February might be the month of love, but it’s also an opportunity to indulge your love of horror. So, if you couldn’t take that special someone on a romantic getaway to Paris this year, why not treat them to a round-the-world horror expedition instead?
This month is jam-packed with global titles finally getting a North American release, so there’s plenty to dig into on date night. Here are seven new and noteworthy foreign frights I would ask to be my Valentine.
1. Viking Wolf (Norway)
Billed as Norway’s first werewolf movie, director Stig Svendsen’s Viking Wolf (Vikingulven) clawed its way onto Netflix on February 3. The film follows Thale (Elli Rhiannon Müller Osborne), a teenager who becomes a key witness in the brutal murder of a student. Except, the killer walks on four legs instead of two.
The trailer for Viking Wolf looks like the perfect cross between Nordic noir and Ginger Snaps. Just don’t watch it on a full moon…
2. Woman of the Photographs (Japan)
A skilled yet solitary digital photographer begins a twisted romance with a model suffering from body dysphoria in Takeshi Kushida’s debut feature, Woman of the Photographs. The trailer might end with a literal bloodbath, but it’s the exploration of body image and the chase for perfection that makes this one look truly unsettling.
Since debuting at Japan’s Osaka Asian Film Festival in 2020, Woman of the Photographs has been doing the rounds at international festivals. The film finally landed in select U.S. theatres on February 3 before its VOD release on February 7.
3. Attachment (Denmark)
There are more Scandi scares ahead as Attachment arrives on Shudder on February 9. The feature debut of writer-director Gabriel Bier Gislason, the film documents the romance between washed-up Danish actress Maya (Josephine Park) and Leah (Ellie Kendrick), a Jewish academic from London. Naturally, because they’re lesbians, they immediately move in together… except Leah’s overbearing mother, Chana (Sofie Gråbøl), is there to third-wheel. Oh, and also a demon.
A surprisingly sweet queer love story with spooky elements, it’s easy to see why Shudder saved Attachment for a pre-Valentine’s Day release. Check out the trailer here.
4. Huesera: The Bone Woman (Mexico)
After you’ve enjoyed the domestic bliss of Attachment, plunge into some nerve-shredding pregnancy horror with Huesera: The Bone Woman. The film follows Valeria (Natalia Solián), a young woman pregnant with her first child who finds herself stalked by some sinister entity. As the trailer teases, labor is the least of Valeria’s worries.
Director and co-writer Michelle Garza Cervera makes her feature debut with this striking and subversive tale about the societal expectations placed on women with regard to motherhood. Catch Huesera: The Bone Woman in theatres from February 10, or wait for the film to arrive on VOD platforms on February 16.
5. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey (United Kingdom)
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already well aware that Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is getting a theatrical release this month. But in case you’ve been living under a rock, this product of the public domain arrives on February 15.
The internet went wild when the trailer for writer-director Rhys Frake-Waterfield’s slasher re-imagining of A. A. Milne’s beloved children’s stories dropped last summer. The film sees Christopher Robin (Nikolai Leon) heading off to uni, leaving his old friends Pooh and Piglet to starve… or find an alternative source of meat. Oh, bother.
6. Red Rose (United Kingdom)
Available on BBC iPlayer in Blighty since it was first broadcast in the country last August, tech-horror series Red Rose is set to get an international release courtesy of Netflix on February 15.
Created by Michael and Paul Clarkson, Red Rose follows a teenager called Rochelle (Isis Hainsworth) who becomes obsessed with a mysterious app over the summer before she leaves for college. Based on the trailer from the BBC Three broadcast, which gives off some Black Mirror vibes, you can expect thick Northern accents and plenty of anxiety about the horrors hiding online.
7. Nocebo (Ireland/Philippines)
An Irish-Filipino co-production, Nocebo is headed to Shudder on February 24 following a theatrical and VOD/digital release last November. The film comes to us from Vivarium director Lorcan Finnegan and follows Christine (Eva Green), a designer of pricey children’s clothing who begins suffering from a mysterious illness that confounds her doctors and frustrates her husband, Felix (Mark Strong). Luckily, a Filipino nanny, Diana (Chai Fonacier), shows up at her door with a wealth of folk healing techniques up her sleeve. How convenient.
As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, the truth behind Christine’s illness is far more horrifying than your average stomach bug. Take your medicine and check out Nocebo’s trailer here.
Hungry for more international horror? Catch up on some January releases, and be sure to check back next month for more gruesome offerings from around the globe.