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5 Brutal Foreign Horror Movies To Play At Christmas To Scare Your Family Away!

By: Remy Carreiro. The good news is, it’s Christmas time. Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men, and all that crap. The bad news is, this may be the first year you are holding the Christmas celebration at your house. You have already decided from decorating to all the cooking that is required, you never want to have to go through this again. So what do you do to ensure that Christmas is never again thrown at your place of residence? I have a rather simple solution, and it even incorporates the most disturbing horror movies ever made. Also, note this is not another movie list about all the classic Christmas horror movies (Black Christmas, Silent Night, Deadly Night). Put those on and most people would just laugh. No, these are the movies you put on and the people in the room flee in genuine terror and disgust. Honestly, is there a better way to introduce myself to the Bloody Disgusting readership than this? No, there really isn’t. These are five brutal, foreign horror movies you play at Christmas to scare your family away.


Quick excuse when family begins to freak out: Relax guys, it’s a Christmas movie.

Inside is a Christmas movie, but only in the sense that it takes place on Christmas eve. Outside of that, the Christmas theme is only set in place to make the whole experience feel more bleak and hopeless.

Inside is film from the French extreme movement about a pregnant woman who is home alone on Christmas eve and she gets a visitor. A woman claiming she broke down and needs help. Obviously you all know horror well enough to know that the woman may have some nefarious intentions. In this case, this stranger wants this woman’s unborn baby. I won’t spoil any reasons why, but trust me when I say, this is NOT a family film. Inside would remain on for about twenty minutes before everyone walks out.


Quick excuse when family freaks out: It is a movie about God and religion, and who’s birthday is it today?

Anyone who has seen this movie is laughing as they read this, trying to imagine how their grandmother and religious aunt (come on, we all have one) would react. Just keep telling your family it is an art-house movie. The reality is Martys is a move that you may initially think is about revenge, but the tone changes quickly. Many call Martyrs one of the most vile and upsetting horror films out there, but I also see it as one of the best.

A film about a fevered cult who think that girls can talk to God if they experience enough pain, Martyrs is ruthless and relentless in its brutality. The perfect movie to play when you want to scare your guests away and have them never come back. You would get about seven minutes into Martyrs before you found yourself, standing alone on Christmas.


Quick excuse when family freaks out: Listen, sometimes at Christmas we need to acknowledge the bad so we can truly be grateful for how lucky we are.

You knew there had to be a Gaspar Noe film on this list somewhere, right? Irreversible is the kind of movie that could totally ruin you if you sit down to watch it and know nothing about it. A big part of that is the rape scene that accentuates the middle of the story. Just think how well rape scenes go over at Christmas and you know why this is on the list.

The whole concept of this movie is that your life can pretty much change for the worse in a single day and there is little you can about it. The thing you also need to keep in mind about Irreversible is that it plays in reverse, and opens up with the ending. A harsh scene that you may need to watch again later to realize that it may have not played out like you thought it did. The long and the short is that Gasper Noe doesn’t really believe in happy endings, even when they happen at the beginning.

Seriously, play this movie at Christmas and your family may never look at you the same way. Consider yourself warned. Expect your family to leave about three minutes into this film.

Funny Games

Excuse when family begins to freak out: You know this director has won an Oscar, right?

Keep in mind, there is an American remake of this film by the same director, and it is shot-for-shot, so if you are burnt out on the subtitles by now, that is a viable option. I think of all the films you put on so far, this is the one that may keep people around the longest. Why? Because it feels almost like a slow-burn, and compared to the others on the list, there is NO blood at all. But Funny Games does something other horror movies don’t do. It holds the audience accountable. It looks at you and while doing horrible things, it asks: this is what you wanted, right? This is why you are watching, isn’t it? In those moment, it goes from being a film, to being a harrowing, gut-wrenching experience, all centered around one family and one family dynamic. Funny Games is one of those horror movies that is exhausting that, by the time it ends, you feel like you could sob.

In other words, a perfect family Christmas movie! You may actually get about thirty minutes or so into Funny Games before your family realizes these games aren’t very funny.

A Serbian Film

Excuse when family begins to freak out: Maybe on all days, it is Christmas when we need to realize how lucky we are, and how many injustices are going on in other countries that we don’t even know about.

