7 Movies That Are Incredibly Hard To Watch

A Clockwork Orange 7 Movies That Are Incredibly Hard To Watch

I’ll go out on a limb and give a rough estimation that about 97% of movie buffs have come across at least one movie at some point in their lives that they just couldn’t watch from start to finish. Everyone has vastly different tastes in films, different things that make them tick and differing thresholds of tolerance for boredom, graphic violence and gore, downright stupidity and endless cliches. There are countless reasons why someone would decide to hit the stop button partway through a film.

Filmmakers who are notorious for pushing the envelope are generally regarded as those who make the most disturbing of movies, with varying degrees of success. Some do succeed all the way and garner critical praise and lucrative financial gain, a la Quentin Tarantino. Others, while they may achieve a certain level of praise, do split people’s opinions straight down the middle about whether their films are artistic, or just plain torture porn.

Take the Saw franchise for example, what started as one of the most fresh and innovative thrillers of the new millennium slowly descended into nothing more than a showcase for the many different ways of how to mutilate a human body over the course of seven films. There’s no doubt that the quality of the writing began to be overshadowed by the horrific violence because, for better or worse, the producers seemed to think that audiences’ bloodlust was greater than their intellect.

In the spirit of Halloween, the release of the sixth film in the long-running Child’s Play franchise, Curse Of Chucky, and the recent release of the sequel to the mercilessly brutal I Spit On Your Grave, I’m going to focus on the treacherous uphill grind that one takes to finish a film that is packed with graphic violent content and disturbing subject matter.

So, without further ado, here are 7 movies that are incredibly hard to watch.


7. Maniac (2013)

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If you remember William Lustig’s brutally psychotic film Maniac, you probably remember Tom Savini’s head turning into a human piñata after being blasted by a shotgun. It’s splattery, gory, and absolutely insane – but doesn’t hold a candle to Franck Khalfoun’s brutally unforgiving masterpiece. This year’s Maniac remake (re-imagining) not only utilized gut-wrenching violence and stomach-churning gore, but the psychological aspect taints our minds and actually does something despicably evil – it turns us into the killer.

First of all, kudos to Elijah Wood for delivering one of his best performances to date as lead character Frank, an emotionally deranged serial killer who targets young women and removes their scalps, only to use the fleshy mess as headpieces for his mannequin collection. I know, you’re probably a little queasy already, because Khalfoun doesn’t hold a damn thing back visually, as we watch Elijah murder woman after woman, hearing the squishy slicing noise as he removes their precious locks. It gets worse though, oh so worse.

Khalfoun’s Maniac utilizes a first-person POV technique, as we watch the actions play out as Elijah’s character Frank. We’re seeing through his eyes. We’re hearing his thoughts. We’re uncomfortably listening to his excited panting as he stalks women from afar. In essence, we become the killer, and it feels dementedly disgusting. This effect is most prominent when actress Megan Duffy is suffocated by Frank, as we watch her body go limp and lifeless in Frank’s outstretched hands – and by that I mean our hands. It’s so gritty and real, I almost felt like I was watching a snuff film, and I couldn’t shake this feeling of disgust afterwards, like I’d played a part in the act.

The genius of Maniac’s insanity is not in violence alone, but in the beautifully murderous delivery that creeps into our psyche and digs deep without us even knowing. It’s not just a blood-soaker like Lustig’s original, not in a longshot. Khalfoun’s Maniac is a piece of sadistic horror that brings you as close as humanly possible to being a killer yourself, whether you like it or not (I’m hoping you don’t?). Watch at your own risk, because you never know what hidden feelings might be unearthed…

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6. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

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Cannibal Holocaust is one hell of a twisted film. Seized in Italy after it premiered, director Ruggero Deodato was arrested on obscenity charges as well, with authorities claiming that he had made a snuff film. Following all that, it didn’t take long for Cannibal Holocaust to receive a ban in Italy, Australia and several other countries and to this day, the film is still impossible to get a hold of in most places.

Whether it’s due to the graphic gore, the animal killings or the sexual violence, there are not many people that I know who can sit through the entire film. If you do see it though, and if you’re able to make it to the end, I can assure you that you will never forget what you have witnessed.

There just really isn’t anything else out there like Cannibal Holocaust. It’s so extreme and graphic and the scariest part is, it all looks pretty real. So much so, in fact, that at the time, moviegoers were convinced that some of the actors were actually killed on film. Then of course there are the animal slaughterings, which are just downright disturbing to watch.

Though it no doubt has cult status, and there are those who will defend it with every last breath, Cannibal Holocaust is not a film that I think I can ever watch again. It’s just too much and it’s where I draw the line.

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5. Se7en (1995)

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The 90s were undoubtedly an era for ushering in game-changing psychological thrillers. An encapsulation by the one and only Sir Anthony Hopkins in 1991′s The Silence Of The Lambs gave us one of the most frightening villains of all time in Dr Hannibal Lecter. Following on from this came John Doe, a villain brought to life by the multi-talented Kevin Spacey in what could only be described as the most grisly and uneasy thriller ever conceived.

Se7en focuses on two homicide detectives hot on the trail of a serial killer who despatches his victims in the vein of the seven deadly sins. It’s not the graphic violence that made me turn this one off, it was the atmosphere (and maybe the fact that I was only sixteen years old). The old saying that “less is more” really applies here, and it is what truly makes this a film that will absolutely send chills down your spine.

David Fincher’s masterful direction created a world that I hope to live my entire existence without ever being a part of. We are forced to follow detective Mills and Somerset on the unenvious task of tracking John Doe, and along the way, evil in its purest form is witnessed. No punches are pulled here, the introduction itself illustrates very clearly to the audience exactly what kind of a ride they’re about to be taken on.

In one of the most creative and effective intro sequences I’ve ever seen, the eerie images of John Doe working on his journal and peeling skin off of his fingers is montaged over a remix of the Nine Inch Nails track Closer. I don’t know about you, but the song itself is enough to make me uneasy, let alone having to watch those images at the same time.

Pure brilliance.

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4. Natural Born Killers (1994)

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Probably considered to be one of the most controversial movies of all time, Natural Born Killers shoots its way into our number four spot. Director Oliver Stone is no stranger to making films that test boundaries and audiences’ thresholds, and Natural Born Killers is no exception.

Filled with lurid violence, spot on performances by all and some very creative scene construction, Stone tells his story in a unique yet disturbing way. The film centres around husband-and-wife killing duo Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) as they commit mass murder after experiencing abusive childhoods. Along the way, they’re made out to be cult heroes by the media after being arrested, and this is where the film gains its satire. Sure, it certainly works as a social commentary on how the media can sway the opinion of the masses, but how it achieves this is not easy to stomach.

The violence is very much in your face, and the whole film itself feels like a nightmarish hallucination. The sequence that features the late Rodney Dangerfield as Mallory’s abusive father is played like an old time sitcom in which Mallory is subjected to multiple instances of sexual and physical abuse. Another sequence in which we get inside Mickey’s head gives us a glimpse of his own abusive childhood, and that was where I had to leave.

It’s been a while since I first tried to watch Natural Born Killers, but I have to admit that the entire experience was not very pleasant. The film is extremely disturbing and unsettling and more than deserves its notoriety. It also has the graphic violence and the demented psychological aspect to go along with it.

This isn’t to detract from Oliver Stone as a filmmaker, quite the contrary. He is extremely skilled as a craftsman and I praise him for it, Natural Born Killers is just an experience that I couldn’t get through.

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3. Tokyo Gore Police (2008)

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Taking the number three spot is probably the most bloody, gory and ridiculous movie I have ever half-witnessed. I had to fit in one foreign film on this list and if there’s one country who knows how to disturb us in every way possible, it’s Japan.

Tokyo Gore Police is definitely for an acquired taste and not for the faint of heart. It isn’t even for the strong of heart. It takes someone with guts of steel to sit through this one. Director Yoshihiro Nishimura, who worked on special effects for other films in a similar vein, such as Machine Girl and RoboGeisha, brings us his trademark over-the-top, gross out violence.

I barely even remember what this movie is about, all I know is that there is a sword-wielding female police officer and a bunch of people having appendages sliced off and strange alien like creatures growing in their place. There was just so much blood and gore that I couldn’t really tell what the hell was going on. By the time the halfway mark hit, I was completely lost. I’m not a prude when it comes to violence, but in this case, I had to draw the line.

I can’t really say much more about this one. It wasn’t psychologically disturbing, the violence was just so continuous and graphically depicted that I couldn’t watch anymore, and it takes a lot for me to say that.

If you’re still curious about it, I advise you to check out the clip below, it will give you a good idea of what you’re in store for.

