If you're in the market for a movie that will have you on the edge of your seat, look no further! Sure, some movies may give you a bit of a scare, but we've got a list of films that will make you feel like you need a full-body scrub-down after watching. These movies are not for the weak-stomached and are sure to leave you feeling shaken to your core. Read on to learn more.
Antichrist Is The Essence Of Grief
Antichrist, a film directed by Lars von Trier, delves into the exploration of a married couple grappling with the profound grief of losing their infant son. Seeking solace and healing, they opt to retreat to a secluded cabin, unaware of the tumultuous journey that awaits them.
Within the confines of their isolated sanctuary, their psychological state gradually deteriorates, pushing them to the edge of sanity. The descent into madness leads them to engage in harrowing acts of violence and self-destruction, leaving indelible images etched into the minds of viewers. As the narrative unfolds, themes of Satanism, witchcraft, and provocative cinematography intertwine with the characters' unraveling psyche, intensifying the disquieting atmosphere of the film.
Natural Born Killers Is Heavily Debated To This Day
Regarded as one of the most polarizing films in cinema history, Natural Born Killers, directed by Oliver Stone, delves into the unsettling journey of a profoundly disturbed couple embarking on a cross-country killing spree.
Beyond the graphic depiction of violence, what adds an additional layer of distress is the unsettling fact that the couple becomes glorified and celebrated by the public for their heinous actions. This disturbing portrayal strikes a disconcerting chord, particularly within the context of American society. The film's relentless brutality and intense thematic content make it challenging for many viewers to endure, explaining the widespread discomfort and aversion it evokes.
10 Cloverfield Lane Will Give You Second-Hand Anxiety
The film 10 Cloverfield Lane is known to induce significant levels of anxiety in its viewers. The narrative revolves around a young woman who awakens in an underground bunker following a car accident, only to be informed by two men that the outside world has become uninhabitable. The sheer premise of the film is enough to generate a sense of unease and trepidation.
The intensity of the film has proven to be overwhelming for some viewers, with one individual sharing their experience of being unable to watch the entire movie due to the severe second-hand anxiety it evoked. Taking their account into consideration, it might be prudent to select an alternative option for movie night, recognizing the powerful impact that 10 Cloverfield Lane can have on one's emotions.
Funny Games Is Far From Funny
Funny Games is a 1997 Austrian psychological horror film that tells the story of two young men who hold a family hostage in their vacation home. They then go about playing "games" with the family, torturing and murdering them at their own pleasure.
It's a roller coaster of intensity packed full of violence Rotten Tomatoes described as "Violent images and blunt audience provocation make up this nihilistic experiment from one of cinema's more difficult filmmakers." The film was remade by the same director in 2007 although it featured mostly known American actors.
A Field In England Will Make You Feel Under The Influence
Considered to be British director Ben Wheatley's most disturbing film, A Field In England takes place in the 17th century, following a group of English Civil War deserters. They are eventually caught by a psychotic alchemist who forces them to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms to bind them to him as he continues his search for buried treasure.
Of course, it doesn't take long for the characters to meet their ends one-by-one in violent ways. However, one of the most disturbing aspects of the film is how it is shot, leading the viewer to think they're also on a bad trip they'll never escape.
The Original Martyrs Is Enough To Give The Bravest People Nightmares
Martyrs is a 2008 French film that was remade in the United States in 2015, although that version was much tamer. The original film is packed full of child abuse and horrific deaths, centered around a series of girls who are locked up and tortured in a slaughterhouse.
When it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival people left the theater in masses and producer Bob Weinstein couldn't finish watching it even though his company bought the movie rights. According to the New York Times, "When horror fans dare other horror fans to watch a movie, it's Martyrs."
