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Films

5 underrated foreign-language horror films on Netflix

While many would opine that Halloween is the best time to binge on horror films, the genre requires our unhinged attention all year round. Perhaps the most sought-after and coveted of all the film genres, horror and its various other sub-genres have found a comfortable home in streaming platforms like Netflix whose wide array of horror films and series is enough to satiate the regular horror aficionado. 

Recently, Netflix has understood how lucrative the global market is and has begun investing in a greater amount of foreign-language content. From Squid Game and Money Heist to All Of Us Are Dead, Hellbound and Elite, the streamer has reached a greater demographic with its variety of foreign language content that ranges from dramas, comedies, thrillers, sci-fi and more. 

While the streamer has its own collection of classic horror titles, there are many that often slip our radar and remain unappreciated in the corners, accumulating cobwebs. From Veronica and The Swarm to Raw, while many foreign-language horror films have been appreciated by audiences around the world, Netflix has scores of such underrated flicks that are equally unsettling and disturbing. 

Here are five underrated foreign-language horror films on Netflix: 

5 underrated foreign-language horror films on Netflix

5. Aurora (Yam Laranas, 2019)

Inspired by the disastrous collision between a ferry and an oil tanker in 1987, the film sees two sisters living on an island whose lives are disrupted by the catastrophe when the younger sister’s abilities to see and hear dead people wreak havoc on their lives. 

In this slow-burn Filipino horror film, the supernatural apparitions are well imagined as they desperately seek closure. With an intriguing story, the film has a hint of tragic undertones to it which makes it quite devastating towards the end.   

4. The Guardian (Victor Vu, 2021) 

After her idol commits suicide, a backup singer desperately tries to get into the spotlight when she finds herself in a parallel life. With plenty of creepy Kumanthong dolls in the picture, the sinister forces of occultism come into play. 

This Vietnamese film is a brilliant exploration of fame, revenge and other superstitious beliefs. With plenty of suspense and tension, the horror film also has a slight tinge of melancholy that will make you ponder over the morals of the film long after the credits start rolling. 

3. The Influence (Denis Rovira, 2019)

Having fled from past trauma, Alicia is forced to return to her childhood home with her husband and two daughters. The ominous presence of the possessive and obsessive family matriarch looms large and soon acts as an evil force in their lives while evoking Alicia’s painful memories. 

A tale of possession, obsession, revenge and trauma, this slow-burn Spanish horror film, despite its somewhat predictable narrative, is pretty eerie and gruesome. With great performances from the cast, the film also sees a comprehensive presence of ‘evil’ that adds to the atmosphere of discomfort. 

2. A Classic Horror Story (Massimillano Mechelli, 2021) 

Five carpoolers find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere. They seek shelter in a wooden hut within an impenetrable forest which turns out to be the meeting grounds for a sinister cult. 

A proper cross between Wrong Turn and Cabin in the Woods, the characteristic trope of a house in the middle of nowhere is seen in this meta film. A pretty delectable insight into a horrifying Italian summer, the references to the classics of the genre are pretty clear and the film is mighty enjoyable as a quintessential slasher horror. 

1. Under the Shadow (Babak Anvari, 2016)

Horror permeates through screens and often transcends into the socio-political context of today’s charged world. Anvari’s claustrophobic horror rings in the everyday fears that rise from everyday issues, especially the devastation of a war-torn society. The discomfort not only emanates from the supernatural entity within the walls of the house but also from the repressive forces in the outside world. 

Set in the 80s post-revolutionary Tehran, the film sees a mother and daughter struggle for survival in a war-torn society. Their seemingly safe home is haunted by a malevolent force that adds to their harrowing experiences.