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2. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

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Coming in at second place is Rob Zombie’s sequel to his directorial debut House Of 1000 Corpses.

I have to hand it to the guy, he knows how to craft a good horror movie, and he knows how to do it retro-style. I only just survived through House of 100 Corpses as I’m not the biggest fan of the horror genre, but it felt like an old 70′s exploitation film and while the premise wasn’t totally original, I could definitely appreciate what Zombie was trying to do.

The Devil’s Rejects however, was much more of an ambitious film in the sense that Zombie tried to mesh together a crime caper, a road trip film and a revenge thriller, and it worked quite well.

I will admit that Rob Zombie is a talented filmmaker, but this particular movie was even harder to sit through than his previous effort. I put it down to the fact that in the first film, the sick and twisted Firefly family basically stayed confined to their titular house and that’s it, you wouldn’t hear from them if you didn’t come a knockin’. In this one however, the Firefly family are forced to flee their house once a vengeful sheriff comes a knockin’ with some serious firepower. It is then that their killing spree begins on the open road.

What made The Devil’s Rejects hard to sit through is not only the degree of brutality and torture that is bestowed upon innocent people by the Fireflys, but also just how unconditionally evil they all are. Just when you don’t think it could get any worse, a poor woman is forced to wear the peeled off face of her dead husband and run out onto the road for help, only to get completely demolished by an oncoming truck. I understand that this is a horror film at heart, but this just tested my threshold time and time again.

The best description of what to expect from The Devil’s Rejects is illustrated in the following line said by the character Otis as he’s about to kill a victim: “I am the devil, and I am here to do the devil’s work.”

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1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

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Low and behold, our number one contender, and another in the ranks of most controversial films ever made, is Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece A Clockwork Orange. Based on Anthony Burgess’ novel of the same name, the film is set in future Britain where juvenile delinquency runs rampant and rape and ultra violence is the order of the day.

Young Alex De Large (played flawlessly by Malcolm McDowell) narrates the film as he and his droogs terrorize as many unknowing innocent people as possible, before ending the day with a bit of Ludwig van Beethoven. Once captured and forced to face the consequences for his actions, the government places Alex in an experimental trial program in an attempt to rehabilitate him by forcing him to view extreme violence until he can no longer handle it.

A Clockwork Orange is a difficult movie to talk about, because it’s one of those ‘you have to see it for yourself’ kind of films. While the violence depicted is certainly tame by today’s standards, it doesn’t detract from the psychological ramifications that come with viewing it. The whole film is just one big social commentary, and one that stimulates much discussion about the fine line that we tread between punishment and inhumane treatment.

The entire movie has quite a perplexed atmosphere too, as the tone teeters on the theatrical whilst delving into brutal violence, and this is where it works brilliantly. It probably didn’t help that I tried to watch it when I was sixteen (what was with me at this age?), but I again had to turn it off halfway because I found it far too disturbing at the time. It was two years later that I finally finished the film and vowed never to watch it again.

There are countless movies out there that are much more disturbing than any on this list, but again, one can only draw on personal experience and these ones did get the job done. Do leave a comment below though and let me know if there’s a movie you thought was more deserving than these.

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  • Nancy Julian Powell

    Personally, most of my favourite movies are very difficult to watch. Dead Man, Freeway, Сhasing Sleep, and El Topo, for example. But THE most difficult to watch movie I have ever seen is, without a doubt, E. Elias Merhige’s ‘Begotten’. It contains no dialouge, no decipherable story, is shot in heavily modified and grainy black and white, and paints its picture through suffering that is beyond human and strays into the realm of myth. It begins with a deity disembowling himself with a straight razor and a woman emerging from his corpse, masturbating the body and impregnating herself, and giving birth to a convulsing adult man who is then dragged away by his umbilical cord and vomits up his internal organs before being dismembered and then resurrected. It is intensely traumatic to watch, but also hypnotic and cathartic.

    • Mike Goulet

      Begotten is a true test of endurance. I loved it, but damn it’s a challenging film.

    • http://www.console-tribe.com/ Oogabada

      But you always have the feel that is something fake. The terrible power of “Salo or the 20 days of sodom” is that you ask yourself all the time if it’s possible that it could ever being happened. The best advice for many people is to not watch “the 120 days of sodom”.

      • Armiz

        I know!, its not horror but its painfull to watch, unsettling, obscene, morbid! i wouldnt recommend it.


      lol, just your description of “Begotten” grossed me out, and made me laugh at the same time. I think grossing audiences out is getting very cartoonish. I think I will stay away from that film. Thanks for the great synopsis (aka warning) though. :)

      • Jacob Stephen Cook

        I’ven’t seen ‘Begotten,’ but its story is actually ancient, going to back to the oldest world mythologies.

  • Danny

    Good list but I’d have to say Cannibal Holocaust is the most disturbing film I’ve ever seen. I love gore and exploitation films but that film made me feel dirty. There’s actual footage of animal’s being mutilated which I find very unsettling to say the least.I belive it started the “found footage” genre and the director was investigated because the authoritys thought it was a snuff film ( well it was for the animals anyway). I’ve seen it once but the music and cinematography are pretty beautiful especially the music its gorgeous in the beginning then when the closing credits come its the creepist thing you’ve ever fucking heard.


      “Faces of Death” and the swanky Restaraunt, and the little spider monkey shown to the patrons like a fine wine, then stuck in the hole in the table. Beaten alive by those rich patrons, was horrible. Also, “The Rivers Edge” based on a true story. I can’t watch River’s Edge. Even though the story for RE actually happened, and made the news. Of course Hollywood rewrote the entire thing. Sticking Dennis Hopper and his blow-up doll in there.

      • Abbey_of_Thelema

        Eating monkey brains from a still moving Monkey through a hole in a table is filmed in Cannibal Holocaust too.
        (If that wasn´t “Cannibal Ferox”, I´m not totally sure..)

      • Raree Forlorn Sixx

        There’s no way in hell I could watch “Faces of Death”. It’s real. and fng disgusting from what I’m told. I would have nightmares. But if it’s fiction I can pretty much watch anything. Although I habe to agree that River’s Edge was extremely disturbing. I hope it was fiction. How cold people be so non-caring and just go about their lives???

  • poopshoot

    is it sad that ive watched these movies many times over and over?

    • sailordude

      Yes. you are screwed. Seriously.

  • McMeans

    Good list,except ‘NBK’ and ‘A Clockwork Orange’-these are 2 of my all time favs. Tarantino actually wrote ‘NBK’,and ‘A Clockwork Orange’ is an excellent novel,which includes a last chapter,that was excluded from the film,where Alex sees the error of his ways and realizes he just wants a family.

    P.S.”i am the devil and i am here to do the devil’s work” is what Tex Watson said to the victims of the Sharon Tate home,before they were murdered-which makes the statement that much more disturbing.


      I liked Robert Downey, Jr’s character in ‘NBK’. I am a big fan of RDJ’s earlier stuff. “Less Than Zero” was very disturbing in certain scenes. (Not the movie itself but the scenes with RDJ. and James Spader.) It was a book by Brett Easton Ellis, also the author of ‘American Psycho.’ In “Zero” the Robert Downey Jr, scenes, especially the scenes where James Spader (Rip) forces him to whore himself out to pay off a 50K drug debt, and his friends (Blair, and Clay) helping him try to get clean, in Blairs loft disturbed me. The paranoid “jonezing” and vomiting scenes were hard to watch. He’s homeless through the entire thing, multi-millionaire father throws him out. Nobody can save him and he dies at the very end. Ellis, supposedly is doing (or has done) a sequel about Andrew McCarthy’s character ‘Clay’ that sounds highly disturbing. Not really interested in watching the sequel, where “Clay” returns to LA and becomes everything he hated in his youth.

      • MarMar

        Love the movie. Love the book. But the movie is almost nothing like the book. It really shouldn’t have been called Less Than Zero. A new film based more on the book would be great if done right. Easton adapted films are tough to make, for obvious reasons.


          Exactly, I read the book, too. The character’s were highly complex, whereas in the movie, there was practically no character development except for Spader, and Downey. Apparently, the author did not like the movie at first. Then he said if it wasn’t for the acting of James Spader, and RDJ, the movie would have never have made it to film. He claims that this book was loosely based on his real life experiences.


      Voytek Frykowski,(sp?) wakes up to that crazed maniac Charles Denton ‘Tex’ Watson. Those murders should have been called “The Tex Watson” Murders. Helter Skelter, by Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi is a pack of lies, imo.

      • Michael Curry

        You don’t have a damn clue what your talking about.

