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The Best French Horror Movies

Updated May 14, 2021 788 votes 232 voters 14.8k views21 items

List RulesVote for the scariest French horror movies, or simply vote for the ones you enjoyed the most

If you’re looking for a film to give you the willies au Français, look no further--this is your list of the best French horror movies. You might not recognize a lot of these films if you're new to French cinema, but that's probably a good thing if you need some fresh horror content in your life.

A few highlights from this list of French horror movies include In Their Sleep in which a young couple living in an isolated country house wakes up one night to find themselves being terrorized by hooded assailants, The Horde, a non-traditional crime flick where gangsters and cops battle each with zombies thrown in the mix, and the truly disturbing Inside. There are lots of horror films about kidnapped children, but leave it to the French to make a film about a woman trying to keep her child from being kidnapped…while still in the womb. You have to take a peek at Inside.

Which of the films on this French horror movies list sends you screaming from the TV room? Join our other users and give the most scream-inducing movies on this list a thumbs up, or tell us what gives you creeps in the comments below.

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    28

    Martyrs

    Mylène Jampanoï, Morjana El Alaoui

    Released2008

    Directed byPascal Laugier

    Martyrs is a 2008 horror film written and directed by Pascal Laugier. It was first screened during the 2008 Cannes Film Festival at the Marché du Film, and the film's French release was on 3...  more
  • 2
    81
    18

    Inside

    Béatrice Dalle, Tahar Rahim

    Released2007

    Directed byJulien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo

    Inside is a 2007 French horror film directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, starring Alysson Paradis and Béatrice Dalle. It was written by co-director Bustillo, and is the first feature film...  more
  • 3
    56
    19

    Frontier(s)

    Estelle Lefébure, Samuel Le Bihan

    Released2007

    Directed byXavier Gens

    Frontier(s) is a 2007 French horror film written and directed by Xavier Gens and stars Estelle Lefébure, Samuel Le Bihan and Aurélien Wiik....  more
  • 4
    88
    62

    High Tension

    Cécile de France, Philippe Nahon

    Released2003

    Directed byAlexandre Aja

    High Tension is a 2003 French psychological suspense and slasher film that was later released in 2004 in the UK and 2005 in the US and Canada. The film, directed by Alexandre Aja, stars Cécile de...  more
  • 5
    37
    20

    Irreversible

    Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel

    Released2002

    Directed byGaspar Noé

    Irréversible is a 2002 French mystery thriller film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel. The film employs a non-linear narrative and...  more
  • 6
    37
    25

    Them

    Olivia Bonamy, Camelia Maxim

    Released2006

    Directed byXavier Palud, David Moreau

    Them is a 2006 French-Romanian horror film directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud. According to a title card at the beginning of the film it is "based on real events." Olivia Bonamy plays...  more
  • 7
    15
    9

    Maniac

    Elijah Wood, America Olivo

    Released2012

    Directed byFranck Khalfoun

    Maniac is a 2012 crime,horror and thriller film written by Alexandre Aja, C.A. Rosenberg and Gregory Levasseur and directed by Franck Khalfoun....  more
  • 8
    11
    4

    Calvaire

    Brigitte Lahaie, Philippe Nahon

    Released2004

    Directed byFabrice Du Welz

    Calvaire is a 2004 Belgian psychological horror film directed by Fabrice Du Welz, starring Laurent Lucas, Philippe Nahon and Jackie Berroyer....  more
  • 9
    11
    4

    Trouble Every Day

    Vincent Gallo, Béatrice Dalle

    Released2001

    Directed byClaire Denis

    Trouble Every Day is a 2001 French erotic horror film directed by Claire Denis and written by Denis and Jean-Pol Fargeau. It stars Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey, Béatrice Dalle and Alex Descas. The...  more
  • 10
    13
    7

    In My Skin

    Marina de Van, Laurent Lucas

    Released2002

    Directed byMarina de Van

    In My Skin is a 2002 New French Extremity film written by, directed by, and starring Marina de Van. It details the downward mental spiral of Esther, a woman who engages in increasingly destructive...  more
  • 11
    5
    0

    Elle

    Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte

    Released2016

    Directed byPaul Verhoeven

    Elle is a 2016 French psychological thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven and based on the novel Oh... by Philippe Djian. A businesswoman, Michèle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert), is raped in her home by...  more
  • 12
    4
    0

