12 International Horror Movies to Terrify You This Halloween

I spend most of my fall season wasting myself on cute, cozy, spooky Halloween. But sometimes the need for a really good scare hits. This list is here to bring you a selection of rightly terrifying films that will shock, creep, and disgust. There are no warm witches here; These types of films get even the bravest of us to watch behind our fingers.
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Joko Anwar is a horror powerhouse. Thanks to Shudder, you can now see his terrifying take on haunted houses, family curses, and the horror of small-town life. Impetigore revolves around Maya (Tara Basro) who, after a brutal attack, discovers in a breathtaking opening sequence that she may have inherited a huge house in a rural town. With their best friend, the two go on a reconnaissance mission, only to discover something far more terrifying than they ever expected. Anwar is a master of atmosphere and style, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't expect some really cruel and grotesque moments to haunt you.
You can now stream Impetigore on Shudder.
High voltage
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Alexandre Aja exploded with this gnarled slasher from 2003 over two young women traveling to a family country house only to be ambushed by a brutal murderer. This one is not for the faint of heart as it contains some bloody kills and a devastating third act. But if you want a horror movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat and shock you every step of the way, High Tension (aka Switchblade Romance) is a must have this Halloween.
You can now stream High Tension on Tubi.
Funny Games
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Concorde-Castle Rock / Turner
Austrian writer Michael Haneke may not be the first person who comes to mind when thinking of nightmare horror. But with his terrifying 1997 social satire, that's exactly what he created. You may have seen the director's American remake - which is surprisingly good - but if not, all you need to know is that this is one of the most impressive Home Invasion films ever made. A happy family is tormented in one long night by two young, wealthy, and intelligent men who want nothing more than to destroy their victims for fun.
You can now stream Funny Games on HBO Max.
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The latest K-Horror offering from Netflix focuses on the terrifying terror of being alone in the middle of a massive zombie outbreak. The lonely survivor in a huge apartment building tries to find a way out and is shocked to discover another living person inside. An unexpected friendship blossoms as they communicate across the vast space between them. But when one of them is threatened by their undead neighbors, they have to band together to escape. Exciting, cool, and unique, this is a must-have for anyone looking for a spooky treat.
You can now stream #Alive on Netflix.
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Potemkine films
A young boy grows up in a small town by the sea, in a world ruled by women and a seedy institute that experiments on the boys who live there. Don't come to this haunted French flick that seeks simple answers. But if you want an atmosphere piece that will tingle your skin and warp your mind, then you will likely become satiated and filled with an unsettling fear.
You can now stream Evolution on AMC +.
Tigers are not afraid
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The wonderful horror film by Issa López caused a sensation at film festivals in 2017 and '18 and can now be seen thanks to Shudder. Estrella lives in Mexico City and fights to survive the gang war and crime that surrounds her. But she will eventually be haunted by something other than the violence around her. This is an enchanting take on the contemporary ghost story that stands out in the modern horror realm for its authentic vision and relentless devotion to character and atmosphere.
You can now stream Tigers Are Not Afraid on Shudder.
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Fiery film
Inventive zombie films are a rare breed, but we're fortunate to have three on this list. Ojuju is a 2014 Nigerian micro-budget offering that offers pure terror in a raw and tight package. Dedicated to authenticity towards the supernatural of Hollywood, director C.J. Obasi a zombie movie that will feel even more scary in 2020. During the 95-minute runtime, it's easy to forget you're watching a movie at all. Instead, you get lost in a dynamic and sometimes humorous quest for survival in the slums of Lagos.
You can now stream Ojuju on Kweli TV.
May the devil take you
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Timo Tjahjanto should be at the top of your list of your favorite genre directors. But if not, his bloody homage to films like The Evil Dead should secure its place. The story centers on Alfie, who arrives on her estranged father's deathbed to find out that she has inherited his sprawling mansion. But of course there is a high price to be paid. The favorite themes of the film are the sins of the father and how our parents often leave an inheritance that we don't want. May the Devil Take You is a wild ride through B-movie horror and again shows Tjahjanto's impressive genre chops.
You are now ready to stream May the Devil Take You on Netflix.
Train to Busan
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Next entertainment world
This Korean zombie movie took the horror scene by storm a few years ago, and for a very good reason. The film is a clever and emotional take on the sub-genre of enclosed spaces. The film is set on a moving train in which a group of survivors tries to reach their destination while defeating the hordes of undead on board. Stylish, scary, and ultimately heartbreaking, this is one of the best horror films of the last decade and one of the best zombie films of all time.
You can now stream Train to Busan on Tubi.
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Wild bunch
One of the few films in my life that I have never been able to watch again, this film comes with a huge warning "only for the toughest horror dogs". If you can face this very visceral and persistent type of horror then check out this offering from New French Extremity. It follows the story of a young woman imprisoned and tortured as a child who seeks revenge only to find more pain and depravity. This is a controversial cult film that still divides horror fans in half. But when you encounter extreme gore then Martyrs has many interesting things to say and is not easy to forget.
You can now stream Martyrs on Shudder.
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Omega project
Audition is a horror classic for a reason. Takashi Miike's up-close story about a wealthy man who finds a wife by auditioning a selection of suitors. But as he soon finds out, his new lover is hiding a dark secret. With one of the most infamous cinematic torture scenes of all time, Audition is a truly terrifying treatise on social concepts of love, trust, and obsession.
You can stream Audition on Amazon Prime Video.
The queen of black magic
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This terrifying flick recently debuted at Fantastic Fest and blew this reviewer away. When Hanif takes his family to the orphanage where he grew up, something quickly goes wrong. The strange staff and a worrying shortage of children are just the beginning. Soon they uncover a shocking secret that puts anyone associated with the orphanage at risk. Kimo Stamboel and Joko Anwar are a spooky exploration of vengeance, insecure ghosts, and the ghosts of the past to team up for this gloriously sinister proposition.
The Queen of Black Magic is available on Shudder.
Originally published October 8, 2020.
The post 12 International Horror Movies To Scare You This Halloween first appeared on Nerdist.
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Joko Anwar
Indonesian film director

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