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10 Essential Foreign Frights For Halloween

These are my 10 essential foreign frights for Halloween as we get closer to one of my favorite holidays of the year.

Rec movie image

(In no particular order)

10. REC – Rotten Tomatoes 90%

REC movie poster

This 2007 Spanish film directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza is up with the best of the best in terms of found footage horror. Rec is a brisk watch at its 78 minute runtime, this is the perfect film for those of you with absolutely no attention span. Available on Amazon Prime.

Critic consensus – Plunging viewers into the nightmarish hellscape of an apartment complex under siege, [Rec] proves that found footage can still be used as an effective delivery mechanism for sparse, economic horror.

9. Rare Exports – Rotten Tomatoes 89%

Rare Exports movie poster

While Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is not technically a Halloween movie, I’m allowing it. This Finnish film is a delightful way to spend 84 minutes. Two friends uncover the tomb of a monstrous Santa. If that’s not enough of a hook for you then you hate movies. Available on Peacock

Critic consensus – Rare Exports is an unexpectedly delightful crossbreed of deadpan comedy and Christmas horror

8. Sputnik – Rotten Tomatoes 88%

Sputnik movie poster

Sputnik is a Russian language film released in 2020. Sputnik was so beloved it’s already getting a Matt Reeves reboot. The longer you stick with Sputnik, the more you’ll realize this isn’t an Alien ripoff. 107 minute runtime isn’t asking for too much from the viewer. Available on Hulu.

Critic consensus – Effective space alien horror with a Soviet-era twist, Sputnik proves there are still some scary good sci-fi thrillers left in the galaxy.

7. Raw – Rotten Tomatoes 93%

RAW movie poster

Raw is a French language thriller about a girl who develops a strange taste. I’ll leave you with that. One of the harder films to sit through I’ll admit. It’s worth the payoff if you can stomach the gore. Sitting at 98 minutes, Raw won’t leave a sour taste in your mouth. Available on Amazon Prime.

Critic consensus – Raw‘s lurid violence and sexuality live up to its title, but they’re anchored with an immersive atmosphere and deep symbolism that linger long after the provocative visuals fade.

6. Let The Right One In – Rotten Tomatoes 98%

Let The Right One In movie poster

If this looks somewhat familiar to you then you’ve most likely heard of Let Me In, the 2010 Matt Reeves Reboot. Swedish film this time, Let The Right One In starts with its foot on the gas and never relents. With a runtime of 114 minutes, you can be assured you’re letting the right one in(to) your living room. Available on Peacock.

Critic consensus – Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling

5. Bloody Hell – Rotten Tomatoes 91%

Bloody Hell movie poster

Very few subtitles required for this Finnish film. Bloody Hell is the story of a man imprisoned by a seemingly normal family. They don’t know about his darker side…At 95 minutes, this film won’t have you thinking bloody hell, my whole day is gone (Sorry for that). Available on Amazon Prime.

Critic consensus – For genre fans in the mood to watch some darkly funny mayhem, Bloody Hell lives up to its title in all the best ways.

4. Timecrimes – Rotten Tomatoes 90%

Timecrimes movie poster

Timecrimes is a Spanish film that is certain to confuse, then thrill, then confuse you some more. An absolute delight to rewatch, you can add Timecrimes to your annual watch list. 88 minutes is sure to captivate even the most juvenile watchers. Available on Amazon Prime.

Critic consensus – Timecrimes is a low-budget thriller that’s well-crafted and loaded with dark humor and bizarre twists.

3. Attack The Block – Rotten Tomatoes 91%

Attack the Block movie poster

Do you like the Cornetto trilogy? If the answer was anything other than yes, you can stop reading now. John Boyega and Nick Frost star in the British film Attack The Block. What happens when aliens meet teenage London gangs? Another brief watch at 88 minutes, there’s no punchline. Go watch. Available on Amazon Prime

Critic consensus – Effortlessly mixing scares, laughs, and social commentary, Attack the Block is a thrilling, briskly-paced sci-fi yarn with a distinctly British flavor

2. Train to Busan – Rotten Tomatoes 95%

Train to Busan movie poster

This Korean film focuses on the passengers of a speeding train amidst a zombie outbreak. But hey, don’t listen to what I have to say, listen to hundreds of writers praising the film. Kristy Puchko aptly describes Train to Busan as “Snakes on a Plane meets 28 Days Later.” With a runtime of 118 minutes, Train to Busan is bound to delight fans of any language. Available on Peacock and Paramount.

Critic consensus – Train to Busan delivers a thrillingly unique — and purely entertaining — take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action.

1. Goodnight Mommy (2014) – Rotten Tomatoes 85%

Goodnight Mommy movie poster

Don’t waste your time with remakes of perfected films. Goodnight Mommy is a German film that requires a lot of courage to get through. The twists and turns throughout are sure to maintain a firm grip. With a runtime of 100 minutes, (The suspense may take a year off your life) Ich seh, Ich seh (German title) will have you calling for your mom. Available to rent on Amazon Prime.

Critic consensus – Dark, violent, and drenched in dread, Goodnight Mommy is perfect for extreme horror enthusiasts — or filmgoers who prefer to watch between splayed fingers.

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