What makes a thing foreign? ‘Tis a difficult question, aye.
I originally cobbled together a list of non-North American slasher films, but then thought Hey, no, I don’t want all these British movies clogging it up either – I want to feel cultural!
So out went products of English-speaking countries altogether, but that still left me with a handful of overseas-produced films that were in part presented in English.
Damn it, said I, let’s just go for the films produced abroad that didn’t pretend they were American, but may have British/American actors in them.
Then I said: Why is this so hard???
I’ve ranked them by adding my score to IMDb’s score, will have doubtlessly forgotten some, and have even seen a few more post-listing which would doubtlessly change a few things.
Anyway, the 50 Best non-American, non-Canadian, non-British, non-Australian, non-Irish, non-other-countries-I-forgot slasher films (beware yon spoilers):
50: Silent Bloodnight (Austria, 2006)
I love Austria – it’s beautiful year round and the people are friendly. Sadly this doesn’t afford the first of their two films in this countdown dropping out first: Sexy young people who are going to open a Boy Scout Camp are being slain by a shovel wielding loon who looks like they’ve become entangled in their own bed sheets. The film is one big headfuck with little coherence but tons of full frontal nudity from both genders! Go European inhibition!
Curiously recorded in English, which means there are some bad translations at play: “Something unexplained has happened!”
49: Blood Tracks (Sweden, 1985)
There’s debate over whether this film is Swedish or British. Either answer doesn’t stop it sucking – but it was filmed in Sweden with many a Swedish actor and appears to have been dubbed so let’s say Sweden.
A hair metal band called Solid Gold go into the mountains to film a music video at an abandoned factory where a family of Hills Have Eyes-esque miscreants reside who don’t take kindly to the arrival of masses of hair that threatens to block out the sunlight.
The band and their topless-despite-the-freezing-temperatures groupies/dancers are stalked and murdered in a sequence of under-lit scenes, rendering the film difficult to watch for another reason.
48: Bloody Moon (Spain, 1981)
I fucking hated this one when I watched it many [bloody] moons ago and only just revisited it a couple of weeks back.
Stupid girls at a stupid school are murdered by a stupid killer who may or may not be some disfigured guy recently released from an institution. So idiotic is everything that in one scene, a girl allows an anonymous masked stranger to drive her to a mill and tie her to a slab without questioning his motivations.
47: Skeleton Crew (Finland, 2009)
Another film crew making a based-on-true-events horror movie at an asylum are stalked and slain and that’s roughly all I remember of this Finnish export, which adds nothing of its own culture to the mix, merely aping any number of American productions to no avail.
46: Paranormal Xperience 3D (Spain, 2011)
Considering Spain has seen the homegrown awesomeness of The Orphanage and Julia’s Eyes (more of that later) in recent years, it makes sense that the equal and opposite reaction theory coughs up crud like this, in which five failing psych students are sent to a town to document the legend of a cursed mining town, stalked by an undead maniac.
The 3D gimmick means everything else takes a backseat as a girl’s ass in tiny shorts takes up the majority of the screen at one point, showing exactly how much thought went into everything else.
45: The Nun (Spain, 2005)
Two in a row for Spain. The Nun would likely be rated a lot higher by everyone were it not for the worst twist ending you could imagine.
After witnessing the bizarre death of her mother, teenager Eve travels to Spain to play detective as mom’s Catholic school friends are also dying one by one in weird circumstances. A spectral nun – ghost of the abusive Sister Ursula, whom the girls accidentally killed eighteen years earlier – is hunting them down.
Only she isn’t. The entire film is revealed to be a lie at about minute 95 and Eve is somehow the killer, despite the first death occurring before the ‘traumatic event’ that sets her off on her merry spree. A candidate for worst twist ending ever.
44: The Crying Tree (Thailand, 2003)
A girl who runs a family country resort finds that all potential suitors who enter her life end up murdered. Low-end production values are harmful, but at least there are some laughs to be had along the way before the so-fucking-obvious identity of the killer is revealed: One guy is beaten with a copy of the Yellow Pages while another hitches and accepts a ride from the cloaked and masked killer.
43: Trackman (Russia, 2007)
Russia’s turn to export a slasher movie should be dripping in Soviet allegory, vodka, and brutality, but instead they gave us Trackman, in which a group of bank robbers take some hostages into the subterranean tunnels beneath Moscow, where a Chernobyl victim of Jason-like stature teleports around, pick-axing them to death. The 77 minutes felt like 177.
42. One Way Trip (Austria/Switzerland, 2011)
Released in 3D to up ante, this good-looking flick is essentially a carbon copy of the UK/Irish Shrooms, but ultimately a little better in most instances: Eight young people head into the Swiss forest to experience the effects of a seasonal hallucinogenic mushroom and, after one of them is injured, seek shelter at a farmhouse where a disfigured woman begins stabbing, skewering, and burning them. Without the aforementioned film already existing, the twist might have been a lot more effective. In spite of the title and credits, it’s yet to be released with either English subtitles or dubbing.
41: Drowning Ghost (Sweden, 2004)
Sweden’s importance to the music industry isn’t accurately reflected in horror films, as evidenced by this soggy mystery, where a killer stalks students at a private school where a girl committed suicide a year earlier and, 100 years before, a farmer murdered three students and drowned himself. Or something.
Notable for a pre-fame Rebecca Ferguson being in it but little else, I watched this one again fairly recently and still can’t remember a damn thing.