        • Abbey_of_Thelema

          I think she does actually..
          Think of it this way: WHY would Manson refuse to confess to giving the orders when

          Nr.1: He WANTS to be in jail, he doesn´t want to be out in Society.
          Nr.2: He likes the publicity and wants to be known as a dangerous man so he´ll be left alone in the prison..

          I´ve read all testimonys and all trial documents including parole hearings and there is more than one or two things that doesn´t add up..

          • carl e cook

            …….i didn’t think i’d live to see conspiracy theories pop up surrounding the manson family/tate murders……..
            remember this: charlie, being a sociopathic, long-term institutionalized felon as he was in 1969, likely never gave a lot of thought, either way, about being caught or not…….


          Just a personal opinion. That is why I put “imo” at the end of my comment.


          Manson was released from Terminal Island in 1967. Just in time for for the Height-Ashbury. Have you seen the news lately, There must be 30 books about his Laurel Canyon days, too. He never killed anyone. He shot what he thought was a Black Panther, named Bernard Crow. Crow lived and kept the bullet. There are many people who believe, in fact, write books about Manson. You’re right though. Manson shared a cell with Mafia types, including Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, the best book I’ve read is “The Garbage People.They were not Hippies – they were “Slippies” considered the dark underbelly the *Peace n’ Love* generation. Manson, had a bus, and went to Laural Canyon. To live with rich Hippies. They were considered pigs. Listen to the Beatles song “Piggy’s” and Dennis Wilson’s story. Shame what happened to Dennis.The Beach Boys stole mansons song “Cease to Exist.” Called “Never learn Not To Love” He scared people like Terry Melcher, but he never murdered anyone. Tex Watson ran the whole show. Another good book to read is “Charles Manson: NOW” by Marlin Marynick. The book by Nicholas Shrek is very good. Many people do not believed Vincent Bugliosi.
          He still has insane followers, that are very young. A young 25 year old called Star thinks she is going to marry him. Many older crazy’s well into their 50′s visit him, and live in the woods near Corcoran, just to be near him.

  • GreyShaad

    I’d like to suggest Naked Lunch as a great disturbing movie.


      That old beat writer? OMG! what a pervert.

  • Garry Bergstrom

    Personally, I would include Videodrome with James Woods and Deborah Harry. Truly disturbing.

  • Mike Goulet

    Pig Fucking Movie, as it’s commonly called is tough. Also, Men Behind The Sun, A Serbian Film, and The Smurfs.

  • anon

    Anyone agrees with Requiem for a dream and Oldboy ??

    • Kevex Xavier

      Oldboy was lame

    • Adam

      Requiem scarred me for life.

      • Laura

        I watched Requiem as a freshman in college with my then-boyfriend. The last 15 minutes of the movie I had to cover my ears and bury my head in my boyfriend’s shoulder. It was absolutely unbearable.

        I *still* have nightmares from that movie and spend hours awake at night because I can’t get back to sleep.

        • Clay J Pena

          I’m trying to find a copy of this one. I read it at Wikipedia ( I dont care about spoilers), but I did not find it as disturbing as I thought I would. What are some of the scenes or parts that really scared you?

          • Hud

            ‘Requiem For A Dream’ is not scary. It is downright disturbing, but without any attempt of frightening the viewer. Particularly the last ten or so minutes, a masterfully edited lengthy sequence with layers of parallel montage blended together perfectly with a hauntingly beautiful music piece. But I guess the most disturbing part is when you do realize that all the things depicted there happen every day, all around us.

            The beauty of this film is that you get to cherish your life a bit more after you see it. At some points in our lives, we all travel some darker roads but most of us leave back for the light after a while. ‘Requiem For A Dream’ lets us see some of the darkest dead ends there are, while still reminding us that it might as well had been us there.

          • Clay J Pena

            Yes, disturbing is a better word for it.Or depressing. I cant wait to watch it.

          • NoNeedforNamecalling

            It’s on Netflix!

          • david berl

            thanks for the big fargin tip………a hole!!!

          • NoNeedforNamecalling

            Douche bag.

          • Secret

            You haven’t seen it? I have it on DVD and can’t give it away.

          • Carly Corday

            Me too. I’ve never even heard of it. Must see this!

          • Sarah Smeagol

            I once heard Requiem described as “the best movie I never fucking want to see again EVER”, and I have to say I kinda agree with that. Also up there in soul-crushing films is the BBC docudrama “Threads”, from the 80s, about all-out nuclear war and its’ effects. Basically, if you don’t want to kill yourself by the end of it, you’re a damn robot.

          • AssnapKined

            “The beauty of this film is that you get to cherish your life a bit more after you see it.” I wasn’t cherishing anything after watching this film. You watch this movie once, so you can discuss it, but you never go back to it.

          • josh

            you have to be kidding me. the whole point of the movie is to scare the viewer. it is the most unrealistic piece of propaganda in modern film. do you have any personal experience in these matters? are you guessing that these things happen every day? do you have any idea how few heroin addicts who travel down these ‘darker roads’ you claim to know about ever ‘leave back for the light’? how many dead friends do YOU have? how many times did YOU try and fail to get clean before doing it? i call bullshit. you have no idea what you’re talking about.

          • shizzyp

            Would you be kind and describe where is the author off the mark in these issues. How different is the reality? Sincerly.

          • Secret

            How the female gets her drugs in the end. I find that scene very disturbing. What a woman will do with her body to NOT go through w/d.

      • Win

        I use to watch it once every semester while at university jsut to keep me on the straight and narrow when the partying was getting out of hand

        • coffeegirl18

          I agree in using it as an anti-drug movie.

          • Harry

            Requiem for a Dream was an amazing film, although i wouldn’t say it was hard to sit through………..there are some pretty saddening/disgusting scenes near the end, but not to warrant me giving up on the film

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      • Harriet

        I’m so glad I am not the only one! My husband insisted I watch it with him and I did, but even now, years later, i’m traumatized by that last scene: I’ll never be right …


      “Trainspotting” was right up there, junkies and dead infants, just one horrid scene after another. Requiem for a Dream annoyed me. Some golden oldies that scarred me were “PSYCHO” and “Midnight Cowboy.”

      • Hard To Shock

        I’d say “Trainspotting” is one of those mind-trips

      • coffeegirl18

        Psycho is amazing.

        • Carly Corday

          Psycho scared my father out of his skin. He was a grown man, war veteran, disrespecter of sissies, helicopter pilot, worked a 7 on and 7 off schedule and had to stay in motels, went to see PSYCHO at theater to kill an evening, went back to his motel and suffered the tremors of the damned until the sun came up. LOL.

      • andy

        requiem annoyed me too

      • Stanley Wilson

        When I first saw the trailer for trainspotting I never bothered to watch it because all I could think of was a bunch of junkie losers sitting by train tracks and when one went by they’d point and say “there’s one” lol

        • SMACK FOOLZ

          “Looking For Mr. Goodbar” I read the book, and saw the movie adaptation, with Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, and Tom Berringer — based on the true story of Roseann Quinn. A New York City schoolteacher, in 1973. Book by Judith Rossner. Book was very disturbing, and so was the movie. :::::shudder:::::

      • Carly Corday

        One that scarred me was “In Cold Blood”. I had just had a baby, my second, the birth most likely to induce post-partum crazies. My eldest child, not yet 3, had gone with my parents so me and hubby could settle in with new baby for a few days. Watched it at home on the toob. It put me in hell, I can never describe it. The teenage boy shot in the Clutter home looked just like my brother used to look when we were that age. I was certain killers were going to find my parents’ house and murder them and my little girl. I watched lots of other TV during this time, so it wasn’t just that I was fragile. This movie is really hard watching.

      • James Daniel Massey

        I agree. I liked Trainspotting but it still was a hard film to finish.

        • kmanthie

          no it’s not. The only reason it’d be hard to finish is if you find it boring. I liked Drugstore Cowboy a lot better. And Panic In Needle Park too, Trainspotting is too much of a trendy drug flick

      • kmanthie

        You gotta be kidding…Midnight Cowboy? That is a classic! Just because Joe Buck doesn’t make it as a gigolo, runs out of money and there happens to be ONE scene in the film where he lets a teenaged Bob Balaban blow him in a porn theater,- BIG DEAL! Otherwise that is a fabulous flick! Dustin Hoffman & Jon Voigt were both great – plus it won the Oscar for Best Picture in 69!

    • Mark Dub

      I had to walk out on Requiem at the “a$$ to a$$” comment. I’m not sensitive in any way at all, but that literally made me nauseous. I walked upstairs and took a shower as I tried not to puke. Could have a little to do with having crush on Connelly (Career opportunities ftw!!) but still a very disturbing film!