The Act Of Killing Gives You A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of A Killer
The Act of Killing is a 2012 documentary that focuses on the people who participated in the Indonesian mass killings between 1965-66 in which over one million people were massacred. In 1965, gangsters Anwar Congo and Adi Zulkadry were put in charge of leading the biggest death squad during the conflict. Today, Anwar is revered by the right wing, regardless that he is responsible for so many people's deaths.
Director Joshua Oppenheimer invited Anwar to describe his experiences during the killings and to recreate many of the scenes in front of the camera. It's highly disturbing and impactful, a documentary that is not for those with a weak stomach or the faint of heart.
The Descent Turns Friends Against Each Other
Having six women enter a cave system full of bloodthirsty creatures trying to eat them is a recipe for disaster. The Descent was released in 2005, and the horror genre community wasn't ready to see friends turn against each other in order to survive.
One viewer had to go pet her dogs just to calm down after trying to watch the movie. She said, "I tried watching this one with my husband, and both of us screamed so loud on a couple of parts that I just had to walk away. I went upstairs to pet my dogs so I could calm down...I still can't finish that movie."
Silent Hill Will Make You Want To Sheild Your Eyes
The 2006 horror film Silent Hill is no joking matter. Following the story of Rose, a single mother with an adopted daughter, finds herself in the town of Silent Hill, with her daughter missing and a cult lingering nearby. Now, it's up to Rose to find her daughter before its too late. But, she doesn't realize her daughter's strange link to the mysterious town.
Yea, this movie is a bit on the "hide your eyes behind a pillow" side with a hint of "turn it off before the last 30 minutes or else you'll never sleep again."
The Hole In The Ground Gets Right Under Your Skin
The 2019 psychological thrill The Hole in The Ground has been said to make viewers want to come up for air. Following the story of Sarah, a young mom who suspects something is wrong with her son after witnessing strange behavior, the story quickly takes a turn into something dark and sinister. And it seems as though everything is linked to a mysterious black hole.
After it was released to Netflix in 2019, one subscriber wrote, "Watched The Hole In The Ground on Netflix and what a supremely unsettling movie that was, brimming with an atmosphere that gets right under the skin." Pretty much, watch this movie at your own risk.
Lights Out Will Make You Scared Of The Dark
When she was a little girl, Rebecca never trusted things to be real after the lights were turned off. Now, years later, her little brother is experiencing the same thing. If you dare, Lights Out follows the story of the siblings as supernatural forces awaken to terrorize the family, but only when the lights are out.
One Reddit user said, "I knew that, even after only a couple of minutes, I wouldn't ever be able to turn the lights off again if I kept watching it, so I decided to stop mid-way through." Yikes.
Cannibal Holocaust Is Convincingly Graphic
With a title like Cannibal Holocaust, audiences should know what they're getting themselves into. Claiming to be a found-footage film, it follows a missing team who are lost in the Amazon jungle. Although their original intent was to document the everyday lives of a tribe of cannibals, they eventually become victims of the tribe's brutal practices.
The graphic nature of the film sparked lots of controversies, with it being so realistic some viewers thought it was an actual found-footage film. Director Ruggero Deodato was even arrested on obscenity charges and later for murder because the footage was so convincing. The charges were later dropped but the film is currently banned in numerous countries.
mother! Sparked Controversy For Its Disturbing Content
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, mother! is a 2017 psychological horror film. The film follows Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and Him (Javier Bardem,) a couple living together in a secluded country home.
Although the film was mostly well-received by critics, the film's biblical allusions and acts of violence sparked major controversy. While some saw mother! as a work of art, others found it to be downright disturbing with its acts of cannibalism, infanticide, and violence against women to be too much to handle.
You're A Hero If You Can Make It Through The Fly
The 1986 film The Fly follows a scientist whose experiment goes horribly wrong; viewers watch as he slowly but surely turns into a fly-human hybrid. It is disturbing, to say the least. One audience member even went as far as calling people who watch it all the way through heroes!
