Labouring under an oppressive fascist dictatorship for much of the 20th century, Spanish cinema took a while to flourish. During the dying days of General Franco's far right government a series of interesting horror pictures, such as zombie classic The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, were produced, primarily for the English market. After the regime fell, though, a wave of young directors, including Pedro Almodovar and Bigas Luna, revelled in their newfound freedom of expression to produce films that were exuberantly brash, camp, anything goes affairs. Bad taste and boundary pushing may have been the order of the day, but it was not in service of making scary movies. The creepy and disturbing have always had a place in Spanish cinema, though. You need only look at the eyeball slicing early collaborations between Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali to see that. A more mature Spanish film industry has returned to horror in a big way in the 21st century. Over the last decade and a bit it's been to Spain that discerning fans of sophisticated, smart scares have looked. For anyone tired of the formulaic pattern of mainstream English language horror, these ten modern Spanish scarers should be enough to keep you awake at night. Note: There have been a number of excellent horrors produced outside of Spain with Spanish talent behind the camera, films like The Others or 28 Weeks Later. For the purposes of this list, though, "Spanish" refers to films for which credits list "Spain" as the country of origin. These are films made in Spain by, mostly, Spanish studios and Spanish crews, regardless of the language of the film or nationality of the director or cast members.
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