Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Foreign horror films that are universally fearful

Coming next on my Netflix queue is the Swedish vampire film,"Let The Right One In". It's considered by many to be the anti-Twilight,with the main characters being teens that are slightly younger than Bella or Edward(one of them,at least)in a love story that's way darker and much bloodier.

Let the Right One In starts with Oskar,a boy being the main target of the local bullies,who takes out his frustrations by stabbing trees. This action catches the eye of Eli,another outsider who has her own issues to deal and a rather gruesome way of handling them:

Now,I'm not of the opinion that just because something artistic was made outside of the U.S.,that automatically makes it superior(a theory that is just as annoying as "only indie movies are real,therefore better").

However,there are some damn interesting horror films out there that give folks an interesting look at another culture via one of the strongest emotions that all of us share,fear. It's merely a matter of shifting thru the various cinematic offerings to find those that click with your inner scaredy cat and sharpen your perspective to boot.

With that in mind,I thought that I would share with you some of the foreign fear flicks that I've come across which have given me some chills both outward and inward.

To start with,let's look at The Stendhal Syndrome that stars Asia Argento in a story about a traumatized cop who is afflicted by this phenomenon that causes a person to vividly hallucinate around major works of art. The movie was directed by Dario Argento,(yes,he's her dad)a well known master of the giallo genre in Italy and the fearlessness of this family neatly counterbalances the terrors the two of them unfold onscreen:

Night Watch is an adaptation of the first of a dark fantasy series by Russian author Sergei Lukyanenko,about folks who are keeping up an ancient battle between the forces of good and evil(called the Light and the Dark)by seeking a new player in the game who may be claimed by either side.

The second film,Day Watch, has already been made and hopefully the last two books will become movies as well. It would be a shame to have such an amazingly creative world snapped shut just as it was reaching it's maximum potential. At least this delay does give me time to click into Day Watch and see more of this hauntingly metahuman mythos unfold:

Brotherhood of the Wolf combines historical drama with a bit of real history along with some werewolf hijinks. Think of it as Last of the Mohicans meets Wolfen,with French accents.

A rash of violent killings in the countryside of pre-Revolutionary France causes the authorities to send a pair of unusually experienced men to investigate. Their findings are strange and deadly,on more than one level,with a trail that leads to a nest of sinister secrets and horrors yet to come.

The story is loosely based on a legendary reign of terror by the Beast of Geveudan back in the mid 1760s which is still debated about to this day. This is rather an epic version of a monster movie,but one that actually pays off:

With any luck,Let The Right One In will actually live up to the hype that's been just as pervasive as the clamor for Twilight has been. In truth,I think that both movies would make quite the double feature-how do you like your vampires,Miss,sweet or savory? Variety is the spice of life,even for the undead:

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

American horror these days just isn't quite as good as it used to be so I may have to check these out. I still prefer sweet vampires with a potential for violence.