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The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

Herner Klenthur 33 Comments

I first started really getting into foreign horror movies because of Luke Franklin and Justin Haaksma two talented contributors to this site who are about as well versed in foreign horror films as you can get. Because of them I have discovered a whole new world of horror films over the last 10 years and I thank them.

Over the years I have managed to see quite a few subtitled horror films and there are seven that really stand out to me as fantastic films that every red-blooded horror fan should see. This is my list of them in no particular order and it is worth noting I have deliberately chosen NON english movies. There are lots of english foreign horror films like Evil Aliens and The Descent but I want to focus on the sub-titled horror genre to hopefully broaden some of your horizons.

Phase 7

This movie is not only one of the best subtitled horror movies of all time it is also a horror film that practically nobody has seen it seems.

When a deadly flu outbreak forces an apartment building to be quarantined, a couple must join forces with an unstable but well-stocked neighbor. Phase 7 is one of the truly greats and is the closest thing to a non-zombie Romero movie as modern horror fans can expect.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

Mutants

2009′s Mutants is a fantastic take on the zombie genre and is one of the few modern horror movies where the zombies are truly terrifying. When a man becomes infected with a zombie virus, his wife stands by his side and desperately searches for a way to prevent his mutation. But as he slowly transforms, she begins to fear for her life — and for the future of their unborn child. This terrifying film is currently streaming on NETFLIX USA for those who have not seen it.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

I Saw The Devil

I Saw The Devil is one of the greatest crime thrillers of all time. It sits right up a long side movies like Silence of the Lambs. I Saw The Devil is the story of a girl who is stalked, murdered and mutilated by a truly deviant serial killer. Things take a twist when the womans Fiancee a highly trained government agent takes justice into his own hands and hunts down the killer to dish out his own form of justice.

The film twists and turns as villain becomes victim, hero becomes villain and then back to victim again. This movie is gruesome, well thought out and extremely polished. Easily one of the best foreign horror movies ever made.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

Troll Hunter

The premise of Troll Hunter was so ridiculous I thought I would hate it. Added to that fact it is a found footage movie which is a genre I absolutely despise. So when I say that Troll Hunter is one of the best foreign horror movies of all time it should carry some weight.

While investigating a series of suspicious bear killings, a group of students trail a mysterious “hunter” who tries to elude them at every turn. The group soon learns that his prey is far more dangerous and mystical than mere bears. If you have not seen it you can stream it on Netflix.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

Dead Snow

Dead snow is the tale of a group of medical students that head out to a cabin in the mountains for some skiing and drinking as an escape from school. Unfortunately they find out that the cabin has much more then a nice fireplace and plenty of booze as they find themselves over run by Nazi Zombies out for their flesh.

The film is an over the top gore fest with a unique concept, some great chuckles and plenty of homage to the greatest horror movie of all time EVIL DEAD. Dead Snow is simply put fantastic!

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

Let The Right One In

This is a really unique take on the vampire genre focusing on a little girl, her guardian and a boy who lives next door that forms a unique bond with her. Driven by an interesting and unique story its a tale of first love, with a vampire mix and is both gruesome and intense.

Let The Right One In is the most unique vampire film I have seen in years and is a well polished visually impressive film that demonstrates what a good vampire film should look like. Let The Right One In pulls you in, entertains you and really makes you connect with the characters. Well worth buying or checking out on NETFLIX

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

La Horde

La Horde is a real stand out in the zombie genre. When four corrupt policemen invade a gangster’s hideout near Paris to avenge the death of their colleague, they quickly find themselves outmanned, outgunned and trapped. That is, until a legion of vicious zombies swarms through the building.

Brutally violent and packed full of Twists La Horde is your typical French horror film in that it kicks serious ass.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

REC

Rec has inspired an entire franchise but I have only managed to see the first one. Once again a Found Footage film has proven that my hatred of first person found footage films is very biased. Much like Troll Hunter REC is one of the few great examples of a well polished horror movie that uses the found footage first person angle perfectly.