Quick warning, depending on how far your family gets into this movie, they very well may disown you. I did a rather long write-up of Serbian Film and its many, um, virtues, over at my own site awhile back. I really, genuinely believe that this is the most disturbing movie ever made, and pushes the boundaries in horror that most would not even dare approach. But over time, I have understood more and more why this film was made. Yes, it is unforgivably brutal, but in the same breath, this stuff really goes on over in Serbia, and maybe we all need to know that. Or maybe we don’t, actually. But I digress, lest this turns into some political diatribe.

But I can say this with all confidence: this movie ruins people. Serbian Film is about a former porn star who takes one more job to make the money he needs to get his family out of Serbia, only to find out it is the sickest of all the snuff films ever made. Honestly, there are scenes in this film you would not show an enemy (newborn porn) so the act of showing it to your family could get you disowned. I am not kidding.

Yes, it is THAT hardcore. So bust out Serbian Film only in extreme emergency and if the other four films had no effect.

So while some families may gather around the table eating Christmas dinner and watching Christmas Story, take comfort in knowing your family will be rushing out of your house, gagging, from the movies you chose to put on. Hey look, I just saved your Christmas. You’re welcome. Sorry about the “your family hates you now” thing, but that will pass in time. I am living proof of that.

By the way, can’t believe I just wrote my first Bloody Disgusting article. You all have no idea how honored I am to be here. Thanks so much for reading, and please feel free to pop over to my site, and then hit me up on my Facebook page. This is beginning of a beautiful relationship. -Remy Carreiro



  • DarrelDreadful

    Im sad to say that Ive only seen one of the movies on this list. I really need to get around to my must-see Foreign horror films list. But this is a great article nonetheless.

  • anezka

    Great list! I’ve watched all of them and these are some of my favourite movies (Martyrs is actually my favourite ever), except for Irreversible. I think nobody can like that thing. The rape scene passes way too many boundaries for me.
    Showing any of these to my family, though, is a risk I wouldn’t take, but you made me want to watch some again.

    • Michael_M

      Agreed. Martyrs is a breathtaking film. I originally bought the DVD with the documentary then later bought the Bluray for improved image quality. Don’t understand why the GIF was placed after Serbian Film because it would have been less confusing to include it after the summary for Martyrs. I don’t agree with Mr. Disgusting’s summary either. To describe them as a “fevered cult” implies a lack of focus. They are increasingly methodical in their approach and become much more organized.

  • Anghrist

    I’d add “Flower of Flesh and Blood” to this list: “Christmas in general and Christmas dinner in particular is all about the preparation.”

    • Remy Carreiro

      Well played. Hahaha.

  • Ozzypinapple

    What is the gif at the end from?

    • WalkWithMeInDarkness

      It’s from Martyrs.

      • Ozzypinapple

        Weird. I dont remember that scene…but its been a while

  • AgainstMe

    I have only seen Irreversible and it is damn depressing, in a good way? I’ve wanted to see the others (what is wrong with me?) but often forget about them. I’m going to run over to IMDB and put them on my Watchlist RIGHT NOW. P.S. I am also curious about the last gif?!?

    • WalkWithMeInDarkness


    • WalkWithMeInDarkness

      And nothing’s wrong with you unless you have a desire to watch a real snuff film! Then I’d be worried! JK!

  • WalkWithMeInDarkness

    Inside and Funny Games. No to the rest.

  • snotboy21

    Ok well I think this is a good list…if it were renamed. This is more just the best extreme foreign horror of the past 10 years. Other than Inside I don’t really see what any of them had to do with Xmas. I like lists, reading them, making my own, arguing with them. This though, well, pointless…

  • Darkness69

    Never planning on watching The Serbian Film, thank you very much. I started writing how this could not be happening in real life there, but, then again, considering the torture and suffering their paramilitary forces (the “chetniks”) did to the surrounding nations during the recent war, I’m not so sure anymore. The fact is, I don’t see the point in this movie. To do something just for shock value is superficial and as devoid of art as one could possibly be – and last I heard, films were still considered to exist in the realm of art.

    • Remy Carreiro

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy that film at all. Crosses too many lines. But as far as a movie to scare your family off, that would be the film to use.

  • WolfQueen

    I don’t remember that scene from Martyrs, but then again, it’s been years since I’ve seen it.

