(Photo by Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection)

The Best French Horror Movies

France has had a long history with horror that dates back to 1896, when Georges Meilies directed the original horror movie, The Haunted Castle. It had bats, and spooky skeletons! Jean Epstein’s The Fall of the House of Usher is one of the early horror masterpieces from the 1920s. And in the 1950s, France produced two of what many consider the greatest horror movies ever: Diabolique and Eyes Without a Face. Not to be outdone by the past, the aughts-bred New French Extremity movement set the new standard in brutality with the likes of Martyrs and Inside, continuing into Julia Ducournau’s 2016 Raw.

And now we’ve collected every French horror movie with a Fresh Tomatometer score, and ranked them in our guide to the Best French Horror Movies of All Time.


Best Spanish-Language Horror Movies | Best Korean Horror Movies | Best Italian Horror Movies
2020’s Best Horror Movies | 200 Best Horror Movies Ever

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 11.055%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Gallic helmer Abel Ferry (not to be confused with Abel Ferrara) helmed this French-language gorefest. A group of twenty-something friends... [More]
Directed By: Abel Ferry

#19

Them (2007)
62%

#19
Adjusted Score: 62.995%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and tense from start to finish, the French horror film Them proves that a lack of gore doesn't mean a dearth of scares.
Synopsis: A young couple lead a happy, quiet life in the countryside. But little do they know they're being surrounded. When... [More]
Directed By: David Moreau, Xavier Palud

#18

Martyrs (2008)
64%

#18
Adjusted Score: 64.666%
Critics Consensus: A real polarising movie, this Gallic torture-porn is graphic, brutal, nasty and gruesome and not to everyone's taste.
Synopsis: Tells the story of Anna, once a missing little girl, found wandering a year later on a country road virtually... [More]
Directed By: Pascal Laugier

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 64.406%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Esther is an ambitious 30-year-old woman. One fateful night at a party, she seriously hurts her leg, however can't seem... [More]
Directed By: Marina de Van

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 68.535%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this story, a young nobleman with an unusually strong interest in horse-breeding is being prepared to marry the wealthy... [More]
Directed By: Walerian Borowczyk

#15

Climax (2019)
68%

#15
Adjusted Score: 75.325%
Critics Consensus: Challenging and rewarding in equal measure, Climax captures writer-director Gaspar Noé working near his technically brilliant and visually distinctive peak.
Synopsis: From director Gaspar Noé (Irreversible; Enter the Void; Love) comes a hypnotic, hallucinatory, and ultimately hair-raising depiction of a party... [More]
Directed By: Gaspar Noé

#14

They Came Back (2004)
78%

#14
Adjusted Score: 23.246%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The recently dead return to life in They Came Back, but they are surprisingly uninterested in feasting on the living.... [More]
Directed By: Robin Campillo

#13

Amer (2010)
79%

#13
Adjusted Score: 79.003%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Searing memories and carnal desires rule the mind of Ana (Marie Bos), a young woman in thrall to her own... [More]

#12
Adjusted Score: 17.581%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Three kids who decide to skip school in order to explore an abandoned amusement park catch site of a woman... [More]

#11

Baxter (1990)
86%

#11
Adjusted Score: 49.706%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The French-filmed Baxter is based on the American novel Hell Hound. The title character is a bull terrier, who in... [More]

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 42.394%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A pregnant widow awaiting her ride to the hospital must fight for her life against a mysterious woman who comes... [More]

#9
Adjusted Score: 88.071%
Critics Consensus: The Night Eats the World finds a few unexplored corners in the crowded zombie genre, with a refreshing emphasis on atmosphere and character development.
Synopsis: After waking up in an apartment the night after a raging party, Sam comes face to face with his new... [More]
Directed By: Dominique Rocher

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 88.519%
Critics Consensus: Uncommonly restrained for a movie about a flesh-eating menace, Ravenous offers a satisfyingly nuanced entry in the crowded zombie apocalypse subgenre.
Synopsis: A group of people transform into zombies in a small Canadian town. Labeled the "hungry," they feast upon their loved... [More]
Directed By: Robin Aubert

