When it comes to brutality in foreign horror, there are two types of fans: The first type will see a trailer or even a GIF online and giggle to themselves for a minute before coming to the conclusion of, “I NEED to see this wacky, and over the top gore-fest NOW!”, They’ll go to their local movie store, [I’m not the only one who still buys movies, right?!] grab the unrated copy, and rush home to go on a insane roller-coaster ride of utter brutality for 90-some minutes!
and then there’s the second type: These are the ones who also love what they’re seeing on their screen, but something will jump out at them. Specifically, the use of subtitles. To these horror fans, the very thought of having to read subtitles while watching a film makes them shudder. With a feeling of dread washing over them as they wonder how bad the dubbed voices will be this time.. I can see where you’re coming from, but unlike you, I was never really like this, [having the closed captioning on as a kid, being as I have deaf parents helped] but often times; the laughable dubbed versions of otherwise amazing movies felt like the film was [for lack of a better word] ruined. There would be some kind of infernal wish there was just some way for the real acting to shine through the bad dubs. I’m not trying to say all dubs aren’t great, but let’s face the movie facts, here: something will always “feel” off when you’re watching an actor’s lips move, but the words are out of sync with their screams! [..I mean dialogue] Somewhere, in the process of changing from their natural accent to English, the characters in the film you’re watching loses their natural charm.. it’s as if you’re no longer watching the actor[s] giving their body and soul to their job; but more like of a bad ‘out of body experience’.
In some of the more extreme cases, some horror fans will even go so far as to shy away from foreign horror entirely, just to avoid the terrible voice overs and the need of having to read subtitles, and in my opinion, this is the worst thing you can do as a horror fan: limit your horizons. In the list I’m going to share below, I’m going to try and make a case for subtitled films, and try and find a way to make those Type twos make the switch over to accepting subtitled horror for what it is: I’m going to present you with my personal 05 favorite foreign films you NEED to watch with subtitles, as always – these films are in no particular order.. and please, don’t let the subtitles scare you away!
Battle Royale is Kinji Fukasaku‘s adaptation of a novel about a dystopian society where the Japanese government kidnaps a class of middle-school students and puts them on an island.. the twist is that on that island, these students have only 3 days to slice, dice, shoot, and stab each other to death until only one student is left alive! If they try to escape though, [or if more than one student is alive at the end of their time limit] the explosive bomb collars that are placed around each of their necks will detonate, causing an obvious mess!
I’ve talked about it before, but this is easily one of my favorite foreign films: though it could be considered more thriller, I Saw The Devil follows a secret agent who blurs the line between good and evil in his pursuit of revenge.. it’s brutal, it’s insane with it’s acting, and the climax is just mind numbing!
this movie had to make the list, especially after watching it’s sequel, Dead Snow 2: Red vs Red [expect a review on Letterboxd soon!] last night! Dead Snow follows a group of medical students as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable evil: Nazi zombies! It’s cheesy, it’s gory as hell, and it’s Norwegian!
Arguably one of the more “realistic horror” films I’ve seen in a long time, Audition is beyond fucked.Without giving too much away [it’s more of an experience, rather than a movie] Audition follows a widower. this widower reluctantly agrees to an offer to “screen girls” at a special “audition”, which was arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. However, the girl he ends up liking is not who she appears to be..
coming from France, Inside is one of the more fucked up films on this list. It follows a woman on the brink of motherhood Four months after the death of her husband, is suddenly attacked in her home by a strange woman.. who just happens to want her unborn baby.
Obviously, this is just five of many different foreign films: from zombies to crazy women wanting unborn children; if I’ve learned anything from watching foreign films, it’s that they don’t hold back the terror/violence. Hopefully by the end of this piece, you’re more open to watching subtitled films.. because they’re a marvel to behold! If you enjoyed reading this piece, head over to Facebook and click the “like” button on my page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post the moment it’s been posted; if that’s not convincing enough, I also share things that will not be featured here on the blog, and be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same!
THANKS FOR READING.