August 25, 2014

Top 10 List: 10 French Horror flicks that will kick your ass!

Since the early 00's, French Horror films have been blazing a path to Horror Glory the way that the films of Hooper/Craven/Carpenter/Cronenberg/Fulci did in the 70's. Now, I know that's a bold comparison, but these are bold films; not since films like Last House of the Left, Texas Chainsaw, The Hills Have Eyes, The Brood, and their ilk, have Horror movies been so stark and shocking, while being thought provoking and artistic at the same time.

The following movies may or may not be modern day classics (that's up to you to decide), but at the very least, they go for the jugular in an unapologetic way that leaves audiences reeling. If you're in the mood for something different and fierce, these films are a great place to start.

*Be sure to click through and read the full reviews of these movies (when available) if you'd like a more in-depth account of what you can expect from them.

With Haute Tension, we learned that the Horror Genre was alive and well.

Coming out of the 90's, the Horror Genre was stagnant; it seemed as if no one really knew what kind of Horror movie to make that crowds would embrace, and so we fans got a lot of uninspired offerings dumped in our laps. Don't get us wrong, there were some truly great Genre films to come out of the 90's, but for the most part, they just felt tame and restrained.

In 2003 though, Alexandre Aja slapped us awake with his brutal, unflinching, jaw-dropping Gorefest, Haute Tension.

The ending may have left us a little bit pissed off at the time -I remember beating my kitten to death with the bag of marshmallows that I was snacking on (I miss you Meowna Lisa)- but it didn't detract too horribly from a flick that was nasty and ruthless, and came at us with absolutely no fear. We praised this one up and down, despite it's faults, for finally giving us something to chew on as American Horror fans.

Haute Tension was basically our first foray into French Horror, and to this day, it remains one of our sentimental favorites.

Martyrs (2008)
With Martyrs, we learned that even the most brutal of films could leave us in existential crisis.

This movie is nothing short of brilliant, in both execution and in concept. The thing about it is though, this movie may not be for you. Hell, this movie may not be for most people, but I'll be damned if it isn't compelling as hell. It makes you think, makes you cringe, and really makes you wonder... wonder where French Horror filmmakers get their sick and twisted ides from.

Like it or not, you can't deny that the way the movie ended was pretty damned bold.

Frontiere(s) (2007)
With Frontiere(s), we learned that the French aren't afraid to do ANYTHING on film.

Frontiere(s) is a movie that shows just how aloof the French are; they don't care if you throw up or pass out, they will make their movies, in their way, and you can suck it if you don't like it. With this one, we get a family of creepy inbred Nazi's terrorizing some innocent travelers... alright, maybe they weren't so innocent, but was the table saw really necessary? Just how angry are you, France?

Inside (2008)
With Inside, we learned that some women take the term "Baby Crazy" to a completely inappropriate level.

To say that Inside is full of blood and gore is an understatement; it's jam-packed with the stuff, and to the point where I turned from the screen in horror on more than one occasion. The gore, coupled with the terrifying atmosphere and tension of the movie, should mess with even the toughest of Horror fans. As for pregnant Horror fans, well they may want to just skip this one until after they give birth.

Them (2007)
With Them, we learned that the French have no issue showing us how messed up society really is.

We get it, France; the youth of today is apathetic and pissed off, and they address their disenchantment with society using knives, rusty pipes, and those creepy noisemaker things. Ils (Them) does a great job of showing us that in this day and age, we're not even safe from kids... maybe even especially from kids. It also illustrates the inherent dangers of living in rural Romania, but we pretty much already thought that sounded creepy to begin with.

Baby Blood (1990)
With Baby Blood, we learned that nothing is sacred to the French, not even the sacred act of a woman giving birth.

Though we didn't actually see this one until recently, this twisted little flick has been around since the early 90's, and I'm sorry that I missed it when I was younger. Since watching this movie, I've decided that pregnant women scare me, and that they all want to kill me, bleed me dry, and feed my blood to their unborn devil-spawn.

Calvaire (2004)
With Calvaire, we learned that crazy people are everywhere, and you'll most assuredly meet them if you travel through France.

The movies Sheitan (see below) and Calvaire both taught us never to travel into the French Countryside; that is unless you are interested in being raped, tortured and murdered. I guess if you want to gang rape a pig though, you can go ahead and seek out some of the Frenchie "rural folk," because they'll let you do it. They'll even help/watch you do it, if you like.

Irreversible (2002)
With Irreversible, we learned that French filmmakers have very few boundaries.

There are only two scenes in Irreversible that are truly horrific, but they were more than enough to make me wonder what happened to Gaspar Noe when he was a child. Seriously, who warped his fragile little mind like that?!?!

The first scene is a 7 minute long rape scene which honestly had us saying "Jesus Christ!" every 20 seconds or so. The second scene involved someone getting their head caved in with a fire extinguisher, and while not as long or painful to endure as the rape scene, it still made us flinch, and maybe even gag. This is one disturbing movie, and if you can sit through it with no problem, you may need therapy.

Cache (2005)
With Cache, we learned that the French love to mess with our minds.

Cache shows us that if people want revenge on you, or if they just want to randomly fuck with you, you're basically helpless to stop it. They're out there you know, watching you, waiting to pull you into the darkness and destroy you, slowly and painfully. I stopped randomly stalking/videotaping people from the street after this one, because I realized that It was totally inappropriate of me. Plus, I'm not that big on jail.

Mutants (2009)
With Mutants, we learned that true love transcends even death.

So what if the love of your life gets infected with a virus that basically turns him into a savage mutant that wants to rip the flesh from your body and drink your blood, the two of you have history, and you're not about to let some pesky virus destroy everything you've worked so hard to achieve. Sounds like the typical storybook romance to me.

Also, the French are nototrious pervs.
We've included a few more notable French Horror flicks below, because maybe 10 movies just isn't enough for some people. Maybe some people are a little too greedy for their own good.

You can click the first four pics (The Horde, Livide, Trouble Every Day, and Malefique) to read their full reviews, and the rest of them will redirect you to their respective IMDB pages.


  1. France had such a great run for 5 years. But since 2007 (Inside and Martyrs), they haven't produced any gems. Livide was solid but a wee bit disappointing. We're ready France.

  2. Livide was disappointing, but up until the ending, we dugit a lot.

    Like you said, France did have a great run in the 2000's though.