Images: 20th Century Fox Korea & Warner Bros. Picturehouse
The end of October is here, and we all know what that means. Outside the wind is howling, the owls are hooting, the street lamps are flickering and you want nothing better than to huddle up under blankets with hot bowl of curry flavoured Maggi mee (with an egg thrown in).
What are you going to do for entertainment on Halloween night? You’ve watched SAW, The Ring, Ju On. and even Silence of the Lambs. Well, time to check out some of these movies you’ve probably never heard of before, but are just as good and bound to give you some spine chilling thrills.
1. Gyo Tokyo Fish Attack (2012)
Based on the manga by renowned Japanese horror comic artist, this animated horror movie won’t just scare you. It will disturb the very core of your being and make you ask questions about what it means to be human.
There are no jump scares in this one, and it’s relies on a solid story buildup. It starts of as a mystery when several students go for a graduation holiday when they discover the rotting body of a fish with legs in the cabin they’re staying in. Things go uphill from there as more and more fish with legs show up.
2. Martyrs (2008)
This French-Canadian movie blurs the lines between what’s real and what’ not. Lucie Jurin is a girl that has escaped unspeakable abuse, and claims that she’s being tormented by the spirit of an old emaciated woman. However, others only see her hurting herself. What exactly is the truth?
3. The Wailing (2016)
A Japanese stranger shows up in a small and peaceful South Korean village, and a strange disease starts to spread among the locals. The victims are beset with convulsing fits and later, they fall into a stupor and eventually die.
Local police officer Jong Goo takes it upon himself to solve the mystery of the unknown disease, and this leads him spiraling deeper into a complex web of questions. Is the Japanese stranger really behind all the deaths, or is there something more sinister?
4. The Orphanage (2007)
This film is the directorial debut of Spanish director J.A. Bayona who’s been picked to direct the upcoming fifth installment of Jurassic Park and we can see why from this highly stylistic horror film. The whole movie is done in Spanish and centers around Laura, and her attempts at returning to the orphanage she once lived in.
Laura soon finds that there’s more to the old house and she slowly uncovers a disturbing truth about what happened to the other orphans at the home after she left, and how all this related to her son, Simon.
5. Shelley (2016)
Danish director Ali Abbasi brings us a movie that’s constant in its delivery of frights. The movie tells the story of Elena, a young Romanian girl employed by a rich Danish couple. Kasper and Louise are childless, and ask Elena to be a surrogate mother so that they can be parents.
Elena agrees to their requests, but soon the pregnancy begins to cause her strange symptoms, and believes the baby is killing her slowly.
6. Under the Shadow (2016)
It’s not often we see a horror film from Iran, but this one is a real psychological gem. Shideh and her daughter Dorsa live in war torn Tehran in the 1980s, and are facing a double threat of war and a mysterious being that seems to torment them in their home.
Under the Shadow explores the relationship of a mother and daughter under pressing circumstances, and asks many pertinent questions. Which is the true horror; war or the paranormal?
7. [•REC] (2007]
If you thought that shaky camera work was the sole domain of the Blair Witch Project, think again. This Spanish hit movie takes it to a whole new level as it tells the story of a widespread mysterious condition that’s turning people aggressive.
The story is told with plenty of shaky camera work from the perspective of a journalist, interspersed with some alternative forms of storytelling.
8. Session 9 (2001)
A struggling asbestos remover faces financial ruin, which drives him to take a job at the local abandoned asylum. Here, he finds a series of tapes of an interview with a former patient that suffers from multiple personality.
As he listens to the tapes, he gradually learns the horrible events that caused the patient to develop dissociative identity disorder and eventually these revelations spills into his daily life, causing chaos.
These movies are just the tip of the iceberg and there are plenty more independent and foreign language movies that haven’t made it into mainstream horror movie lists. Just be sure not to watch too many at once, and have some company while you’re at it.