Horror is one of the oldest genres of storytelling and has been a part of movies for a long time. The late Alfred Hitchcock was a true master of the art, but nowadays Hollywood horror is mainly comprised of remakes, sequels or is just outright cheesy. So leave Hollywood alone and look further east, as European cinema is where it’s at for the best horror movies. They’ve also been making horror movies for a long time but rarely receive the recognition they deserve. Georges Méliès made movies with films with horror elements in Devil’s Castle (made in 1896) before his iconic Trip to the Moon made six years later. Always remember to apply for your EHIC if you feel compelled to visit Europe and explore any of the locations featured in the following European horror movies.
The Blair Witch Project was the first film to deploy the usage of the found footage genre of horror movies, Paranormal Activity made a franchise out of the style, and Spain’s attempt is pretty impressive too. [Rec] tells the story of a fated TV news reporter and cameraman as they film emergency workers who have been called out to an apartment building. They head inside the building, expecting to find a juicy story, but don’t realise that something deadly lies inside, and now they are trapped in with it. The emotions are heightened and drama is intense, with the confined corridors of the building making this film all the more scary. [Rec] spawned three sequels and an American remake titled Quarantine.
Let The Right One In
Adapted from the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let The Right One In is a bonafide horror movie packed full of blood, gore and dismemberments. The title is a reference to the belief that vampires are unable to enter a building without being invited first, this is part of the vampire mythos that is not very often adhered to in Hollywood horror, True Blood is an exception. Behind all the blood, gore and vampires lies a heart warming coming of age tale about an outcast named Oskar whose life is changed forever when a young girl named Eli moves into the area.
Sometimes there can be a fine line between horror and comedy and quite often they create the ultimate hybrid. Scream and Shaun of the Dead are perfect examples of this sub-genre, and Trollhunter is a worthy addition. In this Norwegian effort, a group of amateur filmmakers investigate a number of bear attacks only to discover that they are actually the result of a number of trolls. Inspired by a nonchalant comment from Norway’s Prime Minister, Trollhunter has a Grimm Brothers feel to it, and is a very enjoyable flick.
With a title like Taxidermia, you know you’ll be in for a very strange cinematic experience. This Austria and Hungarian co-production focuses on a pig corpse, an eating competition and an evil father figure who is morbidly obese. This film is not for the feint-hearted, but die-hard horror fans will absolutely love it.