We adore all things Nordic here at Nordic Watchlist, but in particular we are big fans of horror too! So, Alex has put together a comprehensive list of Nordic horrors that are available to be watched (based on UK streaming platforms), so you can dive into any that you might not have seen yet.
So, without further ado – here are 25 Nordic Horror Films To Watch this Halloween season.
Lamb | Iceland | MUBI
Though this list is in no particular order, we have started with two classics that are ‘must-sees.’ Starting it off is the Icelandic classic ‘Lamb,’ which stars the brilliant Noomi Rapace and Hilmar Snaer Gudnason as a couple who one night discover that they are going to raise a little lamb together. There’s plenty of weirdness with that, but then things begin to turn a little dark from there.
The Innocents | Norway | Viaplay
Viaplay is still running, and if you haven’t watched Eskil Vogt’s ‘The Innocents‘ on there, then you really should. It would be worth the £3.99 monthly fee for just that film alone (though you will find some other classics on there to enjoy too).
‘The Innocents‘ is a supernatural thriller, in which young children start to show mysterious powers and how those powers might start to wreck havoc on those around them. This is no superhero origin story; be prepared for some horrendous scenes and an incredibly well-put-together debut by the ridiculously talented Eskil Vogt.
Attachment | Denmark | Shudder
This horror romance centres around Maja, a former actress in Denmark, who falls in love with Leah, a young Jewish academic visiting from the UK. When Leah experiences a mysterious seizure, Maja fears their whirlwind romance might be in jeopardy and decides to follow Leah back to her home in London.
Attachment manages to weave moments of darkness, humour, and an underlying love story within its narrative. It also showcases a stellar performance by Josephine Park (The Nurse) and features the talented Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing) and David Dennick (The Chestnut Man).
Breeder | Denmark | Shudder
A heartless female entrepreneur is kidnapping young women for a gruesome bio-hacking experiment aimed at reversing the aging process.
This is a pretty nasty little horror that focuses on the world of body harvesting and gets quite gory as things escalate. Look out for the great Anders Heinrichsen (Unruly), getting entangled in things, including barbed wire.
Nightmare | Norway | Shudder
If you’re after something a little more complex that will play with your mind, then ‘Nightmare‘ is the perfect film to watch. You are never quite sure what is happening as our main protagonist keeps getting stuck in dreams. Is she awake, or still dreaming? This technique plays tricks with you throughout this Norwegian psychological thriller (with a few jump scares to boot).
Speak No Evil | Denmark | Shudder
When it comes to one of the ultimate horrors in the past couple of years, Christian Tafdrup’s ‘Speak No Evil‘ is right up there as a classic already. Many have not returned for a second watch after being left completely broken by the way this one wraps up.
Fun fact: Director Christian is an actor too, and you can currently see him playing a bit of a bully in Ch4’s series ‘Carmen Curlers’ on Walter Presents.
Not sure whether to watch it not? Why not watch our good friend Stu Talks review it to see if it really is for you (yes, he slipped up with the Danish and Swedish mix up).
The White Reindeer | Finland | Shudder
If you fancy something very different then The White Reindeer is going to be that something. A film from the 1950s involving a Sami woman who visits a Shaman to fix her love life – only he turns her into a vampiric white reindeer. Yes, you read that right!
There is lots of singing, silence, and reindeer racing – it all feels rather Christmassy too!
Troll Hunter | Norway | Shudder
It is crazy to think that this movie is over 13 years old now but still holds as a very strong contender for one of the most popular and well known Nordic horrors. Perhaps a little softer than some of our other picks, it is still great fun and would be a perfect pairing with Roar Utang’s recent offering Troll (see further below) over on Netflix.
Small Town Killers | Denmark | Shudder
Directed by Ole Bornedal, the director behind the classic Nightwatch and its upcoming sequel Nightwatch-Demons Are Forever, this is less a horror in a gory or frightening sense and just more a bit of a comedy as two men decide to hire a hit man to kill their nagging wives, but things don’t go according to plan. This is more of light comedy if you need something a little less heavy!
Lake Bodom | Finland | Shudder
Time to head to Finland if you fancy a spooky ‘teens getting murdered in the woods’ kind of vibe. So imagine dark woods, screaming, and slashing in Taneli Mustonen’s 2016 horror which is a classic slasher but still great fun with a few interesting twists.
Lake of Death | Norwegian | Shudder
Norway’s Lake of Death doesn’t even have an English title poster so this might be new to most people. We are back in the whole ‘teenagers in the woods getting killed by maniac’ slasher film territory again but still good fun given you are never really sure who might make it or not if you aren’t so familiar with the stars.