REC is the story of a Fire Crew called out to an apartment complex that soon find themselves quarantined and under attack. This film was remade by Hollywood and renamed Quarantine and even the remake which stars Jennifer Carpenter ( Dexter )

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

Frontieres

I really enjoyed Frontieres, it was part of the HorrorFest franchise and was easily hands down one of the best films that AfterDark has ever picked up and run with. Frontieres is the story of hoodlums who run into trouble and soon discover that there are different levels of evil and they are about to encounter a group far more terrifying then they are. Frontieres is violent beyond belief but still driven by a telling story that has characters with a lot of depth to them.

You will find yourself really drawn into this film and at the same time it will evoke a major response from you as the story goes deeper, darker and more violent as it progresses. Frontieres is graphic but once again it is part of the story and not the driving force behind the film and demonstrates why the French seem to have cornered the market on horror films that have powerful themes… and intensely graphic outcomes.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

The Host

 The Host is a film I picked up years ago after Goon told me about it. The film is the story of a monster that is on the loose courtesy of a biological failure in a lab. It’s a scifi monster tale similar to Godzilla only much scarier.

Admittedly the characters are not as deep as Frontieres or Let The Right One in but its unique take on the monster genre, its fast paced action and unique story will please fans of classics like JAWS or as noted earlier Godzilla.

Monster movies are rarely done as well as The Host making it a definite watch if your into creature features or just like the thought of science gone awry that ends up eating you.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

THIRST

Thirst is from the legendary director Chan Wook Park who brought us one of the greatest revenge thriller films of all time ‘Oldboy’. His foray into the vampire genre although not as polished or exciting as Oldboy is still one of the greats.

Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways. A story of love, crime, good and evil its a powerful tale with a deep moral message.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

Martyrs

 Martyrs is one of the best horror films of the last decade, bar none!  It tells the story of a girl who was kidnapped and brutalized only to escape and 15 years later get her revenge.

As much as you might think its a revenge themed horror film it’s so much more than that. It starts off strong, and never lets up  climaxing with one of the most visually disturbing and mentally draining scenes in a horror film ever. Martyrs will scar you but also make you think with its deep story telling.

Although the imagery is extremely powerful MARTYRS  is driven by a story that is equally unique and just as powerful as the intense violence. Martyrs is definitely not for the squeamish but is without question one of the Top 10 foreign horror films ever made in my books.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

FrostBitten

 FrostBitten is another vampire tale and again one I believe that I got put onto by Goon. The film is a vampire tale but not your typical one. Unlike Underworld or other modern vampire tales this is a very dark and disturbing take on a Vampire Virus.

Frostbitten is intense, dark and fantastically written. It is more action based and focused on ‘gore’ then Let The Right One in but still an equal from the stand point of overall quality.

FrostBitten jumps through time to tell the tale of a vampire virus and its bloody path through generations. A fun film that is worth checking out if you liked Let The Right one In.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

High Tension

High Tension is once again a demonstration of insane violence with fantastic story telling. Were it not for the stupidest twist ending I have seen in years High Tension would easily be a top 10 foreign film of all time. But even with the horrendous ending it is one of the best ‘deranged killer’ films I have seen.

High Tension tells the story of a girl who goes to visit in the country with a friend and all hell breaks loose as a deranged killer turns them and everyone they encounter into corpses. As noted I found the ending annoying but overall the film is still fantastic. Dark,  gritty and intense. It’s a violent affair that is bloody from start to finish… as well as very creepy.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

Cold Prey

 This one bottoms out my list and although I said it’s not in any order it is on the bottom of my list since out of the seven this one is definitely the weakest from the stand point of quality and scares. That said Cold Prey is still a great film it’s just up against some serious giants above.

Cold Prey is about a group of young adults who go skiing in the mountains and end up in an old ski lodge and falling victim to a deranged killer.. hence the title Cold Prey. It is a creepy tale with an interesting story that at times is quite intense and bloody. Overall a great film.

That is my list of  foreign horror films that I have seen that I thought were fantastic. As I know we have some serious gurus on the site take a minute and share your own favorite foreign genre films below.

The Best Subtitled Horror Movies

What films do you think could have made the list and why? Sound off in the comments.

