While lockdown and shelter in place orders continue in many parts of the world amidst the coronavirus crisis; horror fans have turned to video streaming platforms. With a constantly changing catalog of titles to watch, the choice of what to watch next can feel overwhelming. How many times have you aimlessly wandered around the film or TV library looking for something to grab your attention?
Netflix is increasingly becoming a staple option in many homes, with its use rising and viewers spending more time on the platform while confined to their homes. Often films and television shows are available across multiple countries on the streaming service – but sometimes this is not the case. With complex licensing deals and the enormous task of negotiating distribution in various locations – often some hidden horror gems don’t make it to the USA. Even major titles and established franchises sometimes see US distribution by Netflix end, while still being available to stream in other locations. Outside the big releases, smaller and independent horror content may distribute locally and will never be available to residents of the US. We are going to take a look at some of the films available on Netflix outside of the USA – and explain how to access them inside America.
US movie fans who have exhausted the selection of horror available to them are turning to VPN services to access a more diverse range of horror films and shows. A Netflix VPN works by changing the user’s IP address, allowing them to access content as though browsing from a different country than their own. They can view and screen films exclusive to Canada, the UK, Japan, and more in the same manner users in these countries would. If you have been thinking about expanding your knowledge of international horror; this could be a perfect solution.
So, what’s available outside of the US that horror fans will want to check out?
This horror-fantasy film made an impression and received critical praise when released last year. It is available in The Netherlands, South Africa, and other locations – but is not currently included in Netflix US.
Brightburn takes the ever-popular superhero film and meshes it with horror traditions. It follows an extraterrestrial child raised on Earth, who turns to evil and terrorizes the community who raised him. It draws on folk-horror traditions established in films like The Wickerman and The Witch and pairs them with the action of comic or superhero style of movie. Alex Arabian from The Playlist wrote, “The film is a gem, especially for anyone yearning for a superhero film that gleefully torches the familiar ‘good versus evil’ formula and introduces far more sinister sensibilities.”
Sticking with the folk-horror vibe, Midsommar is another modern take on this subgenre of horror with its roots in European folklore and superstition. The film tells the story of a group of friends attending a music festival, only to find themselves in the grip of a sinister cult. It has all the hallmarks of a good folk horror title – the isolated, insular community, occult practices, and secrecy. A slow-burning horror that doesn’t rely on cheap jump scares and CGI to evoke a sense of dread, Midsommer is currently available on Netflix in Hungary, The Netherlands, and Turkey.
Child’s Play (2019)
It’s hard to believe that this new installment in the established Childs Play franchise isn’t available in the USA. Perhaps it didn’t make the cut because it didn’t have enormous box office success; ironically being totally overshadowed by Toy Story 4 which released on the same date. But for those who prefer their toys with a dark side, this update on the killer doll might be worth seeking out.
The original film explored the very 80s idea of marketing endless merchandise based on TV properties to young children. In this relaunch, Chucky takes on the modern fear of invasive technology and 21st century consumerism. It was also heavily inspired by E.T – distorting the feel-good family movies of the era it’s original was released into. The production and marketing teams went beyond the dedication of similar remakes and created an entire company setup story and websites giving the illusion that these dolls were a genuine product. It’s an interesting take on the 80s remake formula and currently streaming on Netflix UK and The Netherlands.
Horror fans looking to expand their knowledge of international offerings will want to check out this bizarre horror-comedy series. The Norwegian series features dark humor, eccentric character and an eerie tone alongside the comedy. It follows a police officer who, as punishment for beating his horse to death in front of a group of children, is sent to a remote fishing village. There’s prison escapes, murders, sea monsters and more in this stand out show.
Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark currently have access to Helfjord, but most American horror fans don’t have the opportunity to see it. We urge them to give it a shot – it’s quite unlike any other horror shows!
They Live (1988)
Finally we have something for classic and eighties horror lovers. John Carpenter’s beloved science fiction-horror They Live was a satirical take on societal brainwashing and subliminal messaging. The plot centers on a drifter who uses a pair of special sunglasses to uncover the corruption of the ruling alien elite, and their brainwashing of citizens to breed and buy while never questioning authority.
Like other films by Carpenter, it is concerned with consumerist society and criticizes the US capitalist culture during the Regan administration.
Although not a huge success on release, it is now considered a cult classic horror film. Germany and Switzerland can stream They Live, but it is not available to Netflix viewers in the US.
Now that you have an introduction to the variety of horror entertainment available outside America, you may be wondering how to watch some of the films and shows we suggested. As mentioned before, VPN services are used to browse and watch Netflix catalogs from a range of countries. As for the best VPN, ExpressVPN and Surfshark are popular choices you may want to explore.
With ongoing lockdowns, many of us may be struggling to find things to keep our minds busy and distracted from the frightening events in the news. A VPN might be the answer for fans who want to expand their horror options and watch films not available to US Netflix users. Let us know if you find any other hidden gems!