October marks the start of spooky season: a month that promises Halloween candy and a myriad of slasher flicks to match. Although far from traditional Egyptian celebrations, Halloween has recently come to be celebrated in the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities as a byproduct of globalization.
A 2018 study by the American Psychological Association found that some people enjoy horror movies because they help them gain a sense of control from the safety of their living room couches or darkened movie theaters.
Though Egyptian horror movies are often intertwined with comedy, old school Egyptian movies still have some truly bone chilling gems.
For the conspiracy theorists, the ghost hunters, and the post-apocalyptic thriller enthusiasts who want to melt into their couches as they wade the scares of horror movies: read on for our selection of frightening Egyptian films.
Safeer Gohanam – 1954
Safeer Gohanam (Hell’s Ambassador, 1945) is often described as the ‘first Egyptian horror movie.’ Directed by Youssef Wahbi, the movie follows the story of a devil disguised in the form of a rich man, who seeks a poor family and offers them a huge fortune.
The movie is based on German playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust (1960), and features a stellar cast including Youssef Wahbi, Layla Fawzi, and Mahmoud al-Melegii.
Where to Watch: Youtube
Anyab – 1981
Anyab (Fangs) is a remake of the musical comedy horror film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Directed by Mohamed Shebl, the movie stars Ahmed Adawiya, Ali-Haggar, and Hassan El-Emam. As part of the horror genre, Anyab follows vampires who enjoy a number of sing-alongs, while highlighting the social situation in Egypt during the 1980s.
Where to Watch: Youtube
Al-Ins w Al-Jinn – 1985
A forbidden love story between Adel Emam and Youssra that is far from the cliches, Al-Ins w Al-Jinn (The Man and the Devil) is described as one of the most ‘successful’ Egyptian horror movies. Directed by Mohamed Radi, this movie strays away from the usual ‘comedic’ undertones present in most horror Egyptian films.
Fatma, played by Youssra, is a successful researcher who returns from the U.S after earning her PhD. She meets Galal, played by Adel Emam, who is a Jinn that is in love with her. Galal warns her not to marry Osama, her fiance, and she uses her rationality and scientific background to find a way out of this problem.
Where to Watch: YouTube, OSN +
Al Ta’weeza – 1987
Director Mohamed Shebl strikes again with another horror film, Al Ta’weeza (The Talisman, 1987) which stars Mahmoud Yassin, Youssra, and Fayza Abdel Gawad. The film follows a family that is tormented by paranormal and demonic activities that unfold in their home.
Mahmoud, played by Mahmoud Yassin, is a high school teacher who lives with family in an old home. His life takes an unexpected turn when he rejects a warlock’s request to buy their house, and a series of unfortunate events escalate.
Where to Watch: YouTube