#7

The Tenant (1976)
88%

#7
Adjusted Score: 90.911%
Critics Consensus: A rough-edged thriller that lacks the precision of Polanski's best work, but makes up for it with its skillful mounting of paranoia, dread, and dark themes.
Synopsis: Director Roman Polanski casts himself in the lead of the psychological thriller The Tenant. Trelkovsky (Polanski) rents an apartment in... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#6

Livide (Livid) (2012)
90%

#6
Adjusted Score: 37.64%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Inside co-directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo follow up their bloody and intense feature debut with this brooding, phantasmagorical horror... [More]

#5

Raw (2017)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 99.798%
Critics Consensus: Raw's lurid violence and sexuality live up to its title, but they're anchored with an immersive atmosphere and deep symbolism that linger long after the provocative visuals fade.
Synopsis: Everyone in Justine's family is a vet. And a vegetarian. At sixteen she's a brilliant student starting out at veterinary... [More]
Directed By: Julia Ducournau

#4

Revenge (2018)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98.167%
Critics Consensus: Revenge slices and dices genre tropes, working within an exploitation framework while adding a timely -- yet never less than viscerally thrilling -- feminist spin.
Synopsis: Jen (fearlessly embodied by Matilda Lutz, Rings) is enjoying a romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend which is suddenly disrupted... [More]
Directed By: Coralie Fargeat

#3
Adjusted Score: 102%
Critics Consensus: Cruel, dark, but undeniably effective, Diabolique is a suspense thriller as effective as Hitchcock's best work and with a brilliant twist ending.
Synopsis: The greatest film that Alfred Hitchcock never made, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique is set in a provincial boarding school run by... [More]
Directed By: Henri-Georges Clouzot

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 103.407%
Critics Consensus: A horrific tale of guilt and obsession, Eyes Without a Face is just as chilling and poetic today as it was in 1959.
Synopsis: A brilliant but crazed surgeon resorts to horrifying measures to restore the beauty of his daughter's disfigured face.... [More]
Directed By: Georges Franju

#1
Adjusted Score: 100.658%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This abstract video shows the adaptation of the Poe Story "The Fall of the house of Usher." Using slow motion,... [More]
Directed By: Jean Epstein

