The French have always been somewhat in the horror film business, but business has really been booming over the last years. In fact, they’ve overtaken Japan as the foremost exporters of disturbing horror to America. In this list of the top 10 French horror films, we’ll look at terrifying movies both new and old.
Martyrs (2008) - Pascal Laugier – An insane film about secret experiments, revenge, and the inner working of the cosmos. Unflinchingly brutal and absolutely not for the faint of heart.
Inside (2007) – Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury - A pregnant woman is menaced by a stranger who wants to cut out her baby with a pair of scissors. As people drop by to check on the woman, the body count rises. Bizarre and bloody.
High Tension (2003) – Alexandre Aja - A couple of college girls have to deal with a madman in this example of New French Extremism. The killer gets oral sex from a severed head at one point, so that should give you an idea of what we’re dealing with.
The Tenant (1976) - Roman Polanski - This film tells the story of a man who moves into a flat where the previous tenant committed suicide. Before long, he realizes that something is seriously wrong with his neighbors.
Frontier(s) (2007) - Xavier Jens – A group of crazed neo-Nazis prey on traveling youngsters. Lots of violence and mayhem for the gorehound crowd.
Maléfique (2002) – Eric Valette - Four prisoners find a mysterious magical book in their cell and decide to use it to escape. Things go horribly wrong, of course. Outstanding film with interesting characters and plenty of Lovecraftian atmosphere.