They said, "If the inside-out baboon didn't make you want to turn the movie off, then the maggot delivery sure did. It's a remarkable movie and a great take on the original, but anyone who makes it through that movie in the first sitting is a hero."
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
In 2009, the Dutch Horror film The Human Centipede took the world by storm. While it was utterly disturbing and nauseating to watch, director Tom Six wanted to make something even worse for his audience. The result was The Human Centipede II in 2011. The film focuses on a disturbed parking lot attendant named Martin who is obsessed with The Human Centipede.
He recreates his own version of the centipede, except this time he uses 12 people and he doesn't have a lick of medical training. You can imagine how that went. The film is up close and personal in all of its gore, with only the sickest of audiences making it all the way through.
Revenge Has A Knack For Giving People Seizures
Coralie Fargeat's 2017 release Revenge is a horror film that follows a woman who is assaulted and left for dead in the desert by her lover and his friends. Somehow, she miraculously survives and sets off in search for revenge which ends in a brutal and violent spree.
The film is intense, gory, disturbing, and was enough to cause a Toronto Film Festival attendee to suffer a seizure in the theater during its premiere. Even the lead actress, Matilda Lutz, claimed that many of the scenes in the film made her uncomfortable even though she was the one acting.
There's A Reason A Serbian Film Is Banned In Several Countries
A Serbian Film is a 2010 horror-thriller and the brainchild of director Srđan Spasojević. The film follows Miloš, a struggling adult performer who agrees to be part of an "art film" in order to make some much-needed money. However, he fails to realize that he's agreed to participate in a film that forces him to commit horrific violent and abusive acts that are too depraved for almost all viewers.
Apparently, the movie isn't repulsive enough to be shocking, but is a metaphor for "the monolithic power of leaders who hypnotize you to do things you don't want to do." For the film's depictions of abuse, it has been banned in Spain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Norway,
Hereditary Shocked Both Audiences And Critics
Hereditary is a 2018 horror film directed by Ari Aster as his directorial debut. The film managed to make a whopping $79 million against its $9 million budget while simultaneously shocking audiences and critics alike. The A.V. Club commented, "In its seriousness and hair-raising craftsmanship, Hereditary belongs to a proud genre lineage, a legacy that stretches back to the towering touchstones of American horror..."
While the film might have been successful in both the box office and among critics, that didn't mean it wasn't frightening. While all the jump scares and supernatural entities are horrifying on their own, what makes the film truly hard to watch is how real all of the characters' pain appears.
Meet The Feebles Is Like The Muppets Gone All Wrong
Directed by Peter Jackson of The Lord of the Rings, Meet the Feebles is a 1989 New Zealand black comedy musical. The Feebles are animal puppets that are part of a stage troupe. They're despicable characters involved in narcotics and deplorable acts. While the film is mostly a comedy, it's also disturbing to watch characters who are usually meant to entertain children act so inappropriately.
Critic James Berardinelli commented on the film, saying, "The stories of these ... characters are told in a disgustingly graphic, obscenely offbeat, and caustically funny manner. Meet the Feebles is for those with a strong stomach and a seriously warped sense of humor."
Raw Will Turn You Into A Vegetarian
Raw is a French-Belgian horror drama directed by Julia Ducournau. The film follows a young girl named Justine who's a vegetarian attending her first year at veterinarian school. There, she tastes meat for her first time and develops a taste for flesh that goes beyond just animals.
Released in the United States in 2017, the film had mixed reviews, with many people complaining about its graphic content. On one occasion at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival, some viewers required medical attention after fainting from the film's graphic scenes. For many reasons, the film had a limited theatrical release in the United States.
Gummo Was Named 'The Worst Film Of The Year'
When Gummo was released in 1997, the New York Times had some strong feelings about it, calling the flick the "worst film of the year." This was Harmony Korine's directorial debut and he and held nothing back.
