Halloween is one of those divisive holidays: some people love it, some people hate it. Same goes for horror films. There are some real masochists out there who, from some reason, actually enjoy being frightened. For others, scary movies are well, just too scary. Whether you love or hate them, here are 10 movies to get you in the Halloween mood. There’s something for everyone; whether you want to laugh, scream, or cry — or just watch some creepy clowns, we’ve got you covered. Plus, they’re all in Spanish. Look for them on the different streaming platforms.
Los sin nombre
Who are the Nameless? The trailer to Balaqueró’s mystery plays like a bingo card of horror film convention: spooky piano? Check. Whispering child’s voice? Check. Swimming pool, rainy alleyways, creepy middle-aged scientist/investigator/journalist-man? Absolutely. The plot centers on the grief-stricken Claudia, whose infant daughter Angela died several years earlier. But when she receives a phone call from a girl claiming to be Angela, she determines to uncover the murky past. Sounds like a scam to us.
A team of parapsychologists attempt to help a widower and his children figure out why there are strange, paranormal events taking place in their newly occupied apartment after the family experiences a major tragedy. Using state-of-the-art technology, the team sets out to record the phenomena happening in the residence, but when they try to contact the “other side,” the incidents begin to get more and more dangerous for everyone involved in the investigation. Part Paranormal Activity, part faux documentary, this horror film is sure to make you second guess all those things you hear go bump in the night.
Las brujas de Zugarramurdi
Winner of the most awards at the 28th Goya Awards this past February (including Best Costume Design, Best Special Effects, and Best Supporting Actress for Terele Pávez), this Spanish horror-comedy tells the story of two men, José (Silva) and Tony (Casas), who find themselves in a serious predicament after they commit a crime. Dressed as Jesus Christ and a toy soldier, the guys rob a bank and then hide in a forest from the pursuing police. The only problem with their plan is that they never thought the forest would be inhabited by a group of cannibalistic witches who plan on destroying the world. Gory and hilarious, Witching and Bitching looks and feels like something inspired by the horror work of director Sam Raimi (Drag Me to Hell, Evil Dead II).
A well-to-do family sorting through some personal problems is traumatized when three men break into their new house in Madrid and attempt to rob them. Violence hits a shocking level in this psychological thriller directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas, who won the Best Director Award at the Austin Fantastic Fest in 2010. The production was seen as noteworthy at the time because Vivas decided to shoot the entire film in 12 long takes. As with many brutal home-invasion thrillers like Funny Games and The Last House on the Left, critics who have given Kidnapped positive reviews have called the film “unsettling.”
A horror film from the Spanish born Adrián García Bogliano, Cold Sweat follows Román (Espinosa), who stumbles upon his ex-girlfriend Jackie (Velasco), who has somehow gotten caught up in a torture cult run by two sadistic, old men. The aging political radicals have managed to put Jackie’s life in incredible danger by threatening her with explosive nitroglycerin. When Román and his friend Ali (Glezer) try to help Jackie out of her confines, the elderly psychos prove to be more than meets the eye. Imagine Saw with an AARP member as the killer.
Ahí va el diablo
Rule number one of filmmaking: certain words in the title will automatically make your film sound cool, such as ‘hustle’, ‘pulp’ or anything with an X in it. When applied to normal (i.e. non-horror) films, ‘devil’ falls under this category, with Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead or Ride with the Devil both pricking the hipster consciousness before failing to live up to their epic titles. But stick ‘devil’ in a horror film and it just sounds clichéd. Like Los Sin Nombre, disappearing/reappearing children are at the heart of the Madrileño, Adrián García Bogliano’s film, as a hitherto happy couple idiotically lose their kids near some mountainside caves. The brats soon turn up but are exhibiting some pretty disturbing changes. Are they possessed by Satan? Or have they just had too many Skittles. Either way, it seems like some lessons in responsible parenting wouldn’t go amiss.
‘A remote lakeside village hides an old and terrifying secret’. There’s no Wi-Fi. What’s worse is that, 100 years after committing suicide, the Morgana of the title is hungry for blood. Her restless spirit plagues the mist-shrouded community, the only hope of resolution resting lying with an intrepid young woman who tries to piece together the tragic circumstances of Morgana’s life and death. Probably best not to take a shower alone mid-way through watching this. Or look in the mirror. And selfies are definitely out.
Considering Spain has one of the finest gastronomies in the world, it’s no surprise that the cannibals there are also pretty innovative. Marcos Vela is a renowned food critic invited to check out a new range of clandestine restaurants that are growing in popularity but which cost an arm and a leg. The restaurants regularly grill customers for their tastes, and are hoping to flesh out their menu by having lots of people for dinner. But the food is to die for.
Balada triste de trompeta
De la Iglesia’s attention-seeking film is a visually stunning Spanish spectacle that shifts between the horrors of the Civil War in the 1930s and the horrors of the civilian wardrobe in the 1970s. Explosive action scenes make up for a clunky script and wobbly acting in an assault on the senses that turns the volume all the way up to once. Yet, beneath the carnage, there lies a deeply resonant and inescapable message: clowns make me uncomfortable.
[REC] 3: Genesis
It’s supposed to be the happiest day of Clara’s (Dolera) life: her wedding day. But when guests start succumbing to a strange, demonic illness, the surviving wedding party must fight for their lives as the infected partygoers go on a destructive rampage through the venue attacking everyone in sight. As the third installment of the [REC] series, Genesis continues with the found-footage style of camerawork at the beginning of the film before switching to traditional cinematography. This sequel will be followed by a fourth film, [REC] 4: Apocalypse, which is slated for release in Spain on Halloween.