It’s October, and everyone knows what that means: It’s almost the spookiest time of the year - Halloween. And it’s almost time for everyone’s favorite Halloween activity: scary movies! You probably already know or are planning on watching a few. “Scary Movie,” “Friday The 13th” and “Coraline” are some that immediately come to mind. But have you noticed what these movies have in common? Well, aside from being horror movies, they’re all from the United States - wouldn’t you want to broaden your horizons a little? So, let’s take a look at some truly spook-tacular horror movies from around the world; whether you’re into psychological horror or zombie flicks, there will surely be something in here for you.
Our first stop is Japan, with “Audition,” 1999, a movie directed by the famous Takashi Miike. It’s a simple story: Following a nasty divorce, the middle-aged Aoyama takes the advice of his young son and decides to host - you guessed it - an audition to, hopefully, find a woman best suited to ‘play the part’ of his next wife. After the audition, he falls in love with the beautiful and enigmatic Asami, who looks and acts like the perfect wife - but, as Aoyama comes to realise, is hiding many secrets of her own - and when he decides to take a closer look at her resumé, the threads of Asami’s life begin to unravel. With a runtime of almost 2 hours, “Audition” is definitely a slow burn, but it rewards you in the end. If you consider yourself a fan of atmospheric and psychological horror, this is a film you wouldn’t want to miss.
“Audition” is currently available to watch on Amazon US.
The next location on our stop is Canada, with director Jeff Barnaby’s 2019 film “Blood Quantum.” You might already think this is cheating, given how close Canada is to the states, but this one is truly one-of-a-kind. Set sometime in the near future, a massive zombie outbreak erupts outside an isolated Mi’kmaq reserve, but there’s a catch: Mysteriously, all of the reserve’s indigenous inhabitants are immune to the otherwise fatal plague. Why are they immune, and how will they survive? Featuring a variety of talented indigenous actors and some truly horrifying special effects, “Blood Quantum” is a unique twist on the traditional zombie apocalypse narrative - in that it both scares you and gets you to start thinking.
“Blood Quantum” is currently available to watch on Amazon US and Google Play.
Moving on to France, we have Julia Docournau’s critically-acclaimed 2016 film “Raw.” The story follows 16-year-old teen prodigy Alexia, a lifelong vegetarian who’s beginning her first year as a veterinary student. On her first night, she is welcomed by the other students via a hazing ritual, where she is forced to taste meat for the first time in her life - an action that sets off a bizarre craving for flesh, and one that leads to Alexia’s self-destructive downwards spiral. With a runtime of slightly over an hour and a half, “Raw” is a short but very disturbing horror flick that will definitely leave you thinking about it for months.
“Raw” is currently available to watch on Amazon US and on iTunes worldwide.
Our last stop will take us to a country that has recently reached new levels of popularity: South Korea, with Kim Jee-woon’s 2003 cult classic “A Tale of Two Sisters.” As you probably already guessed, this drama-laden film follows two sisters - one of whom has recently been released from a mental institution - as they return to their secluded family home. Shortly after their arrival, however, the family dynamic begins to suffer as each member starts to be haunted by visions of a mysterious ghost and unexplained occurrences happen in the normally quiet home. As they begin to blame one another and tear each other apart, their darkest family secret is brought to light. “A Tale of Two Sisters” combines the classic ghost story with Shakespearean tragedy, leaving a very creepy and effective movie in its wake.
“A Tale of Two Sisters” is currently available to watch on Amazon US.
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