    • benis

      definitely requiem for a dream!!

    • tomatopudding

      They re-made Oldboy. It comes out in the next couple of months. I think Josh Brolin stars.

      • The Mongol

        lame, saw the trailer, it doesn’t have the feel & look

        • tomatopudding

          It is not getting good reviews. I didn’t think they could do the original justice.

          • Jenn

            Choi Min Sik was genius in the original Oldboy. No one will be able to come close to his performance! :)

        • gordon

          Requiem for sure and Gummo.

    • Alex DeLarge

      Requiem was a silly movie. The whole special effects cliche used whenever someone shot up was unwatchable.

      • oltyy

        yeah… after theyd shoot up i liked how they made a close-up on their pupils showing them dilated instead of pin-pointed
        also what kind of medicine doctor (im assuming a crooked one – ordinarily he would risk losing his license) prescribes a clearly dopaminergic drug for weight problems?

        • jkk

          The mom was not taking dopaminergic drugs. She was on amphetamines. Amphetamines were commonly prescribed for weight loss in the 80s maybe even the 90s. Kids who take vyvanse or addy often lose wight.

          • coffeegirl18

            My aunt was prescribed amphetamines in the 80s to lose a bit of weight. Apparently they were widely prescribed.

          • Daaaaa

            She was getting methamphetamine prescribed to her, while the other dudes were getting on the street. Desoxyn was the brand name for meth pills used for weight loss, and it is still available today as a generic mostly. 5 or 10mg methamphetamine tablets

      • andy


    • You Should watch it

      The Human Centipede was quite artist and disturbing in a way that people have ceased all contact with me as a result of my recommendation to watch and promising that it gets better, and the scene is an abberation thus allowing them to witness the horror in its entirety.

      • david berl

        um….was it as disturbing as your birth was to your parents????

        OH SORRY…..nothing could be THAT disturbing!!!

        • kmanthie

          No kidding! Anyone who’d recommend the Human Centipede has got to be retarded. It’s just lame torture porn. There is no story. If you think this was a good movie then you are a real waste of life.

          • lee

            Anyone who calls someone a waste of life is the real waste of life.

      • josh

        the scene where he squeezes the pus out of her cheek was worse for me than the inevitable mouth shit sequence

      • Stanley Wilson

        The Human Centipede was just ridiculous, not disturbing, the doctor yelling “feed her” while the guy was pooping was priceless, lol

        • kmanthie

          The Human Centipede has got to be one of the stupidest movies I’ve ever seen, There is no “there” there, if you know what I mean. Just violence & the most graphic gore just for the hell of it. Not that I’m squeamish or anything, it’s just dumb, There’s nothing stylish or well-done about it at all – a friggin’ 7th grader could’ve written the screenplay!!

          • Daaaaaa

            Stupid movie….but great south park episode! Ha

    • slinky13

      I liked Requiem for a Dream but it wasn’t easy to watch.

    • kisha

      Requiem was one that I said “Well, I never need to see that again…”

    • Paulette Andria Hamilton

      old boy for sure that movie is disturbing and i could not believe spike lee attempted to re make it

    • AKO

      I haven’t watched Oldboy…but my sister was obsessed with Requiem for a Dream for a while. I was sixteen, maybe, when I watched it. A bit surreal, but I can’t say that it scarred me or anything.

    • Tiffany Webster

      I agree in that requium is unwatchable because its a peice of shit!
      This is a peice of starry eyes rich white college kid anti-drug propaganda
      any one who has been in or ar least dabbled in this scene knows that!
      if you wann a know what drugs are like read, or watch(if your too stupid):
      1 A Scanner Darkly
      2 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
      3 Naked Lunch

      If you just want a disturbing film because your life is so damn peachy
      1 Henry portrait of a serial killer
      2 Visitor Q
      3 Sid & Nancy
      4 or yourself in the mirror
      these are just off the top of my head

    • Emily

      Requiem YES

    • Emily

      Still didn’t bother me though.. I watch it alot. Except the last few mins are creepy..

  • Polarboy

    Born on the Fourth of July for me, I really never, ever again want to see a guy act out the realisation that he has lost his Johnson and the subsequent aftermath. Obviously Born on the Fourth of July goes a lot deeper than than that, but damn that scene.

  • JM83

    Antichrist in parts is hard to watch, and some parts of Sleepers too for the psychological damage the kids get.

  • Cole K

    Angel Heart certainly qualifies. It got Lisa kicked off the Cosby show. Prolly the most disturbing ever was the original German version of Funny Games.

  • moronthatlater

    Caligula makes all of these films look like Judy Blume novels.

  • MichaelRWorthingon

    I loved A Clockwork Orange as a teenager…odd that it affected you so negatively. It’s obviously a beloved film by many.

  • http://www.console-tribe.com/ Oogabada

    Watch “Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom”, then tell me…
    A Clockwork Orange is like Sesame Street compared to Salò

    • Zax

      I agree. Saló is the only film that got me out of the theater with nausea

      • david berl

        oh come on Zax…..you were nauseous ( sic )
        cause of the girl you were with!!!

    • Temeteus

      I also agree. I saw it in a theater and forced myself to watch the whole movie. I felt physically ill for a couple of weeks. Over a year later i still had occasional flashbacks. I’m not going to see it again.

    • http://snafflepuss.wordpress.com/ Nicole Healing

      Salò didn’t affect me in the slightest :/ It may be because of the age of the film though.

      • Li Tempo

        Well in MARTYRS you know it’s special effects make-up, etc, but it is still hard to watch. SALO’s violence and torture on the other hand, is much more raw. Funny, two guys almost started to fight before that film back in the early 80s which was the first and only time I watched it!

    • ohgod904

      Agreed, Disturbing in every way possible

    • redstarrebel

      Totally true. That film psychologically scarred me for life, it’s almost transcendental in it’s evocation of depravity and abuse. God, I feel drained just thinking about it….still a very, very good film, though. Just not one I want to watch too often. Once a decade is probably enough for me.

      • Sarah Smeagol

        It’s an excellent film, but oh god, it’s not one you want to watch lightly, and you never can unsee it, once seen.

    • jo

      I would add Dogtooth to that list.

      • vlada

        yes, people don’t know about that movie and it is a masterpiece! original greek name is “Kynodontas” . it wasn’t that hard for watching to myself but i can easilly see why it would be for the most of the people. for me it was more philosophical and “wow” in that sense, realistic and cruely sincere to the bone ! a marsterpiece of world/european/greek cinematography!

    • Hard to Shock

      Sounds like a big statement curiosity dictates I should look it up at some point

    • Frederick

      I also agree salo is a disturbing film. Especially the first time you watch it. The second time though a lot of details grabbed me and now i rather like it. Like, in the sense of respect it… I rarely see it again and never for pleasure or entertainment. For instance the slow increase of sound of the overflying bombers meaning the end of nazi regime in the republic of salo is nearing its end, and also signaling the masters that they are almost finished so they increase their torture to an apotheosis. The film has much symbolism in it. It is one big warning for fascism and it’s contributors in the form of the church, nobility and rich and the many ‘victims’ who turn accomplice.

      But still, don’t watch it on a full stomach…

    • schlagi

      I tried to watch Salo… But it`s the most bizarre thing ever… Nothing compares to that…

  • GXXXR1000

    Irreversible 2003 SUBTITLED
    Rape scene so graphic I wish I could unsee it,
    and I’m a man and a degenerate

    • Drunkard

      I have been fed up with all the rape scenes they have been doing for the last 10 years or so. there had to be a better way for them to get the point across than have young women raped. IMO!

      • http://snafflepuss.wordpress.com/ Nicole Healing

        I think rape scenes that are central or relevant to a plot as in Irreversible are hugely important to increase awareness and for that exact reason – to make people uncomfortable.

        • TaketheP fromaRapper

          It seems like women get turned on when they see a woman raped in a movie. Is that why women always screw their friends boyfriends and husbands? Is rape real though? b/c it always seems like they are acting in the movies

          • Andrew Heaton

            I refuse to watch “Irreversible”. Not because I think it’s crass or I’m a prude. Female rape scenes are one thing that don’t just disturb me, but psychologically upset me too (for some reason, I can stomach male rape scenes…). I’ve heard about the infamous eight minute rape scene in this from many people who have seen it. I know it’s pertinent to the story, I just know it would give me nightmares ten times worse than any horror film can.

          • david berl

            there is NOTHING wrong with rape as part of a loving, caring, nurturing relationship…..
            oh yes!!!

