Friday, 15 October 2010

Europe vs USA - Part Two

In my last post I outlined a competition between Europe and The US comparing their horror output for 2008/09.

Then we took a look at the best The USA had to offer us and in truth if you wade through the rubbish, the remake and the sequels there were many a good film to be found.

In this post we will take a look at Europe's finest during this period.

I have grown to become a big fan of European horror recently. I'm not sure at what point this new love grew but, it definitely has blossomed within me.

A lot of excellent horror came out of Europe in 2007 and the pressure must remain on the continent to keep it up and they certainly seem to have done that so far.

Excellent films spewed forth from right across the continent with an incredible diversity.

Britain gave us the gritty and all too realistic 'Eden Lake.' A tale of a young couple terrorised by violent youths give a worrying reflection of modern communities. Then from Norway came the crazy Nazi-zombie tale, 'Dead Snow.'

Del Toro pushed all the right buttons again as he helmed Spanish ghost story 'The Orphanage' and had us jumping and weeping like nobody else could whilst France did what it does best with the sometimes brutal Martyrs.

Without doubt though the stand out film came from an unlikely source in Sweden’s ‘Let the Right One In’. A dark, macabre coming-of-age tale of two teenage vampires that was as far from ‘Twilight’ as it could possibly step within the same genre.

And, that is where European horror’s strength lies, with the gloomy, sombre edge that doesn’t need to be sugar coated. It doesn’t need a optimistic finale where “all’s well that ends well” like many (though not all) American productions. There are rarely test audiences and focus groups to switch the conclusion.

There too lies the weakness. Some of Europe’s out point not only toes the line of what is acceptable but marches straight over and tramples all in its way with little to rein them in. So, whilst the best things to come out of Europe and undoubtedly excellent, the worst can often plumb the depths.

However, is it better than all that comes from the other side of the Atlantic? I’ll give my verdict in my next post.

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