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33 Comments

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      1. Deth_Banger February 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm

        Excellent list! I would have added A Tale of Two Sisters, RIngu, Ju-On and most recently I Saw the Devil. But dammit! If I carries on, this list would never end. :)

        • Herner Klenthur
          Herner Klenthur February 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm

          Good call on I Saw The Devil! Adding it! Its so hard to not miss a movie :)

      2. DirtyGirl February 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm

        Love this list! Every movie on it is a good one :)

      3. UltraViolence February 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm

        Excellent list! I saw the devil is a good call Deth. My favourite revenge movie. Let the right one in and Martyrs are my favourites off this list.Not seen a few so thanks for those!

      4. subtitlemeplease (@horrormoviesrme) February 3, 2013 at 10:19 pm

        Good list but very predictable

        • Herner Klenthur
          Herner Klenthur February 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm

          predictable in what way? that they are all awesome?

        • taralundrigan April 17, 2014 at 9:56 pm

          Any movies to add that aren’t “predictable” – or are you just here to be a troll??

      5. Herner Klenthur February 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        thanks buddy glad you liked the list.

        • Ash
          Ash February 5, 2013 at 12:05 am

          Cracking list which has reminded me – I must watch I saw the Devil. Been meaning to for ages and there’s a lot of love for it here. I think I’m missing out. Three for your consideration… Have you seen Julia’s Eyes? LOVED IT. You should check it out. Also, Audition and Battle Royale. The latter is not really a horror film per say, but it has so much awesome that I had to give it a mention.

      6. Vasquez February 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm

        Good List

      7. Vasquez February 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm

        I would have added Bedevilled myself though.

      8. Greg February 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

        The movie that got me into watching any horror subtitles was Art of the Devil. It taught me to ignore how low quality some movies look. It has a pretty good story and the special effects might be the most real I’ve ever seen. Haven’t seen it in awhile though, so I’ll have to rewatch (if if it’s still on Netflix) it and see if it still looks good compared to movies I’ve seen since then.

        *spoiler* Biggest problem with the series is that the stories all have a similar twist.

      9. Marco February 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm

        The original Tomie was sooooo good!

      10. Samuel Villa March 23, 2013 at 4:06 am

        “The Eye” in Japanese with English subtitles is one of the scariest movies I’ve seen to date. I’m trying to find one along the same lines as the fantastic horror sequences when the protaganist is being haunted by ghosts and the way they “sneak” up on her like the man in the elevator. Super creepy! Too bad the English remake with J Alba was PATHETIC, I couldn’t finish it. I watched “Pulse” recently, a Japanese horror movie; very weird and although had some strange looking scenes, not that scary and, in my opinion, a terrible ending. Looking for any other good scary, preferrably foreign, films.

      11. Laura May 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm

        Ills or Them. One of the scariest movies i have ever seen. Really tense.

      12. fergus November 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm

        Yes Ils should be near top of the list!

      13. tony January 26, 2014 at 10:54 pm

        where can i see these movies

      14. Wonderwoman February 8, 2014 at 5:13 am

        Was SERIOUSLY under-whelmed by “high tension” – a lame and awkward rip-off of Dean Koontz “Intensity” – which they don’t even have the decency to admit. The ending was utter shite, didn’t make sense when you look back over the film and made a joke of the entire flick. The movie’s production etc had nothing fresh or original to offer & tried to make up for it with the worst “twist” ending gimmick in history. It would never make my list of best anything. More likely to be on my “avoid at all costs” list. But the rest of this list is awesome, several of them are my fave horror flicks of all time!!

      15. Tiago February 9, 2014 at 10:16 pm

        Great list. I haven’t seen Phase 7, but sounds really good. Not much a fan of Troll Hunter and Host, but they are fun to watch. The only one that comes to mind that didn’t make your list is A “l’interieur” aka “Inside” that was pretty good. I also think the rest of the REC series is fantastic, really worth watching.

      16. Steven February 9, 2014 at 11:23 pm

        Cold Prey II was far better than the first!

