No Halloween season is complete without watching a classic horror movie, and although the U.S. has produced some truly chilling cinema, international directors also have a flair for horror. Mark Wright, owner of Vidéothèque, South Pasadena’s hub for indie and foreign-film aficionados, points to his store’s eclectic collection for some of the world’s most frightening flicks.
Toby Dammit (Italy)
Three Edgar Allan Poe tales are respun in the haunting 1968 anthology film, Spirits of the Dead, (aka Histoires Extraordinaires). Italian director Federico Fellini’s contribution, Toby Dammit, sends an alcoholic movie star to the brink of madness and death with visions of an ominous girl and his own inner demons.
This 1965 Oscar-nominated film brings four Japanese ghost stories to life under the direction of Masaki Kobayashi. Poetic and haunting imagery works in tandem an unsettling score to create a sense of dread and draw audiences in.
The Host (South Korea)
Equal parts tragicomedy, family drama, political statement, and terrifying creature feature, this 2006 South Korean film directed by Bong Joon-ho covers a lot of ground without letting up on the scares. When a monster drags a young girl to its lair, it’s up to her dysfunctional family to get her back.
Known in French as À l’intérieur, this 2007 blood-soaked film from directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo finds a woman, recently widowed and pregnant, fighting against a ruthless, scissor-wielding home invader. The violent chase that ensues will have you holding your breath until the credits roll.
When a zombie-like disease spreads through a Barcelona apartment building, a TV reporter and cameraman find themselves fighting for their lives in this 2007 found-footage film directed by Juame Balagueró and Paco Plaza.