    Les Diaboliques

    Simone Signoret, Michel Serrault

    Released1955

    Directed byHenri-Georges Clouzot

    Les Diaboliques, released as Diabolique in the United States and variously translated as The Devils or The Fiends, is a 1955 French black-and-white psychological thriller feature film directed by...  more
  • 13
    7
    0

    Eyes Without a Face

    Alida Valli, Pierre Brasseur

    Released1960

    Directed byGeorges Franju

    Eyes Without a Face is a 1960 French-Italian horror film adaptation of Jean Redon's novel, directed by Georges Franju, and starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli. During the film's production,...  more
  • 14
    10
    4

    Mutants

    Francis Renaud, Patrick Vo

    Released2009

    Directed byDavid Morlet

    Mutants is a French science-fiction horror film based on a screenplay from Louis-Paul Desanges and David Morlet It was directed by French filmmaker David Morlet and stars Hélène de Fougerolles, Dida...  more
  • 15
    9
    4

    Raw

    Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf

    Released2016

    Directed byJulia Ducournau

    Raw is a 2016 French-Belgian horror film directed by Julia Ducournau. When a young vegetarian named Justine (Garance Marillier) undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste...  more
  • 16
    0
    0

    O2

    Mélanie Laurent, Mathieu Amalric

    Released2021

    Directed byAlexandre Aja

    O2 is a 2021 French survival thriller film directed by Alexandre Aja. A woman wakes up inside a cryogenic chamber with no memory of how she got there and must escape before her air runs out....  more
  • 17
    15
    12

    The Horde

    Andrei Panin, Maksim Sukhanov

    Released2012

    Directed byAndrei Proshkin

    The Horde is a 2012 historical film directed by Andrei Proshkin and written by Yury Arabov. The film is a highly fictionalised narrative of how Saint Alexius healed Taidula Khatun, the mother of the...  more
  • 18
    11
    8

    In Their Sleep

  • 19
    7
    6

    Demonia

    Brett Halsey, Carla Cassola

    Released1990

    Directed byLucio Fulci

    DEMONIA aka: THE DEMON, is a 1967 French Film, which looks like it's an ITALIAN Film, due to the fact - i guess - that anything remotely, concerning Demons, and Possession, in European Films, is immediately expected, or assumed to be an Italian Movie, since they seemed to have cornered the Demonic Possession market, after Linda Blair, spewed out her first bucket of French Pea Soup, but alas, this surprisingly compelling French Film is due to the fact, that it has an awesome performance in it, by - that same Year's, 1967 Casino Royale girl -- Dalai Lavi. She is accused of being either a witch, or a possessed, amoral young woman, named: ' Pirri,' who gets in, and under the skin, of everyone, in her tiny, ignorant, Catholic Village...there's one outstanding scene - about 6 or 7 years before, The Exorcist, where - in a local Catholic Church, she turns herself, upside-down, and does that ' spider-crawl-walk,' on all fours, foam drooling from her mouth, which is filmed so realistically, the glorious B & W photography, doesn't hurt the effect either, in fact it actually adds to it, and gives it a semi-documentary-real-life-shoot, of a contained person, who is actually possessed.....!!!...Should have been a much, much, bigger hit, when it came out, but I guess in the Summer of Love, before the real possessed demonic children of Satan himself - Charles Manson, there just wasn't much of a demand for ' rabid-like-young-women, crawling around on their hands and feet...!!...A real, true Glenn's Scream Gem...!....I highly recommend it...!!....Oh, and by the way, Dalai considered it was the best film, she ever made, and I for one, couldn't agree more...!!!...Thanks for reading....

  • 20
    7
    9

    Les Frisson Du Vampires

    Marie-Pierre Castel, Jacques Robiolles

    Released1971

    Directed byJean Rollin

    Le Frisson des Vampires is a 1971 film directed by Jean Rollin. It is his third vampire movie....  more
  • 21
    5
    10

    Baby Blood

    Jean-François Gallotte, Christian Sinniger

    Released1990

    Directed byAlain Robak

    Baby Blood is a French horror film directed and co-written by Alain Robak. The film is about a pregnant woman named Yanka whose womb invaded by a parasite. The organism transforms her fetus into a...  more