          • josh

            Are you a rapist? Or just a misogynist? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? Do you not understand that MOVIES ARE ACTING!!!! and that does not mean that real life is not real. RAPE IS REAL. IT DOES NOT TURN WOMEN ON. WOMEN DO NOT ALWAYS SCREW THEIR FRIENDS BOYFRIENDS AND HUSBANDS! You are a moron.

        • coffeegirl18

          If it’s to do with a court case fine but otherwise it’s not needed or they could easily infer it. I mean even revenge movies (aka girl gets raped and goes on the hunt for the rapist(s)) can do without lengthy scenes.

      • david berl

        you know there is something SO erotic, timely and NOW
        as a middle age woman getting raped………AND
        having an orgasm WHILE it takes place!!!

    • TheGhostOfGriffinMill

      IRREVERSIBLE is, for me, THE most disturbing, cannot un-see-it film of all time. Gaspar Noe is a provocateur like no one else right now. As much as I didn’t like IRREVERSIBLE, I ended up loving ENTER THE VOID, another film that challenges you nearly every step of the way.

      • redstarrebel

        I have avoided Irreversible but I thought Enter The Void was pretty good. I read somewhere that a lot of the discomfort in Irreversible comes from the soundtrack which features sub-sonic frequencies designed to induce nausea and discomfort in the viewer. Still, I don’t like the sound of the eleven-minute rape scene or the fire extinguisher part. Nope, not for me, thank you!

      • Jefferson Listermann

        Yes, for me “Irreversible” was probably the most disturbing piece of cinema I’ve ever seen. The horrible sex-catacombs of “the tapeworm,” the rape-violence…. and that electro-abrasive soundtrack…. I found it a lot more disturbing than”Requiem…”, which was maybe simply…uhhhh, viscerally depressing, shall we say….. I think that the only movie that gave me nightmares as an adult was “Henry, portrait of a Serial Killer”…. as a kid “Night Gallery” gave me god knows how many years of nitemares!!

        • PSG

          Henry was a bit bothersome, though I sat through it. Requiem couldn’t hold my interest. Those who had recommended it to me were all still heads, and after watching as much as I did, I wonder if that was the real draw. The story, but maybe not the message.
          I will try watching it again, some day…

          I didn’t have nightmares, but those NG stories stayed with me. I watched that series when I was very young. The corpse unearthing and bringing itself to the door, all shown through paint and canvas. Kinda campy, but brilliantly campy.

    • Ben

      I agree, easily the most disturbing movie of all time. What about the scene where dude get’s his head pummeled in by the fire extinquisher?!?! WTF is that!

      • Charles Xavier

        its called Irreversible by Gaspar Noe

    • josh

      thought I had repressed that for life. Thanks! Agree… there are two scenes i tried to repress in that movie.

    • scott

      agree, one of the worst scenes i have ever seen

    • Crimsonrain

      I’ve watched the movie a few times as I have it on DVD…however I have had to walk out of the room the last few times when that bit of the movie plays.

      • Jefferson Listermann

        I watch a lot of movies over and over…. but why would you want to watch “Irreversible” repeatedly??

        • bfg666

          Uh, because it’s a great film?

  • GXXXR1000

    Hanger. About a revenge seeking survivor of a forced home done abortion by
    his mothers pimp. Nearly impossible to watch start to finish.

  • El PavliTo

    A Srpski Film IS a movie that is incredibly hard to watch!

  • El PavliTo

    or… Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible` ….

  • BoredwithFord

    Anything with Melissa McCarthy.

  • cj

    Funny Games? Anyone see that? Pretty disturbing and it messes with the audience the entire time.

  • Nons

    Hard to watch for the Disney crowd perhaps..

    There are plenty of disturbing films, but as far as more mainstream disturbing films

    Serbian Film
    Human Centipede

    Although it gets much worse than these..

    • Foxy

      I agree with human centipede. I still can’t get through reading the whole write up of it before feeling physically sick at the thought of it.


        I took a bunch of rescue dogs and made a human centipede out ofo dogs. I called it “Canis Cepedia” it worked for 2 days and then there was big trouble…its frowned upon

    • Dani

      Human Centipede is definitely thee one movie I can’t bare to see again. Seeings the title alone makes me ill.

    • Rose

      I agree with Martyrs my friend I watched it with didn’t get it but if you truly understand the movie you stay up all night just thinking about it, not fun.. as for human centipede though I found that a bit funny it may just have been because I was with friends who were cracking jokes but the second one is way more disturbing

    • McMeans

      ha ha! ‘human centipede’ was the first movie to come to mind when i read the title- ‘incredibly hard to watch…’.

    • Guest1234

      Serbian Film, I have to agree. I wish I did not watch that movie. I really do not understand where the director was going with it.

    • Barbara Lynn Glazeski

      Human Centipede? The first one is nothing compared to the second one, in my opinion. Human Centipede 2, while fictional, plays on the fact that people truly get obsessed with such atrocities, and it was much grittier and difficult than the first.

    • Ynah Santos

      I agree with Human Centipede & Serbian Film. Human centipede is sickening & Serbian film crushed my soul. It’s so effin depressing. I wan’t to rewind my brain after watching. lol

  • Garrett William

    A Serbian Film, Cannibal Holocaust, Ken Park…

    • Katrina Li

      I wouldn’t really say Ken Park is THAT disturbing. Okay, yeah, there were a couple of disturbing scenes that were pretty graphically violent but apart from that it was nothing compared to some of these mentioned.
      And I agree with those saying they were surprised that Eraserhead isn’t on this list. I’ve not watched it (nor do I plan to ever watch it) but from what I’ve heard from my dad, who is big fan of David Lynch’s films, it is VERY disturbing.

  • ItchyStitch

    who writes these? Mickey Mouse?
    Serbian Film
    Cannibal Holocaust
    Men Behind The Sun
    Eden Lake
    hmm.. and Megan Is Missing

  • paleryder44

    Clockwork Orange AND Natural Born Killers are Both on my top 10 greatest movies of all time. If you can not sit through those movies-you really should ONLY see DISNEY movies. Those films were intellectually superior to anything done in the past 20 years. Natural Born Killers is the more telling in your face film because Stone makes it a point to expose the mass media and cultural demoraliztion going on in organized society. A mass brain washing per se of the brain dead middle class secure in their world and the media’s obession with violence and sexual inneundo. The Sitcom aspect in the beginning is the most
    sickening scene but vital scene as Dangerfield is a child molester played for laughs to complete Stone’s “Bread and Circuses” society in moral decline.

    The film is NOT that violent per se, compared to a show like THE WALKING DEAD. No one has their head blown off. There were no scenes of torture actually shown on screen, they were alluded to even in the unrated DVD.. Stone had to make many edits to even get the film released.

    More astouding-the UK has never allowed A Clockwork orange to be shown in british Cinemas despite the entire intellectual approach Kubrick took to take out the emotional element and keep the film as narrative espose..

    Really though…if you can’t handle these intelligently made works of CINEMA (these are not just movies) stick with DISNEY. or Jennifer Aniston movies.

    • PhilStewart

      The “Clockwork Orange” ban was at Kubrick’s instruction. He banned his own movie. It wasn’t until after he died that it became available to buy and even now shown on TV.

      • paleryder44

        Kubrick banned his own movie..are you certain of that? it seems he only “banned” it because the UK film Board asked hi mto make major cuts that he refused to make in 1971. Rather than destroy the film he voluntarily banned it. if you are claiming he always intended to ban it..can you offer a link as I do not see any article on line of a voluntary ban.

  • Vivian

    None of these are particularly hard to watch. They are Disney movies compared to many other movies out there. Several commenters have already mentioned many of them here.

  • cmw

    Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer
    Megan is Missing
    The Girl Next Door
    The Rape of Nanking(directed by the same director as Men Behind the Sun)
    The Human Centipede pt. I and II

    • RobbKong Riot-Activist

      Megan Is Missing is a great pick for this list.
      It is a horrifying, all-too-realistic and just brutal film. Had a few laughs to make it lighter, but a disturbing film nonetheless.

  • jupiterrr

    Surprised the movie “Funny Games” didn’t make the list.

  • Nameless Monster

    ichi the the killer, cannibal holocaust, a serbian film, home sick, and imprint was so bad they didn’t play it on Showtime, Showtime

  • Mavado8

    A clockwork orange was one of my favorite books in my teens I read it numerous times and watched the movie many times as we’ll.!!!

  • Ck P

    My uncle was babysitting us for our mom.. I was 8 yrs old, my two brothers, ages 7 and 4 yrs old. He took us to see Clockwork Orange. I don’t remember much more than flashes of grotesque peoples faces, smiling, and was confused during the whole movie. Don’t know what my brothers remembered about it, but my brother who was 4 at the time grew up to be paranoid schizophrenic and committed suicide at age 40. My other brother is an alcoholic. I am reasonably sane I think. Maybe not attributable to the movie, but it sure didn’t help things.. ya think?