    • MachineGunGandhi

      It’s when they yank the iron-maiden type mask off that creepy Killing Floor Siren-looking chick

  • ProwlerInTheYard

    Inside is the best christmas movie since Die Hard

    • Remy Carreiro

      This comment wins.

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    the only movie on this list i have seen is Irreversible and i didn’t like it. weird movie. those epileptic camera shots/angles were annoying IMO. if i remember right, the first five minutes the camera was just spinning around in every direction. half the time you couldn’t even see what was going on because it was too dark, camera was too shaky, or the camera was at a weird angle

  • Mucey

    Congrats, Remy! Welcome to Bloody Disgusting!

    • Remy Carreiro

      Thank you so much, Mucey.
      Awesome to be here!

      • WalkWithMeInDarkness

        @Remy Carreiro, I second that. Welcome!

  • SaltSlasher

    Not to sound like a dick..I am all for these movies, I love them, but why compelled you to offer these movies to “Christmas Movie” goers.
    I personally don’t watch these types around Christmas, because they suck all happiness out of you. You can’t be in Christmas Spirit and watch these movies.

    • Remy Carreiro

      Did you actually read the piece, or did you just look at the titles of the movies? Be honest. If you read the article, you would have seen why Christmas was involved. I appreciate that you approached this with a very civil tone, but the article answered your question before you asked it.
      For those who need to ask:
      These are examples of extreme films that you would play during Christmas festivities to ensure your family will never again come over to your house for Christmas.
      I.E these would be the movies you would play to scare people off. As it clearly states in the title.

  • aaroniphonelover

    Great List but how come the THE WOMAN was not on here? It’s a really great film..

    A Serbian film is the most F up movie I have ever seen.. Inside is one of the most creepiest movies I have ever seen.
    Martyrs Is one of the most F up weird and so messed up movies I have ever seen.
    Funny games was ok but should not be on the list.. And Irreversible was just a rape film so why is it on the list?

  • aaroniphonelover

    Oh the GIF clip from Martyrs is when the girl who was chained up in the basement was free in the house the crazy girl tried to give her a bath and she was trying to take off that metal helmet that was screwed into her skull.. That was a very brutal scene. I still cringe when I think about that scene. You can hear her flesh coming off as it was ripped from her head. So brutal and messed up.

  • bellazombirella

    Yes yes and hell yes! A lovely list of horrors! Glad to see you here 🙂

  • ‘Martyrs’ is so disturbingly beautiful…I have it, and I’ve watched it once, but I just haven’t been in the right mindset to watch it again even though I (if possible) enjoyed it. ‘Inside’ is fantastic as well. Ugh, Gasper Noe…’Irreversible’ almost made me sick due to the camera spinning, and then that rape scene. Shudder. Too much after a while. ‘A Serbian Film’ is something I decided to watch simply because of the controversy around it and I was pretty repulsed. I closed my eyes and I never do that in films. I don’t personally find anything redeeming or artistic about that movie, but hey, to each his own. Great piece; made me laugh! Glad to see a new writer aboard!

  • Jen Fox

    I’ve seen all of them and to be honest I liked all of them enough to have all of them. There is one I don’t know if I would ever watch again and I think we all know that’s a Serbian Film but it did do it’s job…it horrified me. I was in shock. But as far as not showing my family these…man oh man…if only there was a way i could let these all play one after another in the background of xmas just to see what would happen.

  • horrorking95

    Inside and Martyrs are two of my favourite films ever made. I think Calvaire and Sheitan should’ve been put on here too, as they’re both set around Christmas. I’ve actually watched all of these films (except Irreversible and A Serbian Film) with my parents LOL! I can’t wait to see Irreversible. I’ll be getting it tomorrow! XD

  • Paulochainsawmassacre

    Welcome Remy, it’s nice to see foreign horror getting some more recognition. For me it’s been a breath of fresh air to the genre. I’ve mentioned it on this site before, but I really don’t understand the perspective that A Serbian Film is pure exploitation. Speaking as a film maker myself and knowing somewhat the level of work that goes into a movie and a delicate narrative such as A Serbian Films. It really goes far beyond simple shock tactics. It’s another movie that has pushed a boundary, without these movies we would not be able to progress and as long as people have the freedom to not watch a movie, it deserves more respect than just panning it off as ‘sick’. One thing though Remy, I am not the best at grammar myself but there are a few errors in your article. Have a good Xmas everyone!

  • amol


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