Horror From Around The World
Today we’re going to go all United Nations on the world of horror and have a look outside the city limits of Hollywood to recommend some of the very best horror from around the world. Just in time for Halloween.
Canada: Canada produced a landslide of horror films in the 70s and 80s, home-grown films as well as US productions looking for generous tax breaks. The advent of the slasher film added fuel to the fire and the neighbours to the north got industrious turning out genre pieces such as Prom Night, Terror Train, Visiting Hours (all 1980), Humungous (1981), Funeral Home, Happy Birthday To Me, My Bloody Valentine (all 1982), and Curtains (1983). Now some of these would be stand out recommendations as well as a sprinkling of Cronnenberg, but the Canadian bacon that I suggest you sizzle up this Halloween has to be Black Christmas (1974). Bob Clark’s film is a masterpiece of unnerving suspense that makes your skin crawl and doesn’t get the praise it deserves in the annals of contemporary horror.
Great Britain: In literature and film the UK has given more than most to the world of horror; providing us with the likes of Hitchcock, Christopher Lee, Donald Pleasence, James Whale, Boris Karloff, Peter Cushing, Claude Rains, and Michael Gough to name a few. It’s difficult to suggest one standout British horror film, from the early gothic horror of James Whale to ghost stories of Ealing Studios, from the entire cannon of Hammer Horror to some modern gems such as 28 Days or The Descent. So I’m going to pick one that truly scares the crap out of me personally, and that’s The Haunting (1963). If you can get through this alone, at night, with the lights off then you are a better man than I! Great stuff.
France: The French have produced some fantastic ultra violent visceral films over the past few decades, notable examples being Man Bites Dog (1992), Irreversible (2002), High Tension / Switchblade Romance (2003), and Them (2006) for example. But in terms of something uniquely disturbing, moving, unnerving it has to be Eyes Without a Face (Les Yeux Sans Visage – 1960). This tale of face transplants will stay with you long after. Ah John Woo, votre film américain stupide est de 37 ans de retard!
Australia: Like The US and Canada, Australia too saw a horror explosion in the 1980s including Road Games (1981), Razorback (1984), Dead End Drive-In (1986), and Dangerous Game (1987). These days Australia exports an awful lot of films about backpackers/tourists/travellers in trouble. This was largely born out of the worldwide success of the great Wolf Creek (2005) and followed with the likes of Rogue (2008), Black Water (2007), and Storm Warning (2007). But I want to take you back to the 70s and a classic nature revenge film The Long Weekend (1978). This film freaked me out, it’s not scary as such but rather unnerving. Presenting a very psychologically menacing version of nature (as a whole here, animals, fish, weather, trees, grass etc) hitting back at man on a very personal scale.
And the best of the rest:
Italy: Has to be Susperia (1977). Japan: I love J horror. If I have to choose one I’ll say Audition (1999) Korea: Loads of great K horror but I’ll go with The Host (2006) Austria: Funny Games (1997) New Zealand: Bad Taste (1988) Sweden: Let the Right one in (2008) Germany: Nosferatu (1922) is awesome but try The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920).
There are many many more and the above is by no means definitive, just a taster. If you haven’t seen many of these take a look, they are great movies that will broaden your horror landscape.
Day 8 comes to you tomorrow exclusively over at The Paradise of Horror (click here)