      I’m so sorry. Why on earth would anyone bring small children to see A Clockwork Orange? :(

      • Lamdog

        More importantly why anyone let small children in the theater. The movie rating was an X.

      • Alla Axelrod

        I didn’t see anyone small commenting on it. The film is a masterpiece. It’s not about violence or a shock value (like most of others mentioned on the list) but about it’s impact on society and controversy how to deal with it. Guarding kids from it’s existence is a mistake. Rather showing and explaining what it’s about is the right thing to do. By the way, even though Alex is supposed to be only 15 when he and his buddies do these things, of course the actors are much older and don’t appear to be “kids”. No wonder so many adults see this film again and again (including me), with the same awe. Immortal Kubric’s work.


          How about Kubrick’s “The Shining” where he is trying through symbolism, and set clues, to tell the viewer that he directed the Apollo 11 Moon landing. That it was a hoax. That it never happened. OooEEEooo…


          I was addressing Ck P who said this…

          “My uncle was babysitting us for our mom.. I was 8 yrs old, my two brothers, ages 7 and 4 yrs old. He took us to see Clockwork Orange. I don’t remember much more than flashes of grotesque peoples faces, smiling, and was confused during the whole movie. Don’t know what my brothers remembered about it, but my brother who was 4 at the time grew up to be paranoid schizophrenic and committed suicide at age 40. My other brother is an alcoholic. I am reasonably sane I think. Maybe not attributable to the movie, but it sure didn’t help things.. ya think?”


  • RushYYZ

    Surprised that Eraser Head by David Lynch did not make the list.


      The Directors Cut of “The Exorcist” and the spider walk, changed that movie from hilarious to downright freaky.

      • Roxanne Marquez

        the remastered director’s cut overall was 10x more disturbing than the original. I agree.

    • ApocalypseMal

      Agreed, I still haven’t got to the end of that beasty

  • dummydumdum

    Why is the piece of shit titled “eraserhead” by david lynch not on this list? I’d rather be made into a human centipede that watch that self-righteous pile of excrement masquerading as art again.

  • Armiz


    • Armiz

      The Twilight saga was also unbearable lol.

  • Amy

    Deliverance also freaks me out!

  • Jasmine

    The Girl Next Door (2007) is the one and only movie that has been too much for me to handle and I will never watch it again. Both Human Centipedes are pretty awful too.

    • zelda stanley

      I haven’t had a enough nerve to watch the movie ….but they did profile it on deadly women , I just can’t imagine so much evil too true for me WHOA !!!

  • At Work

    With the exception of a few of these, I’d have to say this was a list of awesome! I would have to agree with the Eraserhead suggestions. To this day I’m not sure I understood any of it. A baby with a duck head, wtf? I’d like to add in a gem (not horror) that just should never be watched by anyone, but is so much fun to make other people watch just to see their reactions: John Water’s Polyester.

    • realshizz

      Hell, Pink Flamingos

  • MissRarity

    People who are referring to these as tame or ‘Disney’ movies are misunderstanding the purpose of this list. These movies are not supposed to be the most gory or most frightening, they are just movies that the author personally found hard to watch.
    I have no issue with horror or graphic violence, but I never watched A Clockwork Orange all the way through. I got as far as the rape scene right at the beginning and then turned it off, though I read the book.
    It’s different for everyone. I’ve met people who can’t get through Fight Club, my ex threw up watching Sweeney Todd. Different things affect people different ways.

    • James

      No, they’re not missing the point; This is a list of “undeniably” hard to watch movies. Not only are these well loved, widely owned classics which I’d argue the majority enjoy(ed) watching but the comments show that within mainstream movies there’s a recurring set which are closer to being ‘undeniably’ hard to watch for all but the most desensitized humans. Outside of mainstream movies I doubt the movies in the article would be in a top 100.

      • Guest” = 8+

        Jimmy did you see the human centipede. There is like one part that is quite disturbing, but once you get thru that part it all makes sense in the end.. 2 thumbs. YEYAH

    • Lisa Joyce

      I agree!! If people read the whole post not just scroll through the list and judge the author, they would get it. I only agree with the author once but if anyone read the last thing the author wrote at the bottom of the last page before the comments, they wouldn’t be making such daft comments!!!

      • Li Tempo

        I think we can all agree, however, on live animal slaughter. Think for example of 1963′s MONDO CANE.

    • Shawn

      Thank you for explaining that point to the desensitized masses that flock a discussion like this. However the visceral portrayals in these movies didn’t affect me. Movies are at their core fake, unless of course it is a non-fictional documentary, so I have never attached such images to my mind as disturbing. The movies that disturbed me, and to this day still do, are those that were based in fact. The Aftermath of Hiroshima comes to mind. The look of desperation in the masses as their organs liquified while they laid in the beds. The turning if young children into sickly yellow-green blobs of meat without bones. The Rape of Nanping was thoroughly disgusting. Mass graves of raped women, many were stabbed and those holes were raped as well. And most recently the post explosion feeds from Vice on the Afghan front. Hard to stomach a pile of children’s limbs burning. The Children Killing Squads was another harsh documentary. Coked up children soldiers mowing down villages of defenseless men, women and children, most of the kids with AKs were below 10.


        Yes, real life is much more disturbing than any fiction. I agree. Like Saddam Hussein, and footage of the Kurdish genocide. Little babies stacked up dying a fairly slow death. With incomprehensible fear in their little faces. Any kind of genocide by a mad dictator is much more disturbing than some artsy flick using CGI, or other types of special effects.

      • redsparrow

        i could never get through those nearly 10 hours of Shoah, again… but i must say, it was one of the single most important things i ever did in school.

        As far as “desensitisation” – i must disagree; connecting with good acting, directing, and all the human endeavor that goes into filmmaking IS sensitivity.

        I couldn’t get thru the dramatic movie “The Killing Fields,” again, any more easily than i can get thru doc footage of The Fall of Phenom Penh.

        those first 20 mins. of “Private Ryan”? i found myself outside the theatre with a handful of men; aged WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Granada – all of us gasping for air, & to a man, they all asked for one of my cigarettes, swearing they hadn’t touched one of those things for years. All i could say was, “cancer is still free.”


        Only if you believed that John Wayne swaggered up Omaha Beach & killed Hitler, bloodlessly.

        The tears i shed during “The Deer Hunter” were no more or less “real” than the tears i’ve shed w/actual Vietnam vets as they tell their stories. Whether watching Chris Walken, etc or talking to my Uncle Fred – war & it’s aftermath, is hell.

        Doesn’t matter if it’s footage from those crazy enough to shoot film during warfare, or a writer’s impressions & an actor’s interpretations.
        Ask yourself: did J.R.R. Tolkien write directly about his experiences in WW1?
        the way i reacted to his books make me say that he did. and i still won’t watch the movies, not because i’m afraid they won’t live up to the horror, but because they might.
        a line from a movie that’s hard to get thru said it best: “Embrace the horror.”
        it doesn’t desensitse you unless you’re already a sociopath – in which case, it’s important that you see a good shrink, one who will steer you clear of psychopathy…maybe turn you into a firefighter or race-car driver, avoid marriage & children, maybe become a writer. simple stuff.

        • Sarah Smeagol

          No kidding. I’ve long studied military history, with my primary area of focus being the World Wars and Holocaust, and my gods, the things I’ve seen in documentary footage…I mean, it doesn’t compare to those who lived through it firsthand, but reality in all its’ cold, unforgiving, callous randomness and cruelty is a thousand, thousand times more horrifying to watch. And you’re right – it *doesn’t* desensitize you – I still feel horror, despair, and revulsion in watching these, which, while awful, at least means I still have my humanity.

          • SongSyngr

            Look for “the Lost Generation.” It is documentary footage – long banned by the U.S. Gov’t. I saw it in college in the early 80′s.

      • SongSyngr

        re: Hiroshima – there is documentary film/footage of survivors of Hiroshima or Nagasaki that was banned by the U.S. gov’t for viewing in the US for decades. I have seen that & will remember for a lifetime….

    • 3DJ

      It is different, for everyone. I’ve always liked A Clockwork Orange, and others on the list, that I’ve seen. Like Shawn, I have never really found non-fiction movies hard to watch. Aside from documentaries, only those mainstream movies that are based on true stories have any chance of disturbing me, in any way. Being a father of 4, I found The Impossible hard to watch, and don’t have any inclination to watch it again.