      17. Robbie Higgins February 10, 2014 at 3:18 am

        OK. The very first Foreign horror I saw was the Chinese movie ‘The Eye’ and is still to this day my absolute favourite. I’m surprised it didn’t make this list, it’s a great horror movie, a great ghost movie and an all round fantastic horror experience, and above all, it scared me to death. Never before have I been so terrified in a movie as this. The elevator scene alone had me hiding behind my duvet (I was watching it alone in my bedroom). The first half of the film is wall to wall scares, the second half is a truly amazing and incredibly sad story. It inspired a lame Hollywood remake starring Jessica Alba but that is not patch on the original. I would recommend anyone that hasn’t seen this movie to watch it ASAP because it’s simply awesome.

      18. Robbie Higgins February 10, 2014 at 3:27 am

        Sorry, didn’t notice, ‘The Eye’ was already mentioned. Another great one is a Korean movie called ‘The Ghost’. Not as scary as ‘The Eye’ but still a great film with a couple of terrifying moments and heartbreaking storyline. Never quite figured out the ending though.

      19. bob101910 February 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        I find that some are best subtitled movies are ones filmed with low quality cameras, but amazing special effects. It makes the movie look more real. Check out Art of the Devil series. I think the camera quality picks up for the 2nd movie, but still looks good.

      20. pizzainacup February 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

        This list is so-so. There are a lot of other foreign films that could’ve been listed that weren’t for some reason.

        I’ll give you credit for listing… Dead Snow, Let The Right One In, [Rec], Frontier(s) Frostbitten and Cold Prey. However, the other films on this list are nothing to write home about.

      21. Travis G. February 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm

        Excellent list. It’s one of the best lists I’ve read in a long while. I’ve seen all, but two of them and all the ones I’ve seen were worth checking out. There are several more movies I would have listed, but I can understand why you would want to limit the number of movies on the list. Here are the ones I would have listed.
        3 Extremes
        Adam Chaplin
        Battle Royale
        Bedevilled
        Dream Home (not to be confused with Dream House)
        Hansel & Gretel (Korean movie not Witch hunters)
        Ichi the Killer
        Inside
        Lesson of the Evil
        Macabre
        Re-Cycle
        Rigor Mortis
        Save the Green Planet
        Story of Riki
        The Last Circus (One of the top two out of all the movies I listed)

      22. Robbie Higgins February 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

        Most of my favourites are from Asia but here they are

        10 A Tale Of Two Sisters (Korean)
        9 Dark Water (Japanese)
        8 Phone (Korean)
        7 Shutter (Japanese)
        6 The Grudge (Japanese)
        5 Julia’s Eyes (Spanish)
        4 Them (French)
        3 The Ghost (Korean)
        2 The Orphanage (Spanish)
        1 The Eye (Chinese)

      23. Joe Smithy February 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm

        Sleep Tight was diabolical and great!

      24. King Angantyr March 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm

        No ‘Kaidan’!? :-|

      25. Film streaming April 1, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        good to know it helped me a lot!

      26. Film Streaming June 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm

        Excellent list. It’s one of the best lists I’ve read in a long while. I’ve seen all, but two of them and all the ones I’ve seen were worth checking out.

      27. DK August 28, 2014 at 3:45 am

        Not a bad idea for a list, but I’ve got a few quibbles…

        “The Host” – yes, it’s reasonably well-made, but it’s not one of the top ten foreign horror movies. Perhaps you might consider the original “Oldboy” instead, and possibly even “Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance” – both of which are far more horrific (as well as far more plausible).

        “Cold Prey” in the final analysis isn’t even remotely interesting, subtitles or not.

        Thankfully you acknowledge that “High Tension” has problems with its ending. It’s logistically highly improbable to say the least (my polite and circuitous way of saying it was total bullshit) – and at that point the movie falls apart completely.

        I’d root instead for “Audition” (a wonderful, highly plausible slow-burner) and “Cronos,” and wonder about the curious lack of Italian movies in the list.

      28. DK August 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm

        Also, I’ll put in a few good words for “The Orphanage”- a Henry James-styled horror movie that aspires to and attains the status of tragedy. It’s one of a handful of horror movies that transcends the genre, and one of a few with a denouement that tends to leave viewers devastated. Thematically it reminds me of “Don’t Look Now” (1973) in that the plot pivots on the roles of misunderstanding/ misperception and their consequences, and centers on the loss of a child.