The united States may be the world’s leading exporter of horror, but it hardly has a corner on the market. One country that had its fangs in the genre right from the start was Germany. While they may not put out a lot of horror movies, they have been putting out their share of solid additions to the genre for almost a century now! Check out these awesome German/Austria horror films that are a must see!
1. Blood Glacier (2013)
In this 2013 Austrian film reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Thing, melting glaciers expose an unknown red substance which is mutating the local wildlife into vicious monsters. Featuring predominantly practical sfx and some amazing shots (see above), this movie has some haters but I loved it. Definitely one to check out!
2. Rammbock: Berlin Undead (2010)
Like rage-zombies ala 28 Days Later? Then you need to see Rammbock: Berlin Undead. Actually an earlier film by the same team that made Blood Glacier, Rammbock is about a man who arrives in Berlin to visit his ex just as a virus is spreading, turning everyone into, well, rage-zombies (kinda told you that part already). Now he and a teenaged fellow survivor must barricade themselves into the building and try to survive. It’s a slightly smarter zombie film than most and is very well made. One downside is that, at only 63 minutes in length, it doesn’t even qualify as a full length film by some standards.
3. We Are The Night (2010)
A vampire flick, We Are The Night is about a trio of female vampires in Berlin. One of them, Louise, transforms a thief names Lena into a vampire after falling in love with her. Love triangles, police chases, and more ensue. But as you can see from the pic, this movie is still quite firmly rooted in horror despite the romance angle. Actually, sexuality and love angles are something that crop up in a lot of German films, as you will see from other items on the list. Which brings us to…
4. Nekromantik (1987)
First off, I really want you to understand how difficult it was to find a picture for this movie that didn’t require some sort of editing to censor it. You’re welcome, Google (they get on my ass about that). Secondly, yeah, Nekromantik. If you can’t tell from the title, this movie is about necrophilia. Hooray! From underground legend Jorg Buttgereit comes this infamous cult-classic about a man who brings home a dead body for he and his wife to do the especially-dirty dirty with. Jorg is a true master of the art horror film and honestly I could have just filled this list with his work.
5. Mark of the Devil (1970)
The next film on the list is the classic known as Mark of the Devil. This film is about the witch hunts and, while gruesome (that scene above plays out. Grab the kids!) is also somewhat historical in nature as it borrows from very real events. It’s a superbly made film.
6. Succubus (1968)
Succubus is a James Franco film so right off you know it is going to be a bit… odd… and, well, full of nudity. That aside, it’s a bit of a headtrip about a stripper who is losing her grasp on reality. Is she human? A demon? She’s got a weird thing for mannequins, that’s for sure. The film is a definite must see, especially for fans of the surreal.
7. Nosferatu (1922)
I told you Germany has been doing this since the beginning! Not only is Nosferatu black and white, it’s also a silent film. And it’s a good example for why copyright laws now exist. Murnau and Galeen wanted to make a Dracula movie but at the time the rights to the story were still owned by Bram Stoker and he said no. So, they just changed the name and made it anyway. As such, it is the earliest screen appearance of the Count. In this film he is, of course, known as Count Orlok instead.
8. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Predating even Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a genre classic on par with the Universal monster movies, albeit with a much weirder plot. Involving sleep walking, murders, psychic predictions and more, I feel that no paraphrasing of the plot I attempt can possibly do the film justice. Just go see it if you somehow have yet to!
9. Funny Games (1997)
No, not the one with Naomi Watts. Though still enjoyable, the 2007 film is a US remake of an Austrian film made a decade previously. The film follows two psychos who take a family hostage in their home and force them to play sadistic games. The film is brutal, though not overtly. It forces the viewer to imagine the violence to an extent. The film is viewed as a true genre classic and, where the remake has its merits, the original stands head and shoulders above.
Goodnight Mommy (2014)
This film was the number one horror film for 2014 and is one of the top 10 horror films of the 21st century so far. The film follows two twin brothers after their mother comes home, face wrapped in gauze, post surgery. The boys, however, are convinced that the entity behind those bandages is something which is very much not their mother.
The film truly messes with the audience. Anyone going into this film after seeing any of the trailers or reading the synopsis will go in expecting one thing only to slowly see the film evolve into something so wholly, horrifically different that one can only say that this movie can scarcely be matched. And with a twist ending that would make M. Knight Shyamalan crap himself, this movie is an instant classic that will amaze first time viewers and demand a second viewing so they can believe what they just saw.
Like German films? Then keep an eye out for Forest of Fear! An upcoming German horror film coming soon from TheBlood-Shed! To be filmed in the infamously haunted Black Forest and starring Daeg Faerch! Details can be found at our Facebook Page. Also be sure to check out our Indiegogo where you can get awesome perks for the movie while supporting indie horror!
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