Originating from that which is deemed “transgressive” or offensive, this new wave of extreme films does so under the origins of French film makers. Arriving from that, these films have fallen under the modern categorization of what some call “French Extreme” or “New French Extremity“. Not unlike certain modern horror films which take things to the next level, “French Extreme” films do so in their own stylistic ways. They are usually associated with a smaller handful of filmmakers. These filmmakers often create products that are similar in intensity, thus adding to the pool of French Extreme movies. The movie pool sub-genre also seems to stem from the 1990’s and 2000’s.
New French Extremity movies range the gamut between eroticism, psychosis, extreme violence and torture often presenting pieces of cinema that cross the lines of traditional taboos. This nature of “taking things further” is what drives such an interest in these creations.
Many times this class of films has been lumped into the larger category of “Extreme Cinema”, however these movies bear the distinction of films created primarily in the country of France. In contrast, extreme films originating from Asian origin have been categorized as CAT III.
Wikipedia has created a page that details more into the historical background of this genre segment
There is no hard and fast rules as to what falls into this subcategory however the result is usually associated with some degree of intensity. For instance the film “Irréversible” is known for its extended and hard-to-watch rape scene while the film “Martyrs” takes a direction of pain and torture.
The pool of directors associated with these products varies though a few of the well known directors associated with creating movies of this classification include: Alexandre Aja, Gaspar Noé, Xavier Gens and Pascal Laugier.
We recommend these titles to horror fans who are looking for films that offer a deeper and darker hardcore approach to content.
For you convenience we have listed and reviewed most of the titles that have been labeled as “French extreme movies”. Since we expect new discoveries and new creations to emerge, this should only serve as a starting point. We will add to this list as new products appear.
Those who enjoy this style of film making are encouraged to explore the director’s other works in the event that they also provide similar experience.
A List of Recommended New French Extremity Films
(not in ranking order)
Additional List of New French Extremity Films – Perversive Titles
02- INTIMACY (2006) – Patrice Chéreau
05- POLA X (1999) – Leos Carax
06- ROMANCE (1999) – Catherine Breillat
08- LE PORNOGRAPHE (2001) – Bertrand Bonello
We also encourage readers comments for other titles to include. Give us your thoughts on favorites or new discoveries.