Gummo follows a group of kids in a squalid Ohio town. Some of its most disturbing, disgusting scenes include satanic rituals, racism, a realistic depiction of a cat being drowned, and a cast of characters that will make your skin crawl. This photo is from just one of the movie's most memorable scenes.
The Woman Has Intellectual Themes At Its Core, Supposedly
According to an audience member that left the theater at the Sundance Film Festival, "This film is not humane [...] This film ought to be confiscated, burned. There's no value in showing this to everyone." The 2011 movie centers around a dysfunctional family who attempt to civilize a wild woman by locking her up and torturing her in unspeakable ways.
Although the film was relatively well-received for its clever nuances and social commentary, many people find it hard to look past the sheer brutality. Supposedly, there's a lesson to be learned if you can make it all the way through.
The Wild Bunch Displays Beauty Amongst The Grotesque
The Wild Bunch is a Western that was released in 1969, striking up major controversy upon its release. Not only is the film grotesque in nature, depicting a gang of men who will survive by any means necessary, but the violence is crude and unnecessary to many people.
While then film actually received positive reviews from critics, saying it was beautifully shot with masterful dialogue, we're not sure we're going to watch The Wild Bunch anytime soon. Especially since most critics are finding "beauty" among absolute chaos and destruction.
You'll Stay Far Away From Ouija Boards After Watching Veronica
Directed by Paco Plaza, Veronica is a Spanish supernatural horror film, loosely based on the events in 1991 when Estefanía Gutiérrez Lázaro died mysteriously after she used a Ouija board. At its core, there's nothing exceptional about Veronica's storyline.
A girl uses a Ouija board to contact her deceased father and things take a turn for the worse after she's possessed by a demon. After being released on Netflix on February 2018, it was described by critics as "the scariest horror film ever," with countless individuals unable to watch it in its entirety.
Mysterious Skin Will Make Yours Crawl
Mysterious Skin is a 2006 film based on Scott Heim's novel of the same name. Directed by Greg Araki, the movie follows two eight-year-old Kansas boys and the aftermath of being molested by a trusting adult.
Confused, the boys deal with their abuse in different ways. Mysterious Skin doesn't flinch away from the real nature of adult attraction to children, even seeming to glorify it in some ways. Despite its cringe-worthy subject matter, the film received many positive reviews, with a New York Post writer saying, "Not for the squeamish, but it is a beautifully crafted and thoughtful film that genuinely provokes."
Salò or 120 Days of Sodom Is As Awful As It Gets
Salò, sometimes referred to as 120 Days of Sodom, is a film packed to the brim with countless amounts of meaningless punishment. Essentially, four powerful and rich Italian men kidnap nine teenage boys and nine teenage girls whom they commit unspeakable acts against for the following four months.
Nobody is safe, and director Pier Paolo Pasolini goes to great lengths to ensure that every act of punishment, mutilation, and assault is front and center for the audience to see. Although Pasolini claims to be making a statement about fascism, viewers are focused on holding down their lunch.
Irreversible Attacks All Of Your Senses
Irreversible proved to be such a traumatic and graphic film that even the film's star, Monica Bellucci, can't watch it herself. There's no lack of abuse, and death, which led over 250 people to run from the theater or even pass out during the film's Cane's premiere.
On top of the visually graphic sequences, the film also relies on low-frequency sound waves. These sounds can't be heard but the body can register them lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, unease, and nausea. Apparently, most people don't even last until the scene that makes even the biggest gorehounds turn off the film.
The Green Inferno Makes You Want To Stay Far Away From The Jungle
Director Eli Roth is known for his take on horror films, as seen in his work in the first two Hostel films. Unless you're familiar with Roth's previous work, you probably won't stand a chance watching a group of college activists in the Amazon as they stumble upon cannibals in The Green Inferno.
Eli Roth commented on the film: "You don't want people walking out of a movie; you want them running out of the theater screaming." It's the film's use of physical special effects and horrifying convincing portrayal of punishment that made this one a go-to for gore-lovers and a true nightmare for the average audience member.
