7 Scary foreign language films for Halloween

Travel the world from your sofa with these seven spooky cinematic masterpieces from all corners of the globe. 

Autumn: the perfect time of year to enjoy long walks amongst the changing foliage before settling in at home with billowing blankets and a steaming hot drink. As the combination of weather and re-introduced lockdown once again shuts down our social calendars, Halloween this year will have to be made up of homely celebrations, including peering at frightening films from behind the sofa. 

For those wanting to refresh their list of horror-films, the experts at language learning app Babbel have quite the treat in store for you. Mixing up your usual Halloween watch-list with the best international horror films from around the world, grab your treat of choice before settling in for a spooky movie night you won’t regret!

 

El Orfanato (“The Orphanage”, Spanish)

scary scene from El Orfanato 

Set in Spain, this highly acclaimed 2007 film centres around a woman who returns to visit her childhood home, happening to be in a creepy orphanage of course, with her husband and adopted son.

Their son disappears and as the parents search for him, insidious twists and turns teach you more and more about the characters throughout every unsettling scene. Think you can watch until the end?
 

Shutter (Thai)

Man holding camera to his face

A woman and her photographer boyfriend see mysterious shadows and faces in the pictures he takes. Is it connected to a recent hit-and-run accident they were involved in? You’ll have to keep watching to find out.

Tip: Watch the original Thai version of this film released in 2004, and not the American remake from 2008 to make sure you get the full original effect.
 

Suspiria (Italian)

Suspiria girl with knife

Directed by famous Italian filmmaker Dario Argento, this 1977 Italian supernatural horror film tells the story of a series of gruesome murders at a prestigious ballet academy. Things take a turn when a new student begins to suspect something evil is at play.

If you just love it, you can watch the 2018 English remake directed by Luca Guadagnino—also pretty chilling.

Read our review of the 2018 remake 
 

Gräns (“Border”, Swedish)

This 2018 Swedish fantasy film is less scary than the others on this list, but it has some unsettling, supernatural elements.

The movie features a customs officer with facial deformities who has the ability to literally smell fear and contraband. She finds herself strangely attracted to a mysterious traveller during a police investigation and things only get stranger from there.
 

Morto Não Fala (“The Nightshifter”, Brazilian)

Stênio works the night shift at a morgue. Unfortunately for him, he can communicate with the dead. When the cadavers start making requests and threatening his family, things quickly spiral out of control.

You’ll want to keep your eyes on the subtitles for this Brazilian thriller.

 

The Maus (“The Mouse”, German)

Main character of Maus, Selma, holds a knife and looks to camera
Image still from The Maus 

In this 2017 German survival thriller, a young couple gets lost in a Bosnian forest after their car breaks down. Surrounded by land mines and tormented by mysterious Serbian men, the pair has to face the lasting remnants of the Bosnian War and its racial tensions.

You’ll be on the edge of your seat right until the end with this one.

 

Insidious (English, American)

Clip from Insidious in which a man transforms into a witch

This list of scary movies wouldn’t be complete without the ever-popular English-language pick Insidious. This 2010 horror film tells the story of a suburban family who moves out of the home they thought was haunted only to discover well…we don’t want to spoil the plot, now do we?

If you like this one, it has two sequels and a prequel to keep the hairs standing on the back of your neck well beyond this spooky season.

 

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