Very soon, Halloween will bump, thump and jump into our lives!
Costume parties, Trick-or-Treating and horror movies thankfully make their welcomed annual appearances this time of year.
I’ve gleefully seen “Halloween”, “Frankenstein”, “Scream” more times than I can count, but these five foreign language scary movies are absolute classics as well.
See one or see them all before Halloween.
You will not be disappointed.
“Audition” (1999, Japan)
Director Takashi Miike’s disturbing film is not for the queasy, easily offended or weak-hearted. A widower (Ryo Ishibashi) looks for love, but unfortunately, he searches in the wrong places. Asami (Eihi Shiina) – a beautiful, soft-spoken (and dressed in all white) 24 year-old – catches his eye immediately, but he’ll soon wish he never met her. Eihi Shiina paints a fascinating and unforgettable character on Miike’s canvas of eerie tones, heighted stress and sickening moments. You’ll think about doing a through background check before your next first date! An unforgettable horror film.
“Diabolique” (1995, France)
It is not a mystery that Christina Delassalle (Vera Clouzot) is not happy. Christina – a boarding school teacher – is married to a boorish jerk, Michel (Paul Meurisse), and he openly cheats with her colleague, Nicole (Simone Signoret). The ladies decide to conspire to murder Michel, but snafus lay in the middle of their nefarious plan. Director Henri-Georges Clouzot brilliantly executes one of the great all-time thrillers. At one point Christina says, “My heart is going to explode.” I felt the same way.
“High Tension” (2005, France)
This savagely violent picture from France innocently begins when Alex (Maiween Le Besco) invites her college friend, Marie (Cecile De France), to her family’s farmhouse for rest and relaxation. Rest and relaxation are in short supply, when a brutally ferocious perpetrator (Philippe Nahon) causes mayhem and buckets of blood soon spill all over the place. “High Tension” will please horror movie fans who look for plenty of gore and a good scare. The film does get a little too smart for it’s own good – and it will polarize the audience – but I really enjoyed the surprises while the gruesome story held me captive.
“[REC]” (2007, Spain)
Directors Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza generate plenty of fear with an effective documentary-style screenplay, but “[REC]” is a frightening concept no matter what method is used to convey the story. A beautiful television reporter (Manuela Velasco) films a story with the local fire department, but when an actual emergency arises in an ordinary apartment building, she, the fireman and everybody else find themselves in grave danger. Balaguero and Plaza deliver a deliciously evil twist on a specific horror genre (which I’ll leave to your imagination), and in the process, execute an effective claustrophobic movie. A crazy 78-minute ride!
“The Vanishing” (1988, Netherlands)
An attractive Dutch couple, Rex (Gene Bervoets) and Saskia (Johanna ter Steege), are on holiday and traveling to France. With a pair of bikes on the roof and snacks in the back seat, this loving unmarried pair seem to have plenty of bright years ahead of them. Suddenly and explicably, Saskia vanishes into thin air at a routine rest stop. Raymond Lemonrne (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) seems to be the key to the mystery, and Rex will do anything to find Saskia. Director George Sluizer paints an extremely sinister portrait of evil in a place one would least expect. A masterful thriller.