ulterior motive for inviting them around!

A remake of Speak No Evil is due out next year. If it’s as unpleasant and upsetting as this exercise in terror, you can be guaranteed a horrible time. Don’t worry though, your suffering will be nothing like what the family in this riveting thriller go through.

You can read our review of Speak No Evil here


Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror(1922)

Country of Origin: Germany

Back in the silent movie era, audiences were primarily treated to slapstick comedies and sentimental romances. Nothing could have prepared cinemagoers of the time for F. W. Murnau’s unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula which likely horrified them when they first laid their eyes on the terrifying Count Orlok (Max Schreck) with his talon-like fingers and sinister, rodent-like face!

Nosferatu was the first vampire movie ever made and over 100 years after its release, time has not diluted its power. It was remade in 1979 by Werner Herzog and another remake is being released in 2024, this one from director Robert Eggers (The Witch). Regardless of their quality, there’s no denying that this early slice of horror is still one of the most frightening films of all time.


So there we have it, our picks for the 10 of the best international horror movies ever made. Do you agree with our choices?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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