12 Spanish horror films to terrify you at Halloween

12 Spanish horror films to terrify you at Halloween
Photo: Corie Howell / Flickr Creative Commons.
Looking for something to give you goosebumps this Halloween? The Local looks at the best Spanish films that are sure to have you cowering beneath the covers.

1. Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno)

All at once enchanting, disturbing and hauntingly beautiful, this dark fantasy film by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro takes place during an equally dark time: Francoist Spain in 1944. A young girl escapes from her grim reality by following a mythical faun.


2. [REC] 

If this Spanish film seems a bit familiar, that's because it's the eerie inspiration of the US film Quarantine. Using the “shaky camera” technique beloved by films like The Blair Witch Project, this movie tells the tale of a TV reporter and cameraman as they follow emergency workers to record a terrifying night of news footage.
3. Julia's Eyes (Los ojos de Julia)
Another work by Del Toro, this film is about a woman who starts to lose her vision while trying to get to the bottom of the suspicious suicide of her twin sister.
4. The Devil's Backbone (El Espinazo del Diablo)
This Del Toro film is supposed to be the “spiritual” predecessor of Pan's Labyrinth. During the Spanish Civil War, a boy discovers that the orphanage where he lives is haunted by something ominous. 
5. The Others (Los Otros)
This Spanish-American film by Alejandro Amenábar is a ghost story unlike any other. After the end of the Second World War, a mother, played by Nicole Kidman, and her children start to witness ghostly encounters in their family home.
6. The Day of the Beast (El Dia de la Bestia)
More on the lighter side of things, this dark comedy follows a Catholic priest determined to commit as many sins as possible so that he may sell his soul and then kill the Antichrist as soon as it is born.
7. Thesis (Tesis)
Another Amenába film, Thesis depicts a young woman writing a thesis about violence. When she finds a video of a girl being tortured to death, she discovers the tape's origin is much closer to her than she thinks.
8. The Orphanage (El Orfanato)
This movie by first-time Spanish director J.A Bayona, also set in an orphanage, takes haunted house films to another, disturbing level. A woman buys the old orphanage where she spent her childhood. But when her adopted son goes missing, she finds that the home has dark secrets around every corner.
9. Sleep Tight (Mientras duermes)
This 2011 psychological thriller directed by Jaume Balagueró will have you hiding behind the sofa. Apartment concierge Cesar (Luis Tosar) believes he was born without the ability to be happy. As a result, he decides his mission is to make life hell for everyone around him and goes to creepy extremes to bring down Clara (Marta Etura), a tenant in the building.  

10: Tombs of the blind dead (La noche del terror ciego) 

Tombs of the Blind Dead, 1971, written and directed by Amando de Ossorio is the first in the iconic Blind Dead series. Its success helped kickstart the Spanish horror film boom of the early Seventies.
11. Darkness

Another creepy classic from Jaume Balagueró, this 2002 horror about a family moving into a haunted house will have you hiding behind the sofa. Just don't watch it when you are home alone.
12. The skin I live In

What list about Spanish films would be complete without something from Pedro Almodovar? A rare foray in the horror genre, this 2011 film starring Antonio Banderas as a plastic surgeon experimenting on a young woman in a bid to develop artificial skin will make your flesh crawl.