To celebrate the DVD and download release of Psalm 21 on May 30th we have compiled a top 10 list of some of the scariest foreign language films the past 15 years.
The Orphanage (El orfanato) – 2007
The Orphanage centers on Laura who purchases her beloved childhood orphanage with dreams of restoring and reopening the long abandoned facility as a place for disabled children. Once there, Laura discovers that the new environment awakens her son’s imagination, but the ongoing fantasy games he plays with an invisible friend quickly turn into something more disturbing.
Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) – 2008
A fragile, anxious boy, 12-year-old Oskar is regularly bullied by his stronger classmates but never strikes back. The lonely boys wish for a friend seems to comes true when he meets Eli, also 12, who moves in next door to him. But Elis arrival coincides with a series of gruesome deaths and attacks. Though Oskar realizes that she’s a vampire, his friendship with her is stronger than his fear… imdb link
The Eye (Gin Gwai) – 2002
In Hong Kong, the eighteen years old Wong Kar Mun has been blind since she was two years old. She submits to a surgery of cornea transplantation, and while recovering from the operation, she realizes that she is seeing dead people. With the support of Dr. Wah, Mun tries to find who was the donor of her eyes and resolve the mystery of her visions. imdb link
The Devil’s Backbone (El espinazo del Diablo) – 2001
It is 1939, and ten-year-old Carlos, the son of a fallen Republican war hero, is left by his tutor in an orphanage in the middle of nowhere. The orphanage is run by a curt but considerate headmistress named Carmen and a kindly Professor Casares, both of whom are sympathetic to the doomed Republican cause. Despite their concern for him, and his gradual triumph over the usual schoolhouse bully, Carlos never feels completely comfortable in his new environment. First of all, there was that initial encounter with the orphanage’s nasty caretaker, Jacinto, who reacts even more violently when anyone is caught looking around a particular storage room the one with the deep well. Second, and more inexplicable, is the presence of a ghost, one of the former occupants of the orphanage named Santi. Not long after Carlos’ arrival, Santi latches onto Carlos, badgering him incessantly at night and gloomily intoning, “Many of you will die.”
The Grudge (Ju-on) – 2002
An evil curse and vengeful spirits seem to linger upon a house where the horrific murder of a woman and child took place and anyone who sets foot inside the house is marked for a terrifying haunting which will not rest. One by one, those who have been tainted by the house begin to die, and nowhere is safe. imdb link
Pulse (Kairo) – 2001
Japanese university students investigate a series of suicides linked to an Internet Web cam that promises visitors the chance to interact with the dead. imdb link
Tale of Two Sisters (Janghwa, Hongryeon) – 2003
Two sisters who, after spending time in a mental institution, return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother. Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother’s obsessive and unbalanced ways, an interfering ghost also affects their recovery.
Ringu – 1998
A mysterious video kills whomever views it, unless that viewer can solve its mystery.
Cold Prey (Fritt vilt) – 2006
Jannicke, Morten Tobias, Eirik, Mikael and Ingunn are on a snowboarding vacation in Jotunheimen. They are forced to take shelter in an abandoned hotel when Morten Tobias breaks his leg and their car is too far away for them to reach within nightfall. They quickly discover that the hotel was closed in the seventies due to the disappearance of the managers’ son. Unknown to them, someone is still living in the hotel, and getting home, or even surviving the stay, isn’t as easy as they believe.
[Rec] – 2007
REC turns on a young TV reporter and her cameraman who cover the night shift at the local fire station. Receiving a call from an old lady trapped in her house, they reach her building to hear horrifying screams — which begin a long nightmare and a uniquely dramatic TV report.