Let me start by saying that I have never seen a Belgian horror movie (sorry Belgium!). I have, however, seen a lot of lists about them. A LOT of lists! Although Belgium is not really known for its horror movies, they have apparently produced some pretty good ones. For the most part, they seem to be dark, bloody, have a bit of humor, and plenty of sex- what’s not to like? So I looked at all the lists and made a list of the best of the lists (okay… I’ll stop saying “list” now):
- Daughters of Darkness (1971) – Originally titled Les Levres Rouges. I can’t decide if there is anything scary about this besides having vampires in it. It sounds more like a sexy art film. But like I said in the beginning, I haven’t seen these movies. A couple whose marriage is on the rocks checks into a hotel. Two women are staying there also, one named Countess Bathory (maybe/maybe not THE Elizabeth Bathory), and her assistant (lover). We learn more about each couple, including the husband’s violent side, something the vampires take note of. You’ll be happy to know that these vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight.
- The Devil’s Nightmare (1971) – Originally titled La Plus Lounge Nuit du Diable. Seven people on a bus tour stop for the night at a spooky castle. Things go downhill from there in the best way possible. This has the devil, a succubus, gratuitous sex, murder, family curse, and a nazi connection. There’s a lot to unpack with this one. And as in all the other movies on this list – heavy amounts of gore. It looks like it falls into the “so bad, it’s good” category. So, of course, I have to find it!
- Rabid Grannies (1988) – Originally titled Les Memes Cannibales. I want to see this!!! We’ve seen the basic plotline before – someone receives a gift that turns out to be cursed. They end up either haunted or possessed. Standard horror movie. HOWEVER…this particular gift turns two old ladies into children-eating demons! I love comedy/horror movies, and this seems right up my alley. From what I’ve read, the acting is bad and the movie has some incredibly gory and offensive scenes. So who wants to come over for movie night?
- The Ordeal (2004) – Originally titled Calvaire. This has been described as a sort of Deliverance meets Psycho meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Marc’s (a cabaret singer) car breaks down on the way to a gig. A local finds him and takes him to the inn. The crazy old man that owns it captures him, dresses him as a woman. He thinks Marc is his dead wife that he suspected of cheating on him. He’s obsessed with punishing his dead wife in the weirdest, most fucked up ways. Eventually, the townspeople come to “rescue” him. I won’t say anymore.
- Cub (2014) – Originally titled Welp. A boy named Sam goes to the woods with his scout troop for the weekend. He’s bullied by the campers and troop leaders. They’re told not to go into the woods alone, because of the legend of Kai (who supposedly eats people). Of course, Sam does. This has all the usual elements – troop leaders having sex, mean campers, murderers in the woods – but takes it to a much more brutal level. This is full of violence and gore. More so than the typical American camp in the woods/slasher flick. From what I’ve read – if you have a weak stomach, or are upset by violence towards animals – this is not for you.
- Forgotten Scares: An In-depth Look at Flemish Horror Cinema (2016) – This is gonna tickle my horror documentary buttons. It was made by Steve de Roover, a Belgian filmmaker. Belgium horror movies are from two sections of Belgium. Flemish movies come from Flanders, where people speak Dutch. Walloon movies are from the other side of Belgium where people speak French. De Roovers is working on a documentary about Walloon movies as well. This film starts with Daughters of Darkness and works its way up to the present. It has movie info, clips, interviews, rare footage of unfinished movies – just to name a few. Perfect for any horror documentary nerd.