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Oh! The subtitles! Over a month of only foreign Horror films. We’re glad it’s over, but we’re glad we persevered. Now, this list is compiled of Horror flicks created by filmmakers outside of the United States. If your favorite movie didn’t make it on the list, sorry. But not too sorry. We probably have it in mind for another listy list. Check out our previous list, diving into Psychological Horror.

Whether you’re into the blood and guts, or are looking to feel alive from Horrifying tales on the screen, keep reading. Many fans of Horror we’ve talked to aren’t ready to give foreign films a shot, they’re too much work, and the culture can be different. But let us tell you…start with these:

  • Train to Busan (2016) South Korea (Tubi, Netflix, Amazon Prime–Shudder)
  • The Ritual (2017) The UK (Netflix Original)
  • The Babadook (2014) Australia (Amazon Prime–IFC Films Unlimited)
  • I Remember You (2017) Iceland (Netflix)
  • Martyrs (2008) France
  • Bedevilled (2011) Korea (Tubi, Amazon Prime)
The Devil's Backbone
Taken from Canal+ España, Tequila Gang, Sogepaq, Anhelo Producciones, and El Deseo by video capture of trailer

15. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

Spain/Mexico

Guillermo del Toro creates a tale of paranormal ecstasy wrapped in solitude. Watch this tale of abandonment and primal fear in this flick about an orphanage taken by overwhelming dread. The acting is on point, not artsy, but poetic in nature. Watch this if you’re looking for a fresh take on a ghost story.

14. Frontier(s) (2007)

France (Amazon Prime/Tubi)

Xavier Gens winds us through a grisly story of a group of rebels finding themselves in a messed up situation. Think Rob Zombie had a baby with Rob Schmidt, the director of Wrong Turn.

13. We Are What We Are (2013)

France (Amazon Prime/Tubi)

Now here we go…Our Horror jollies have been rocked after viewing this piece. Dread seeps through each possible crack. We follow a family with many secrets in this Jim Mickle movie. Be prepared to look at your parents a little differently after this one.

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The Wailing screenshot
Taken from Side Mirror, Fox International, and Production Korea by video capture of trailer

12. The Wailing (2016)

Korea (Amazon Prime-Shudder/Tubi)

Oh, the sweet blend of Horror and Comedy. Paranormal in nature, you won’t expect where this one will take you. Na Hong-jin understands the perfect balance of craziness mixed with normalcy in this movie about a police officer unravelling the town’s current big mystery. And boy, this gets darker than we expected.

11. Tumbbad (2018)

India (Amazon Prime)

What a story! And what a message! A piece all too familiar, this burrowing of greed in our hearts, the breakdown and cycle of our actions. A display of the ever pertinent circle of the ego and it’s effects on the people who look up to us. Rahi Anil Barve took a long six years, the time worth it. Not only is the story in this one good, but the visual and audio components make for a pleasurable watch. This is a story we could all be reminded of every once in a while.

Tumbbad screenshot.
Taken from Eros International, Sohum Shah Films, Colour Yellow Productions, Film i Väst, Filmgate Films by video capture of trailer

10. A Dark Song (2016)

Ireland/UK (Amazon Prime–IFC Films Unlimited)

The lengths a mother will go to…well, just watch it. Not only are moral concerns obliterated here, but the blood-fest, horrifying ending will leave you hangin’, mouth wide open. It’s slow to start, but Liam Gavin will keep you watching.

9. Climax (2018)

Climax trailer screenshot
Taken from Rectangle Productions and Wild Bunch by video capture of trailer

France/Belgium (Amazon Prime)

Ho, ho, ho…what a RIDE! Follow a group of performers as they party, ingesting an unknown substance, sh** hits the fan. All Hell breaks loose in this Gaspar Noé piece. Calling all A24 fans! You won’t expect each revelation, and it’s even loosely based on a true story from the 90s.

8. I Saw the Devil (2010)

Korea (Amazon Prime–Monsters and Nightmares)

I Saw the Devil Screenshot
Taken from Peppermint & Company by video capture of trailer

Don’t watch this one alone. You’ve gotta have at least a couple people with you. A great movie night pick for ADULTS without weak bellies. Just cut it on and roll with the punches. You’ll love it. There’s NO WAY you’ll guess what’s going on. And the ride, oh, what fun!! Kim Jee-woon is an entertainer like you wouldn’t believe.

7. The Killing of A Sacred Deer (2017)

Ireland/UK (Amazon Prime)

Georgios Lanthimos knows how to build a story. Watch Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman’s characters try to regain control over their lives as Barry Keoghan’s character seeps inside, unsettling moment after another. Another A24 film, it picks up pretty well. Be warned: this is not a film for the faint of heart. Actually, you can heed this warning for the rest of the films going forward. Ha.