Tag Cloud

OWN Amazon Prime police drama Comic Book game show Awards rotten science fiction anthology Pixar Rock cats movies zombies stand-up comedy travel Netflix Christmas movies golden globes Sneak Peek comics Binge Guide green book Amazon batman PlayStation worst kaiju disaster Adult Swim Sci-Fi docuseries Biopics Television Academy book adaptation A&E TCA Awards BBC America WarnerMedia adventure MTV The Walt Disney Company FX on Hulu Photos fresh hidden camera Video Games foreign BET Fantasy nfl Comedy game of thrones harry potter Kids & Family rotten movies we love IFC 2017 TV One fast and furious spy thriller popular Hulu TruTV finale Exclusive Video mission: impossible Winners Western GLAAD cartoon Trivia E! dogs festivals Nat Geo quibi scene in color cancelled TLC 99% Thanksgiving Rom-Com Food Network Valentine's Day Spectrum Originals political drama Cannes Legendary video directors live action YouTube Red Heroines Amazon Studios criterion 4/20 Syfy elevated horror Trailer documentary RT21 spider-man ghosts Animation El Rey Mary poppins LGBT Paramount Network TBS supernatural Fox Searchlight prank The Academy crime drama 72 Emmy Awards CBS Mystery dark target strong female leads Fall TV period drama Hallmark Christmas movies Stephen King critics Lucasfilm composers Disney Channel Red Carpet Mary Tyler Moore Music VH1 romance Disney+ Disney Plus Super Bowl Pacific Islander Interview NBC Black History Month Polls and Games Discovery Channel docudrama Ghostbusters Marvel Television Box Office A24 Holiday Black Mirror Sundance Academy Awards Columbia Pictures 2018 breaking bad TIFF space television heist movie nbcuniversal halloween tv crossover Broadway Nominations Hallmark latino Tubi Netflix Oscars Writers Guild of America Grammys YA Creative Arts Emmys Travel Channel Britbox cinemax BAFTA OneApp reboot MCU Quiz Premiere Dates Tomatazos dragons Film Best and Worst FX Film Festival President biography 20th Century Fox BBC One richard e. Grant Logo AMC RT History canceled TV shows laika spanish Pop cops australia Action Marathons Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Arrowverse Opinion dc free movies natural history twilight TCA Winter 2020 book Star Wars marvel cinematic universe Podcast 45 serial killer cooking festival The Arrangement Summer Schedule Alien emmy awards Tumblr Year in Review based on movie Horror Warner Bros. superhero international Holidays Christmas Ovation First Look 24 frames Country documentaries archives Spring TV Fox News Cartoon Network Apple TV+ TCA comiccon Sundance Now CNN reviews rt archives tv talk Image Comics women Extras cancelled TV shows Lifetime BBC franchise chucky vampires Watching Series saw Television Critics Association Marvel Studios Walt Disney Pictures talk show high school series universal monsters Spike films french Star Trek Acorn TV PaleyFest sequels Tarantino ID adaptation Peacock mutant all-time Funimation HBO Max 71st Emmy Awards Paramount scary movies Superheroes YouTube Premium USA Network new york CW Seed Toys Apple TV Plus TV movies comic books APB Elton John Superheroe children's TV dramedy Brie Larson GIFs Reality Competition dceu DGA Sundance TV movie HBO Crackle DirecTV ITV rom-coms TCM satire psychological thriller jamie lee curtis social media TV renewals renewed TV shows godzilla japanese Certified Fresh Disney Plus true crime Rocketman FOX what to watch concert TNT technology toy story lord of the rings Lionsgate jurassic park Awards Tour Shudder HBO Go San Diego Comic-Con Endgame a nightmare on elm street singing competition blockbuster E3 indiana jones Masterpiece See It Skip It Turner Apple Teen DC streaming service aapi Mudbound Showtime 2020 USA revenge Rocky The Purge CBS All Access zombie Sony Pictures Pet Sematary Shondaland south america sequel war football CMT doctor who venice worst movies name the review james bond spanish language superman joker 93rd Oscars screen actors guild Freeform best SDCC zero dark thirty medical drama trailers History LGBTQ Marvel golden globe awards razzies Crunchyroll Mary Poppins Returns Anna Paquin monster movies remakes blaxploitation know your critic Avengers canceled spain Esquire American Society of Cinematographers National Geographic parents Musical discovery Musicals Mindy Kaling werewolf versus sag awards 2021 Bravo First Reviews Women's History Month theme song christmas movies Universal Turner Classic Movies Family mockumentary news ABC crime thriller black NYCC king kong thriller Cosplay Classic Film Comedy Central X-Men Trophy Talk DC Universe blockbusters aliens award winner deadpool Starz teaser Vudu Disney Nickelodeon boxoffice ratings Captain marvel unscripted Winter TV anime diversity witnail miniseries 2015 romantic comedy IFC Films psycho Epix The Witch toronto casting comic Amazon Prime Video stoner BET Awards Character Guide stop motion Emmy Nominations slashers new zealand DC Comics kong hollywood The CW robots Song of Ice and Fire Election politics cancelled television justice league Hear Us Out classics Chilling Adventures of Sabrina The Walking Dead 2019 binge cars SXSW boxing Emmys new star wars movies New York Comic Con asian-american transformers die hard Chernobyl PBS VOD spinoff VICE Ellie Kemper TV Disney streaming service Countdown WGN child's play Comics on TV ViacomCBS cults Reality video on demand indie cancelled TV series scorecard Drama 007 Pop TV 21st Century Fox hist SundanceTV ESPN kids obituary MSNBC Pirates Set visit independent historical drama screenings Lifetime Christmas movies Infographic nature pirates of the caribbean Martial Arts 2016 sitcom comedies facebook italian YouTube ABC Family animated GoT TCA 2017 TV Land Paramount Plus Calendar streaming Baby Yoda 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Pride Month telelvision streaming movies hispanic sports FXX halloween ABC Signature Dark Horse Comics crime