6 Disturbing Horror Movies I Wish I'd Never Seen
Once you’ve seen something truly unsettling, you’ll never forget it. These images have a way of traumatizing the psyche, and even destroying the innocence of which we possess so little of.
So consider this a public service. This is my list of movie 'offenders' that I wish I'd never seen because they were either too graphic, too disgusting, too perverse or just plain disturbing.
These films aren't necessarily bad; in fact, they are quite masterful in achieving the desired effect. So masterful, they made me wish I could travel back in time to never watch them in the first place. They are listed in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent ones.
"I Spit On Your Grave" (2010)
Who amongst us, aspiring novelists, hasn't dreamt of renting a quiet cottage in the country, away from civilization and all the familiar distractions, to immerse ourselves in writing?
This is how my latest cinematic regret, "I Spit On Your Grave," begins. A female protagonist rents a cabin in the woods to write her novel, but that innocuous beginning does not prepare you for the rest of the film.
The 1978 original was named one of Time Magazine's Top 10 Ridiculously Violent Movies, yet it was still remade in 2010 and 2013. The film is nothing but relentless raping and torture, followed by even more torture, revenge-raping and killing, as the heroine becomes her own avenger, repaying the men with the same kindness they've shown her.
That's it. There's nothing more to it - no hidden meaning, no metaphor, no character development, no subplot, no message. And despite the film's claim to a feminist agenda, I fail to see how it's supposed to empower women or be a deterrent to rape, for that matter. Yes, I can sympathize with a female character seeking revenge, especially since all the male characters are so repugnant and irredeemable. But I never thought that feminism was about hating men, and that is the only emotion the film inspires.
"The Human Centipede" (2009)
There's "Saw," there's "Chernobyl Diaries," and then there is "The Human Centipede". The crown jewel of crap, if you will. In fact, crap is very much a part of the story, although not graphically, thank god, and that is the only redeeming quality of the film.
"The Human Centipede" is not a horror flick strictly speaking; it's in a genre of its own.The genre I'd like to call "unspeakable garbage". Other people might call it "experimental cinema" or "a masterpiece of perverse originality." Yeah, yeah, let all the flowers bloom.
The plot of this unique film is simply too vile to speak of, but in case some of you haven't heard of it or seen it (I am infinitely envious of you), I'll explain it as delicately as I can. A sadistic doctor saws three people together, ass-to-mouth, so when they're on their knees, they form a perfect...centipede, functioning as one organism. Yeah. This is as gross as you think it is.
I've actually only watched the first half an hour or so, but that was all I needed. Just knowing that it's out there is disturbing enough.
Looking for a bit of the old ultra-violence? Then "Hostel" is for you.
A true star in the constellation of fringe transgressive cinema, "Hostel" is disturbing on many levels. Some of the things that happen in this movie you will pray to forget for years to come.
Friends come to an Eastern European hostel that turns out to be a front for an elite sadistic enterprise. I have to say, there is something particularly grizzly about movies set in Eastern Europe. ("A Serbian Film" comes to mind, though I've never watched it, thank god.)
And I couldn't watch "Hostel" all the way through - I had to read the ending on Wikipedia. That's actually a testament to the fact that the movie was pretty entertaining and thrilling up to the point when people started losing their limbs and eyeballs. Stay away from it, unless your soul is as dark as this movie.
Worst date-night movie EVER.
There's nothing like a brutal 10-minute rape scene to turn you off a movie, or even an entire French cinema.
What is it with the French and the vulgar realism? Is that considered artistic because it's shocking, disturbing, violent? Because it exposes the dark side of the human nature? Yes, bravo on the unusual directing (Gaspar Noe) and the acting (Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel), thanks for all the swell metaphors and clever parallels, but in the end, I wish I've never seen it.
The story is shown in reverse, leading up to a horrifying finale/beginning. I've read that some people fainted while watching its first screening at Cannes Film Festival. Others just call it "one of the most disturbing movies I have ever seen."
"A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984)
This is an oldie, but a goodie.
You're never quite the same after seeing Freddy Krueger slice and dice people in their sleep, especially if you've first watched it at a tender age of ...teen, and your parents were out of town.
"Whatever you do, don't fall asleep" was a famous line from the movie. Oh, OK then! I'll just toss and turn every night until I collapse into an exhausted terrified slumber.
This wasn't just another slasher flick - "A Nightmare" got under your skin, it truly haunted your dreams.
Freddy Krueger's character is deeply disturbing because he's the composite image of the subconscious human fears, our frailties and vulnerabilities. Not only that, the film is partially based on facts: Nightmare Death Syndrome is a real medical condition when healthy young men inexplicably die during sleep, from what appears to be a nightmare.
The 2010 remake didn't re-capture the original film's intensity, and modern teenagers probably associate Freddy Krueger with a silly Halloween costume.
"The Omen" isn't particularly gory, but deeply disturbing nonetheless.
It was the first film that made me genuinely scared of small children. The boy was so creepy and so obviously evil, it was uncomfortable to watch, and I've had nightmares about little boys for years after that. You never know where that 666 mark is hiding!
You may think that the film is actually pretty tame by modern horror standards. In fact, I recently re-watched it with no adverse effects whatsoever.
Even so, there is something genuinely unsettling about it, and a string of bizarre tragic incidents associated with the filming of "The Omen" is a testament to that. There's even a British documentary about it - "The Curse of the Omen".
And this is by no means an exhaustive list...
What movie do you wish you could unsee?
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© 2015 Lana Adler