6. Parasite (2019)

Korea

Bong Joon-ho just took home four Academy Awards for this masterpiece. We follow a couple families as their lives intertwine in the most odd of ways. Human survival and tough social concerns are battled here. We must say, we were left a little dry mouthed as the film came to a close, but it has grown on us, like a parasite. The tact shines over time, what an accomplishment in the Horror film industry.

5. Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse (2017)

Hagazussa screenshot.
Taken from Deutsche Film- und, Fernsehakademie Berlin, and Retina Fabrik by video capture of trailer

Germany/Austria (Amazon Prime)

Slow and artsy, this one. A metaphoric, seamless debut by Lukas Feigelfeld is guaranteed to hold you breathless. This isn’t a film to just watch an put away, moving onto the next one. We really don’t want to tell you anything else about the plot, but just pay attention from the get go. Every scene, every frame, the audience should be aware: Feigelfeld is certainly trying to tell us something. The clarity on this film didn’t come for days. Enjoy!

4. Goodnight Mommy (2014)

Goodnight Mommy screenshot.
Taken from Ulrich Seidl Film and Produktion GmbH by video capture of trailer

Austria (Amazon Prime/Tubi)

Watch as a set of twin boys try to get to the bottom of the intruder they think has taken their mother’s place following a facial surgery. The camera is taken into consideration here, and the acting is decent. Truly heartbreaking. We only cried for a couple weeks after watching this one, and it still pops in our head every once in a while. This one’s fine to watch alone, and we’d recommend this for any Momma’s out there who want to be scared to death. Literally.

3. Julia’s Eyes (2010)

Spain (Amazon Prime–IFC Films Unlimited)

This one took our number one Foreign Horror spot for the longest time. This isn’t just a story about Julia, but goes further, digging into the sockets of ourselves we don’t share with others. Brilliant, Guillem Morales, thank you. Follow Julia, as she battles with the terms of losing her eyesight, and watch as everything falls apart. Watch for little hits along the way! Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala are a foced to be reckoned with.

2. Raw (2016)

France

Raw screenshot
Taken from Petit Film, Rouge International, Frakas Productions, Ezekiel Film Production, and Wild Bunch by video capture of trailer

The woman of Horror, behold Julia Ducournau. She’s created a horrifying story with hints to social commentary. Human emotions hardly discussed are shouted here, as we follow a young girl and her sister on their quest of self discovery. but there’s a catch. Something’s going on with them that’s not quite right.

Honorable Mentions

  • Inside (2007) France
  • Here Comes the Devil (2012) Spain (Amazon Prime–Shudder)
  • Audition (2001) Japan (Amazon Prime–Shudder)
  • The Orphanage (2007) Spain
  • Baskin (2015) Turkey (Hulu, Amazon Prime–IFC Films Unlimited)

1.5) The Skin I Live In (2011)

Spain

The Skin I Live In screenshot.
Taken from El Deseo S.A., Blue Haze Entertainment, Canal+ España, Televisión Española, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las, Artes Audiovisuales, and FilmNation Entertainment by video capture of trailer

This multi-genre masterpiece starring the ever handsome Antonio Banderas deserves so much more attention, especially with the developments in the social constructs of today. It’s relevant and bloody scary. Pedro Almodóvar Caballero isn’t afraid to tell this story, we applaud him.

1) What We Become (2016)

What We Become screenshot
Taken from Meta Film by video capture of trailer

Danish (Amazon Prime–IFC Films Unlimited)

The piece that takes the cake. The most accessible on this list, just like Summer of 84. We follow a family merely trying to survive an outbreak of some sort of sickness. This beauty steals the number one spot purely on relevance. It’s terrifying. With the virus nicknamed the “Kung-Flu” running rampant, this film directed by Bo Mikkelsen is all too close to reality. Check it out. Like, now.

What do you think of our list? Which goodies did we miss? Do you completely disagree with any of our selections? Tell us in the comments below! What list should we put together next?

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Movies n TV

The Boys, Beware the Jabberwock, My Son

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We’ve reached episode five of The Boys. And after the last episode’s emotional bombshells, this one had some much-needed levity.

And then a whole bunch more emotional trauma.

The story

We begin this episode with Homelander and Ryan in a meeting regarding a new teenage show. But Ryan doesn’t want to be on a show. He wants to be an actual hero. He wants to do real good and help people. And Homelander, fresh from his therapeutic killing spree, is in a mood to support his son.

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Antony Starr and Cameron Crovetti in The Boys.

For now.

Meanwhile, The Boys are searching for a virus that can kill sups. The last time we saw this virus, it was in the hands of Neuman. They borrow Stan Edgar from jail and go to the lovely family farm upstate.

