The world of horror has been just that for generations – a collective celebration of the macabre and eerie from all over the globe.
While North America has firmly established itself as the most commercially successful country in the horror industry, even that is not regulated to the fifty states. Canada has been churning out classic horror films for decades, producing some of the best installments in the horror catalog regardless of country of origin. Black Christmas, the amazing career of David Cronenberg, Jen and Sylvia Soska’s reign of supreme terror in the current horror scene, a top notch independent film scene led by Karen Lam and my personal favorite, Pontypool, are just a few examples of why our friendly neighbors to the North are downright experts in the terror field.
Films like Ju-on (Japan), Haute Tension (France), Troll Hunter (Norway), The Host (Korea), Wolf Creek (Australia), REC. (Spain), and The Brood (Canada) are some of my all-time favorite horror movies and it’s no coincidence that many of my favorites are from other countries. Whether it’s because there is a different perception of taboo in different countries or simply because the creative genius of men and women in other parts of the world are something to take note of (I wholeheartedly believe this to be the case), the horror universe would not be what it is today if it weren’t for foreign contributions. Recently, Turkey’s Baskin has drawn quite a bit of praise from horror fans and I was recently warned that watching the film would significantly affect my light bill next month as I will be sleeping with a light on for a few days afterward. I can only hope!
From Godzilla, Ju-on and the incredible career of Takashi Miike in Japan to the legendary careers of Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Ruggero Deodato, just to name a few from a long list of amazing Italian horror directors, global terror is alive and well to this day. So much so, in fact, that the Remake Machine that has sliced, diced, chopped and mangled countless classic American horror films has also done quite a number on some of the best foreign horror out there.
North America has been no stranger to adapting foreign horror into American version over the years and I must say, save for a few excellent remakes (here’s looking at you, The Ring), most of these U.S. films don’t hold a candle to the original.
Let The Right One In (Sweden) is arguably the best vampire film since Dracula yet the American remake, Let Me In, leaves something to be desired.
The Quarantine series here in the states is woefully inferior to the horrific REC. franchise from Spain. If you bravely claim you’ve never seen a zombie film that scared you, I dare you to watch the final ten minutes of the first REC. in the dark by yourself.
The coolest thing about the fact that the horror film industry is all over the world? We are being treated to awesome cinema constantly! Even cooler – fans are uniting to support the genre in film festivals such as South African Horrorfest (currently accepting submissions for this year’s celebration!) to Australia’s Stranger With My Face, run by one of the hardest working women in horror, Briony Kidd.
So the next time you are scouring Red Box or debating on what to catch on Netflix, do yourself a favor – grab your horror passport and see what is being offered up from all corners of the globe. You never know, you may just find your next favorite horror film.