The House That Jack Built Wasn't Allowed To Run For Any Awards
Lars von Trier is well-known for his ability to deeply disturb his audience as seen in his works Antichrist, the Nymphomaniac films, and more. After a several year ban for claiming he sympathized with Adolf Hitler, Cannes allowed him to show his new film The House that Jack Built in 2018. The film is about a serial killer, played by Matt Dillon, who has been on a spree for the past 12 years.
During that time, he commits all kinds of abhorrent acts, which resulted in over 100 people leaving from the screening at the 2018 festival. The film is so appalling that it wasn't allowed to compete for any prizes or awards.
Baskin Will Make You Want To Repent For Your Sins
Baskin is a 2015 Turkish art-house horror film that is best summed up as an all-around disgusting, frightening, and supernatural. The film follows a group of police officers who unintentionally wander into a portal to the underworld. From there, the men find themselves in a grotesque walkthrough of some of the most sickening and repulsive acts of violence that most people can't even imagine.
While the film is deemed as one of the most disturbing films in recent memory, it wasn't rejected by all critics. Some even praised it for its underlying themes. Many others couldn't see past the horrors experienced by the main characters.
Requiem For A Dream Is A Nightmarish Whirlwind
Released in 2000, Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream follows four characters’ downward spiral into addiction as a result of attempts to find shortcuts to reaching their individual goals. The audience is alternately inside each person’s head, experiencing the delusional highs and lows in an increasingly fast and nightmarish whirlwind of jump cuts, and objectively outside, watching the characters’ unfortunate real-world actions.
As with most addiction-based storylines, everything does not turn out all right. Everyone’s dreams are crushed, all experience a treasure trove of horrible fates, and in the end will leave you feeling empty and sad.
You Won't Be Happy After Seeing Happiness
Released in theaters in 1998, Happiness was written and directed by Todd Solondz who is known for his dark style. The film is controversial because of its adult themes and was even rejected by The Sundance Film Festival due to its depictions of adult's attraction to children.
However, Happiness is a black comedy so some critics and fans are able to overlook its highly-upsetting and seedy underbelly. "The film's most hilarious moments all have poignant undercurrents, while the saddest--and most disturbing--are frequently sidesplitting at the same time," wrote reviewer Andrew Johnston in Time Out New York.
I Spit On Your Grave Didn't Sit Well With All Viewers
Not surprisingly, a film called I Spit on Your Grave is one that many consider too disturbing for most viewers. Critic Roger Ebert called it "a vile bag of garbage" and said viewing it was "one of the most depressing experiences of my life." I Spit on Your Grave had a limited release in 1978 and a wider release two years later.
In the feminist film, there are plenty of graphic scenes involving an assault victim exacting revenge on her tormentors. Film producer Meir Zarchi wrote the screenplay after rescuing the young victim of a gang attack in a park.
Valhalla Rising Will Make You Grateful You Live In This Time
Released in 2009, Valhalla Rising takes place in the 11th century, following a Norse warrior named One-Eyed, who is a skilled and brutal fighter. After escaping captivity, he travels with a boy, as well as Christian Crusaders, on a mission to find the Holy Land. They accidentally end up in North America where they must fight against the indigenous people and are plagued with dark visions.
At its core, it may not seem like much more than a Viking film, but in reality, the level of violence and gore top some of the most gruesome war films. Stay away if you don't think you can handle decapitations or disembowelment.
Snowtown Is All Too Real
Between 1992 and 1999, John Bunting and his accomplices murdered twelve people in South Australia. Known as the Snowtown Murders, it is one of the most infamous cases in Australia, which Justin Kurzel turned into a film in 2011.
The story is told from the perspective of an abused teenage boy who teams up with Bunting and participates in the murders. Incredibly suspenseful, the film also shows the slayings in an unapologetic manner, only being worsened by the fact that it all actually happened.