There, they discover that Neuman’s been testing temp V on farm animals. And it works as well on them as it does on hamsters. Soon the boys find themselves batting killer sheep, chickens and bulls. Hilarity and blood ensues.

What worked

The first thing we have to talk about is the superpowered animals. This was such a fantastic, hilarious situation. I especially loved the flying homicidal sheep. They were hilarious, unexpected, and incredibly gory. One just doesn’t expect to see a sheep covered in blood and guts. But it was delightful.

Karl Urban in The Boys.

The main pull of this episode, though, is the evolving relationship between Homelander and Ryan.

Homelander realizes that he doesn’t want Ryan to be brought up the same way he was. He wants his son to be happy.

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He isn’t trying to be a better person though, and I think that’s important to remember. He loves his son, and he wants his son to be happy. And if being an actual hero and actually helping people will make Ryan happy right now, then that’s what Homelander is going to do.

Except that, since he doesn’t care about people, he is really bad at being a good person. Which is what led to a director getting beaten to death by his assistant.

I’m not saying this beatdown wasn’t cathartic. I’m just saying that it was maybe not something a good person would endorse.

I honestly think this new desire to be an actual hero is going to make Homelander more dangerous. If such a thing is possible.

What didn’t work

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Of course, this episode wasn’t perfect. It brought to light a weakness that’s been irritating me this whole season. And that is the storyline with Hugh Senior.

What are we doing here?

While Hughie’s dad’s health issues are sad, and the sudden reintroduction of his mother is interesting, it has nothing to do with the rest of the season. Every other storyline blends and ties together. You can’t pull one string without all of them coming unraveled.

But not this story. So far, this storyline could be removed entirely and the whole rest of the season would remain pristine. All this storyline seems to have done is to have popped our main character out of the main storyline altogether.

Hughie’s absence is a deficit. I would have loved to see him freak out over the killer chickens. But I also would have liked to see him work with Neuman. I would have liked him to be there to defend Butcher. I would have liked to see him interacting with any other characters at all.

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At this point, no character is purely good or purely bad. And I think that’s important. I’m invested in the story of every single character. And with three episodes left in the season, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

By the way, if you like my writing you can get my short story, Man In The Woods, on Smashwords and Amazon.

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The Boys, Wisdom of the Ages

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Episode four of The Boys was possibly the darkest episode of the series so far. And I am aware that this alone is an intimidating prospect.

It should be.

The story

Our story in this episode mainly consists of the single most dickish action I have ever seen anyone perform. Sage and Firecracker set up a four-hour show outside Starlight House, to talk about how horrible of a person Annie is.

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Four hours.

Valorie Curry and Susan Heyward in The Boys.

Annie gets everyone out of the building safely but then decides to watch the entire Anti-Annie show. And it is horrific.

The real horror show of this episode, though, is Homelander’s little adventure. After a fight with Ryan, he’s decided to visit his childhood home. Or, at least the place in which he grew up. Because he was raised more like a science experiment than a child.

I don’t think we’ve seen so far exactly what Homelander went through. The horrors he faced as a small child. Things no one should ever have to experience.

Things that the rest of his world will now have to pay for.

What worked

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If you’re paying attention to politics, this episode got way too real. The absolute hypocrisy of our current political situation was on display with superpowers. I especially liked (and by that I mean was enraged by) Firecracker saying that accidentally blinding someone at age thirteen was worse than being an adult and assaulting a minor. Those two things are not the same, and one of them is obviously worse.

Another thing that I appreciated in this episode was the new, and horrific, information we got about Homelander’s childhood.

Do I maybe feel bad for Homelander now? After seeing the dismal and dark little world he was raised in, yeah, I do. That is a monstrous way to treat a child. It’s no wonder he ended up how he is. Even the milk fetish makes more sense. And I am not any more cajoled by the fact that these people were just doing their jobs than Homelander was. That has never been an honest or adequate justification.

This, of course, doesn’t justify the horrors he’s inflicted. It just makes it easier to see how he got to where he is.

Antony Starr in The Boys.

The best fiction inspires strong emotions. It makes us feel things for people who are not real and feel passionate about events that did not happen. It does this by showing us glimmers of real people and real events within these bags of bones and false narratives. And it is because of this that The Boys is succeeding. It’s taking very real moments we are all living through, and embedding them into a fictional narrative. And that’s always going to be more impactful than just burning someone alive.

What didn’t work

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I only had one complaint about this episode. But it did bother me.

When Firecracker’s show starts, Annie makes a point of getting all the kids out of Starlight House to safety. That’s good. But then she sits down with her friends to watch the show.

Why would you watch a four-hour-long live show about why you are a terrible person?