Harpoon – Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre | Iceland | Shudder
This one borders on the comical, but we aren’t really sure whether it was planned to be or not. In doing so, it has become a bit of a cult classic. A group of tourists gets on board what they think is a whale-watching excursion from Reykjavik, only to find a bunch of psychopaths have joined them onboard too.
Fun fact for you here: the man who played Leatherface in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was Icelandic, and he makes a cameo in this movie too.
Knocking | Sweden | Shudder
Sweden’s ‘Knocking‘ is a psychological thriller, perhaps a bit more arthouse and different from what you might expect, so this won’t be for everyone. The film centres on a woman who, following a nervous breakdown, begins to hear a strange knocking sound in her flat. Is it all in her head, or is something genuinely happening? To add to that, there is the trauma of something that happened in the past.
Videoman | Sweden | Shudder
Another hidden Swedish gem is Videoman – which follows an alcoholic VHS movie collector and a woman who are both infatuated with the 80s. When the collector receives a call one day from a buyer who wants one of the films he owns and is willing to offer a lot of money for it, things start to escalate as it turns out someone has stolen it and chaos ensues.
The Knocking | Finland | Digital on Demand
The Knocking is a Finnish “eco-horror” film that follows a group of siblings as they return to their family home deep in the Finnish forests. Flashbacks suggest that their childhood was not pleasant, and soon they begin to regret their decision to come back. Horror fans who enjoy a solid, slow-building narrative with an incredibly awesome atmospheric soundtrack should definitely add this one to their watchlist.
Good Boy | Norwegian | Digital on Demand
‘Good Boy‘ is perhaps not as terrifying as the movie’s poster might suggest; however, it certainly is up there as completely insane. We can only best describe it as ‘American Psycho meets Crufts,’ which might give you a slight idea, but honestly, go in blind to this and enjoy the ride as this is great fun.
The Conference | Sweden | Netflix
The Conference was released this month, so it’s a brand new one to look out for if you’re into slasher genre movies. What makes this so much fun is that it is darkly comic and features some famous Swedish faces getting quite violent, with absolute chaos breaking out in the final 40 minutes. You’ll laugh and cover your eyes!
The Trip | Norway | Neflix
In the same vein as The Conference is Tommy Wirkola’s 2021 film The Trip which sees Noomi Rapace (Lamb) and her husband Askel Hennie (Sisu) take on three convicts with absolute blood shed breaking out in this horror comedy (well, only comedy if you enjoy gore and violence Nordic style).
Red Dot | Sweden | Netflix
In another ‘couples vs. bad guys’ film, we see Nanna Blondell (Partisan) and her partner Anastasios Soulis (Gasmamman) head to the mountains for some time together, only to be preyed upon by a sniper. Then, things really kick off.
Viking Wolf | Sweden | Netflix
Away from the chaotic bloodshed and violence is Viking Wolf (okay, there will be some blood and chaos), which is one for fans of their werewolf movies. There isn’t much new in this, but it is still great to have a different take on the werewolf genre. Plus, the effects are pretty impressive in this!
Troll | Norway | Netflix
Perhaps you might need something a little lighter to watch and little less scary? Then Roar Utang’s Troll is the perfect film for all the family to give you a few jump scares and some impressive CGI, as an ancient troll is woken up in the Norwegian fjords and descends upon Oslo. A sequel is already in the pipeline!
Sick of Myself | Norway | BFI Player
Sick of Myself still remains one of our favorites of the year, but some of you might be wondering what it is doing in the horror section of Nordic Watchlist. Well, despite the film being a very dark comedy, it also very much mixes itself in with a bit of body horror too – so for something a little different, then this is the perfect pick.
Hatching | Finland | BFI Player
It feels like so long ago when we first discovered Hatching – a fantastic debut film from director Hanna Bergholm. This is a short and sweet piece that focuses on a family whose daughter discovers an egg that begins to hatch (the title might give that bit away) – but what is going to come cracking out of that giant egg?
Häxan | Sweden | BFI Player
This one is still on our list to see so here is a description we found for you: Consisting partly of documentary-style storytelling as well as dramatized narrative sequences, the film purports to chart the historical roots and superstitions surrounding witchcraft, beginning in the Middle Ages through the 20th century.
With the film dating back to 1922 this is bound to feel pretty spooky!
SISU | Finland | DOD
If you are looking for a lot of bloody silly fun, then look no further than Sisu. The film certainly does not disappoint when it comes to violence and gore – perhaps a far cry from the director’s previous films.
The story? A group of Nazis escaping conflict pick a fight with the wrong guy.