10 Best Non-English Horror Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

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Many of horror’s greatest triumphs have come in non-English-language footage, and there’s always something new to see in overseas markets. Many non-English horror films are made more chilling by the additional cultural contexts that come with their country of origin.

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Scary ghost stories such as the ring to horrible zombie movies like Train to Busan, the international horror never ends. While there are plenty of classic coolers around the world, some have scored much higher on Rotten Tomatoes.

11 REC (2007) – 90%

Generally considered one of the best found films of all time, REC went above and beyond its shaky camera contemporaries. A local TV reporter and camera operator follow emergency response teams into a building in Madrid, only to be trapped inside in incomprehensible horror.

While many viewers are discouraged by the found footage phenomenon, REC showed that the stuff could actually be scary. Essentially a zombie flick, the film uses its locations to perfection and provides legit chills among its haunted house-style jump scares. Unafraid to push things into extremely dark places, the film is a suspenseful and heartbreaking experience.

ten Hour of the Wolf (1968) – 92%

Max von Sydow Hour of the Wolf

Legendary director Ingmar Bergman was a jack-of-all-trades when it came to genres in his films, and he even took a quick detour into pure horror with his film. wolf hour. The film follows an artist who travels to a remote German island with his pregnant wife. There, he begins a slow spiral into madness that leads him down a surreal rabbit hole.

Although unlike most other horror films in the genre, wolf hourThe surreal logic of is disturbing. The film’s tone is typical of Bergman, and the film slowly builds to its gruesome finale. What it lacks in exaggerated fears, it makes up for in a slowly creeping sense of dread that stays with the viewer long after the film is over.

9 The Devil’s Backbone (2001) – 92%

The ghost reaches out in The Devil's Backbone.

Generally ranked among the best films by director Guillermo Del Toro, The Devil’s Backbone is a chilling ghost story with historical context. A young boy is sent to a scary orphanage after his father dies during the Spanish Civil War. Once there, he discovers that the orphanage has a dark secret and is haunted by a ghost.

The Devil’s Backbone isn’t a scary movie, but it does a great job of building tension. Watching the main character uncover the mystery is enough to keep the viewer engaged between appearances of the film’s spooky ghosts. As for ghosts, the movie takes the tired trope of scary kids and completely reimagines the scary concept.

8 Suspiria (1977) – 93%

Jessica Harper is hiding in Suspiria.

Director Dario Argento’s unique brand of horror was partly responsible for the highly respected subgenre known as Giallo, and Suspiria was the culmination of his creative efforts. An American ballet student begins his studies at a prestigious German dance school, only to find it’s a cover for a sinister plot involving the supernatural and murder.

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Not necessarily the most plotted film of all time, what the film lacks in structure more than makes up for in Argento’s cinematic style. Flashy and beautiful to watch, the film is part of a dreamlike logic that ends up paying off. In addition to the gruesome slasher sequences, the film’s score helps to build the tension.

7 Train to Busan (2016) – 94%

The zombie movie has been a subgenre that’s been played for years, but Train to Busan proved that unconventional zombie movies could still defy expectations. A busy father travels with his young daughter through South Korea on a high-speed train. On board, a zombie virus breaks out and sends passengers on a mad dash through a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Like George Romero’s classic zombie films, humans are always the biggest threat in a zombie apocalypse, and the film is filled with gripping drama. With the world infested with fast-moving zombies, there’s a dark desperation to the journey that makes the film as heartbreaking as it comes to a halt.

6 Diabolical (1955) – 96%

Evil couple moving the body

Diabolical is a rare horror film that truly proves the adage that less is more. When a schoolmaster’s wife and mistress conspire to kill him, the duo think they have the perfect alibi for the crime. Unfortunately for the killers, their guilt comes back to haunt them in the form of the ghost of the dead.

Slow and full of suspense, the film creeps over the viewer with a growing sense of impending doom. The gray and dreary visuals help add to the haunted nature of the story, and it all builds to a truly shocking climax. Although tame by modern horror movies, Diabolical achieves a level of suspense that few movies could muster.

5 The Ring (1998) – 97%

Ring 1998 Sadako coming off TV

Ghost stories have been a part of cinema since the beginning, but few movies have reinvented the haunting like the ring. A journalist and her ex-husband discover a mysterious videotape supposed to kill anyone seven days after viewing it.

the ringIts power comes from its unwavering suspense and the inevitability of its horror. The film’s ghosts are some of the most unique ever seen in cinema, and the images burn forever in the viewer’s mind. In testament to the movie’s power, even the watered-down American remake was a certified cooler.

4 Let the Good In (2008) – 98%

Eli standing in Let the Right One In.

At a time when the creepy reputation of the vampire had been somewhat tarnished, Leave the one on the right in showed they could still be scary. A young boy is bullied by his classmates and forms a relationship with a strange girl who helps him get revenge on those who have wronged him.

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By focusing its story on two children, the film is made doubly scary. The snowy landscapes of Scandinavia are the perfect backdrop for a gory horror story, and the film is a fine glimpse into the madness. Simplicity is the key, and Leave the one on the right in knew exactly where to go big with its nightmarish premise.

3 Faceless Eyes (1960) – 98%

Chritsiana with a new face in Eyes Without A Face.

Free from gore and free from jump scares, faceless eyes is a terrifying journey. A surgeon accidentally leaves his young daughter disfigured and decides to do everything to give her a new face, even resorting to murder.

One of the most terrifying French films of all time, faceless eyes had a huge impact on horror cinema. Although she’s not a villain, Louise’s expressionless face foreshadows the masks of future slashers like Michael Myers. Using subtlety throughout, the film isn’t overtly horrifying and is instead a chilling descent into murder and mayhem.

2 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) – 99%

A still from the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Proof that film is ultimately a visual medium, The Office of Dr. Caligari is one of the most terrifying silent films of all time. An evil hypnotist named Dr. Caligari uses a man under his spell to commit a series of crimes against the people who have wronged him.

Although the film is thin in the plot department, it is filled with a rich tapestry of dreamlike imagery. The German Expressionist style of cinema included painted shadows and distorted sets that give the whole film a stage feel. Caligari would forever shape the horror landscape and even inspire future filmmakers like Tim Burton to incorporate the expressionist style into his films.

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