I get asking someone else to watch it and take notes, because in a position like that you need to know what the opposition is saying about you. But for Annie to just watch that unfiltered was asking for trouble. And it’s exactly the sort of trouble that Annie ended up in.

In conclusion, this episode was almost too real. It had my blood boiling. It had me yelling at the TV. And that’s exactly what I want a good story to do.

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We’re halfway through the season now, and I think we’d all better buckle up for what’s coming.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

By the way, if you like my writing you can get my short story, Man In The Woods, on Smashwords and Amazon.

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House of Dragon: S2E3 – Family Feud for Dummies

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In this great episode, we see something we have yet to see in any of the GoT/HoD shows–a dysfunctional family. Wait. I meant, SSDD.

We start out with two people fighting. Why? Why not. I guess they have a blood feud for ages. I mean AGGGGGESSSSSSS. So, of course, we don’t know anything about them what-so-fuck-ever.

Basically, the scene is two girls slapping each other and then one gets an arrow to the knee. The end.

Dead hookers, Kings Hand, and a War Plan

Next up, we have two dead twins, but enough about my sex life. In the show, there are two dead uhhh twins (note to self: deeper holes for twins). Alas poor ermrmm….let’s call them the Ging Twins. We hardly knew. ye.

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Ohhhhh I love this part where a knight that’s fucking the queen and got Poor Sir Ging killed is being late to his first day of class. Naughty Naughty. The rest of the scene is like ‘oh new peeps in white, something something, King is Big Warrior!’. So, this is what it would be like if Joffrey got laid? Hmmmmm….

Daemon arrives at Harrenhal–buyers remorse incoming

Daemon apparently wanted to take over something so he took over a shit hole. It’s almost suspenseful. Almost. I think it would be better to have drug the scene out more to give a sense of how Daemon was thinking about taking this big stronghold but slowly finding out it’s just a ghetto of shit.

For all the grief I give HoD for rehashing old tropes/plots from GoT, this is the one connection that makes sense so far. I like the exploration of a place we hear about in GoT but never got to see much into it. The connection is a way of doing exposition for a series we cared about. This is the first time it really feels like a prequel and not just a stand alone ‘shit pile’ they put the skin of GoT on.

We also get to see something of a character development for Daemon. This is something I really. hope others get a chance to get–characters. Maybe this is just the actor putting everything on his timey-wimey shoulders. Maybe that’s what the real turn for the character is–Matt Smith just going ‘fuck it’ and hitting for the fences.

Rhaenyra’s Diplomatic Mission, Some Politics, and Ser Cole Gets Jiggy Wit It

So like even though you fucked my dad and like made sure I wasn’t queen and then like started a war and like your bastards killed my son and like, you know, maybe we can be friends and end this war?

I heard this part of the scene was ad-lib. The writers had just this for direction: Think of the stupidest thing you can think of for your character to say and just go with it! Oh, and if you can tie in a previous episode of a better show into it–even better!

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While that happens, political people are like ‘lets use a dragon. The show is called house of dragon, not house of weird random call backs to the future happenings of GoT’. Speaking of GoT, remember when the small council meetings were interesting? Like you wanted to know the twists and turns of it? You know why those were better? Because you gave a shit about the characters who made up the council. Even when the Queen remakes her council after her dad’s death, we still cared. We didn’t know them as well, but we cared because we knew the people they replaced were better for the job. So we had an interest in ‘how doth they fucketh this up’.

Here is more like…well, put it this way. Take pictures of the people on both councils. Then cut them into single head shots. Now, shuffle. Can you name the person? Hell, can you even name which side that person is on? That’s my point.

Oh and Cole goes off with the queen’s brother to attack something. A dragon happens. They go awwwhwhwhwhwhwhw!! Then run away like little girls.

Change your whores more than you change your undies

So pirate eye blondie is caught by king blondie using the same whore as he did before. Guess this is what rich kids count as shame.

Oh and surprise to nobody–the Queen admits that maybe Rhaenyra should have been ruler, but shit happens so it’s like too far gone stop now. Let’s have everyone kill each other and that way the gods will decide who the king really meant to give the throne to when he said, ‘I want my daughter Rhaenyra to be ruler’.

Final Comments and rating

It’s starting to pick up, but it seems that every time that it does pick up the writers go ‘fuck it’ and swerve directly into the ditch.

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I don’t think the lack of action is a problem in this series. I think taking things slower in places and cutting down the cast to a manageable number (or at least give them a different look/name type so we can tell them apart) might be the thing needed to bring this show into a better footing. Will it ever be GoT? No. Sadly, I think it’s trying so hard to connect to GoT plots that it waters itself down. Instead of giving us a fascinating look at an older time, we get a constant reminder of just how much we miss GoT. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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