      I like to get my teens to watch older movies, with me. My son had no problem with A Clockwork Orange, but claimed Deliverance “scarred him for life”.

      • KeithMichael

        I have no kids and The Impossible was just brutal to watch. It really was one of the most horrifying movies I’ve ever seen.

      • Penis-penus-venus-venis

        Deliverance was one the greatest advancements of mainstreem Homersexuals to get Homo marriage and Mormons sisters and wifes to kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  • steph

    I loved A Clockwork Orange and I watched in my teens as well. One movie I couldn’t get through was Reservoir Dogs but I love all other Tarantino movies. I love Boogie Nights too but it’s also pretty disturbing.

    • NJHuguenot

      Try watching Straw Dogs by Sam Peckinpah with Dustin Hoffman. I was used to cutting off ears for body counts and had seen plenty of charred bodies and even a guy who had a satchel charge blow up on him in Viet Nam but this flick made the entire company room quiet.

  • Emmilou

    Lady Vengeance though probably because I was pregnant at the time and found it genuinely upsetting. Couldn’t watch the entire film and have never attempted to since.

  • bob

    Some of the saw movies and human centipede

  • Charlie

    The movie “Senseless” did it for me. All I can say is I’ll never look at a cheese grater or a coffee spoon the same away again.

  • Lee W

    Wow, some of those are classics, if you find them hard to watch you are in the wrong job. Maybe you should realise how lucky you are and how most people would kill to have a job where they get paid to watch films! Terrible whiny article mate.

  • Kaye Telle

    I love those movies. But – Happiness, Requiem For a Dream, Funny Games , and the ONE I could not finish “Dead Girl.” Kaye Telle

  • Courtney Hudgens

    Wow, the only one on this list that I do not own and love is Devil’s Rejects because it just wasn’t as good as House of 1000 Corpses. None of the others are “hard to watch”. Full Metal Jacket is a very difficult movie to watch. I enjoy the film, but most people only remember the first bit and the rest during Vietnam and after is pretty forgettable to them.

  • Mitch Harden

    You failed to mention “Mysterious Skin,” so your list is a lie.


      I did not know this thread was only for movie snobs.

  • Angel

    A Serbian Film deserves to top this list. It deserves to top any list of ‘films that are hard to watch’ if you ask me. :|

  • Ozymandas

    “Low and behold”? Try -lo- and behold, writer.
    Good flicks, all, but the only movie that ever got under to my skin to the degree where I had to take a time out was Dead Ringers.

  • The Ashman

    The only film on this list I haven’t seen is Tokyo Gore Police, the rest I own and love A Clockwork Orange is a classic, I’ve loved book and film since I was a kid, the film would be better with the same ending as the book making it a story of redemption. I’m amazed no-ones mentioned Freaks though

  • Realshizz

    Gummo, Holy Mountain, Requiem for a Dream, Salo 120 days of sodom, Serbian Film… You’ll watch this list to cool down.

  • Aline

    Dogville is quite disturbing

  • Julie

    The Cook, The Thief, His wife, and Her Lover….when I worked at a video store years ago, and recommended it to a customer, I almost got fired….!

    • Alla Axelrod

      Oh yes, what a great film. I didn’t find it hard to watch, I was utterly fascinated.

    • Sarah

      That’s the title that came to mind right away. I did watch the full thing, but it does push different buttons for everyone, which can make it hard to watch.

  • demoncat_4

    have to go with the original last house on the left for the moment mary gets raped and then stabbed so much she is almost disbowled thats it for me. plus also canibal holocaust can only get to the first few minutes then out of the player the film comes.

  • corvus1970

    Dude needs to watch “Antichrist” methinks.

    • Antirisk

      That movie was truly disturbing, good, but much too disturbing. Not many movies have unnerved me like that, I don’t think I will watch it again.

    • Barbara Lynn Glazeski

      I just saw this, after making my initial comment. THANK YOU. When it comes to a mix of psychological disturbance and physical mutilation, it definitely ranks up there with movies that are difficult to watch… Though I’ve seen it 3 times I think. Mostly because I watched it on my own, then shared it with two others.

      • corvus1970

        Its definitely a disquieting and uncomfortable flick.

  • Clint Clifton

    All of you are wrong….”A Serbian Film” hands down wins this category no questions asked… I love old boy and requiem but they don’t even come close. If you make it past Newborn porn to the most vile ending in cinematic history… Congratulations to you..I had to take two showers after this movie and was still messed up.

    • DoughBoy

      Meh. Serbian Film is only disturbing due to its wanting to shock, type of value. While you’re given glimpses of what is happening, it’s up to you to actually believe what is going on. The director is so full of himself, in the sense that he wants people to claim some sort of “artistic integrity” with all the crap thrown in. Thought it was shit. Over the top, shit.

  • Sophie

    Watched A Clockwork Orange in its entirety when I was 15 and loved it, still remains one of my favourite films

  • hateGooglePlus

    I couldn’t make it through Hostel… and I will now never stay in one (admittedly, silly fear)


    “Less Than Zero” disturbed me. Robert Downey, Jr. and James Spader made that movie for me.

  • Ken

    A serbian film. Far and away the sickest film ever

  • G-SUS

    A Serbian Film destroys all of these

  • Steve Phillips

    A Clockwork Orange is the most wildly over-rated film ever.

  • ShunkW

    For me it was Deer Hunter. Still can’t watch that movie again.

  • Luis E Oliveri

    These are ok movies..wanna try to watch the most disturbing movie ever?
    A Serbian Film. You’re welcome.

  • Paula G Whyte

    Totally agree with your list but I would add one more, “American Psycho” that one was extremely disturbing. The nonchalance and sometimes glee with which Patrick commits his torture and cruelty on those around him was stomach churning. If you are lucky enough to not have read the book– don’t, if you ever want to live a normal life again.

    • Courtney Vick

      Agree. :X

    • Abbey_of_Thelema

      Agreed on the book, the Movie is much to tamed down though..

    • zelda stanley

      LOL …Wow now I really want to read it now damyum!!

  • VonDoom

    Anybody stomach the rape scene in the original straw dogs 1971?

  • Zab

    Written by a nancy boy. If you cannot watch a clockwork orange at 16, you need a prescription for a pair of testicles.

  • Courtney Vick

    Uhg, I cannot stand A Clockwork Orange. Sure, it is a commentary and sure it is a controversial film about difficult issues, but it does not mean it is a GOOD film. Films are supposed to entertain even if they have a message or something to learn. To me, and I understand people have various opinions, A Clockwork Orange was a miserable trip meant to shock us with ultra-violence and acts of depravity. I cannot see how this film has such a huge cult following.
    @moon_crickets:disqus , I agree about Trainspotting. It gave me chills.

    • Lamdog

      Clockwork was much more than just violence. It is a handful of movie I can watch over and over. The questions the movie raises are far more freightening then any of the violent acts committed. Free will, at what point government responsibility to protect society against an individual right to choose just two of the question posed.

  • IrishSpartan

    Never seen Tokyo Gore Police but I have seen the others…..multiple times as they are all good films. Heck I saw A Clockwork Orange when I was 12 and its been one of my most favorite movies ever since (the novella that the film is based on is so much more shocking as Alex is only 15 while committing those crimes). Seriously grow a pair as these films are not hard to watch.

  • guest

    My top pick is Beyond the Darkness (aka Bui Omega)… well-acted 1979 Italian shocker that makes Clockwork Orange appear sane & nonviolent in comparison.

  • Darren Ruecker

    Tracy Jordan is Hard to Watch

  • mousetomato

    Dead Man Walking. Blue Velvet. Trainspotting. Europa, Europa.

  • Anon

    Whoever made this list clearly has not seen a lot of movies. What about: A Serbian Film, Irriversable, Ichi the Killer, Gozu, Imprint, Martyrs, The Snowtown Murders, Event Horizon, Dumplings, Enter the Void? If you can’t sit through Seven, you are a pussy.

  • used2bdisgusted

    You all appear to be fortunate enough to have never seen “In the Realm of the Senses”. THAT was totally uncomfortable. Especially because you knew the end was coming, you just can’t believe that it went there…

    I do agree with the Videodrome mention by a poster — one of the creepier movies I’ve ever seen, right there with Dead Ringers. (Cronenberg films are always a good source for discomfort, now that I think of it….!)

  • Shawn Milam

    I haven’t seen the Japanese film in the list but as far as the others, they weren’t disturbing to me at all. But if you want to list some more films for the author to avoid I would add the following films to the list:
    Ichi the Killer and the other Ichi films, seems I heard there are more.
    Original Evil Dead….girl gets raped by vines…
    Vulgar…the guy that plays Dante in the Clerks movies gets raped by 3 men
    American History X
    Serpent and the Rainbow

    None of these movies bothered me but based on the authors list I would recommend that they stay away from these.

  • Ailene Rose

    a clockwork orange isn’t just about the line crossed between punnishment and inhumane treatment, the central message is about the freedom to choose. Moral choice. It’s not a movie that can be enjoyed at a superficial level like Fight Club or some comedy, but if you have an in-depth understanding of it, it’s quite enjoyable actually.

  • 1h2d3a

    Taxi driver (the original with Robert DeNiro)

  • 1h2d3a

    I forgot to mention Alien. This was the only movie I remember actually giving me nightmares.

  • Jazzmyn

    Dee Snider’s Strangeland

  • Alla Axelrod

    I read most comments and have to agree, Clockwork Orange tops the list for me, it is very hard to watch, although I consider it a masterpiece and watch it periodically still, nevertheless. It’s not about the gore or horror, of course, it’s about the social context, and oh, how lame it seems today. My personal “hard to watch” are

    1. “Exhorsist” — just saw it again on Halloween and was surprised how well it’s made.
    2. “Europa, Europa” — again, not about the violence or the gore. You’ve got to see it to appreciate it. The very last scene — ohhhh…. The crown of filmmaker goes to Agneshka Holland!

    3. “Sophie’s choice”. Can’t watch her making that choice between the children. Just can’t.

    4. “Silence of the Lambs” does it for me. Gave me nightmares for awhile, I thought he would eat my face off.
    5. I agree with many, “Salo” is very very sick. But so was Pier Paolo Pasolini.

    6. Watch “The Believer”, early Gosling film. Ugh!

  • adilrye

    Devil’s Rejects is the only film here (well, I’ve never seen Tokyo Gore Police…don’t particularly want to), that I couldn’t sit through. It was so depraved and horrible, I couldn’t believe a movie like that was made…yeah, couldn’t do that.

  • gwyllion

    #1 for me – ‘henry portrait of a serial killer’
    and what about ‘audition?’

    • Nicole

      Ooh, Audition is good!

    • Evelyn B

      omg yes Henry gave me nightmares and I could never see Michael Rooker in a good light after that film..lol

  • Amit

    The serbian film… Hell!!!

  • Tom Sawyer

    100% agree on number 1

  • rickinracine

    Flight 93 was the only movie I knew I could only watch once. It was brilliant, perfect, I could smell the plane, I could feel the characters, and it was horrible and I can never watch it again. It’s just too spot on.

  • Funnybuthurts

    Oh please… What a pussy group of choices. I only agree with clockwork and not wholeheartedly. What about salo? Irreversible? Just to name a few that are way better than this list…jeez, i am out of this blog…

  • boweb

    There ar some sick people on this page.

    Look at it this way: Take a filty sick man from the street with an owfull body condition, ask him to bend over. Now, look at his back hole and time how long you can look at it.

    Wel, I am not looking. Cheers.

  • Anon

    Why is it a point of pride to tolerate depictions of extreme violence? The Roman Forum lives again.

  • Davynn Nichole

    If you thought Devils Rejects was bad wait until you see Lords of Salem, the newest Rob Zombie film. I personally am in love with the devils rejects, the ending about makes me cry every time. A clockwork orange is a classic, I think its brilliant especially for time it was made.

  • Take Me to Funky Town

    Leaving Las Vegas was also a very disturbing movie if only for the fact that is was so damn depressing from the start and only got more so to the bitter end. It is a great movie, I saw it only once, and I never care to see it again.

  • Doomedfuzz

    I’d add “River’s Edge” to this list – it leaves you haunted after the first time you see it. I never wanted to see it again, and I did 20 years later. I had been desensitized to a lot of film horror and just unsettling themes, and while it still left an unsettled feeling, it was not as impactful as when I saw it in the 80s. I’d agree with several on this list though. I think House of a 1000 Corpses is harder to watch than Devil’s Rejects though, but I like both films about equal.

  • MrsRoberts

    Mystic River and Born On The Fourth Of July are two excellent films that I don’t want to ever see again for as long as I live.

  • Robin

    I would have to say that The Passion of The Christ was extra lot hard to watch. Plus, what was worse is the fact that it’s in another language, so to understand what’s going on you have to watch the subtitles. Another hard movie to watch is Schindler’s List.

    • Zule.

      Passion of the … LOL How is watching a fictional portrayal of a fictional story, disturbing? Thought it was funny.

  • kerrie

    ones i found hard to watch and will never subject my son to are: Watership Down and the Plague Dogs I was nine when i watched these and never will again.

  • drexxell

    I found Clockwork Orange watchable, if disturbing…perhaps because I was familiar with the book and that may have tempered me to it…but I agree about Se7en…I’ll never watch it again. And movies that I just knew I couldn’t watch, so didn’t, include all of the Saw movies, anything with “Human Centipede” in the title and everything by Rob Zombie. Add to the list of movies I’ll never watch again : Reservoir Dogs.

  • http://snafflepuss.wordpress.com/ Nicole Healing

    I first watched A Clockwork Orange aged 12 and it’s my favourite film of all time.

    • Sentry Virginia

      I first watched it in my 20′s, and I saw it as a comedy. I thought I sick in the head for years until I saw an interview with Malcolm McDowell and he said that’s exactly how he interpreted the movie and how he acted it.

  • duke_of_omnium

    The hardest movie to watch (in my opinion – it’s a subjective question) was Irreversible. That 9 minute rape scene – apparently one long take – was excruciating.

  • LadyMeow

    Pink flamingos!

    • justaguy

      Someone had to bring up Pink Flamingos…

      Downright disgusting.

    • Cassie Robinson

      One of my all time favorite movies

  • jf

    Human centipede, specially number 2 as to be the most disgusting of all times. You could win an Oscar as “Thoughess Gore movie audiance” for just watching and finishing it.

  • Renton

    Saló is hardest to watch but of easier movies the scene in Trainspotting where Renton sees the dead baby crawling across the ceiling in his cold turkey nightmare… The last time I saw the movie I managed to watch through the scene (between my fingers). It really gives a sense of how it might feel like to go into psychosis.

  • Sentry Virginia

    2001: A Space Odyssey by far is the hardest film to watch.

    • GFM2011

      I certainly can’t dispute your opinion, but I can’t imagine what you could find in this film that makes it hard to watch? It’s a beautifully crafted film, way ahead of its time and features exceptionally fine acting.

  • David Grant Lloyd

    Happiness, Kinatay, Salo, Compliance and (definitely) Irreversible

  • Yayaya

    kinda surprised Boys Don’t Cry didn’t make it on anyone’s list.. I don’t think I could ever watch that one again.

  • http://snafflepuss.wordpress.com/ Nicole Healing

    Trouble Every Day could make this list too.

  • haylee

    Human centipede 1 and 2

  • Parasite-B

    Begotten. You can find the whole movie on Youtube. Check it out.

  • Lesenia

    Easy Rider wasn’t really scary, but I felt pretty disturbed after watching it. I even had bad dreams about it for like a week after I watched it.

  • thesheik

    quite frankly I think Children of Men with Clive Owen is one of the most bleak and unrelenting films I’ve ever seen and don’t think I could watch again. ….

    • Barbara Lynn Glazeski

      Seriously? That movie was so incredibly boring to me, and very predictable. I didn’t read the book though, so I have no idea how it stacks up. I just can’t imagine someone describing it as “unrelenting” in all seriousness.

  • Slunky

    Truly disturbing is an Aussie/Kiwi production called Once Were Warriors…this will stay with you for life. Very real, not a false note

  • John Taylor

    For them to be as you say, you have to be interested in them in the first place. Don’t care for any of them at all.

  • amba

    Itchi the killer should replace your foreign movie jimmy and judy too

  • Gianna D.

    Salo or 120 Days of Sodom.
    Talk about disturbing.

  • thebootkiller

    Once were warriors.
    A magnificent film that I totally loved and was transfixed by when I saw it, I would recommend it to anyone if you haven’t seen it go watch it.

    … but I could never watch it again.

  • eddie

    The most disturbing movie I think I have watched (being 14) would have to be: knowing with nick cage and maybe sinister. But thts just me

  • ohgod904

    A Serbian Film, most disturbing movie iv ever seen, up there with Cannibal Holocaust

  • bob

    The original “Last House On The Left” from the 1970s should have been there. The ads at the time claimed it was so “scary” that you had to keep telling yourself, “It’s only a movie. Only a movie. Only a movie.” Actually, it was so sickly disturbing that I had to do so.

    And I didn’t get the chance to see it until I was over 40.

  • Andrew Kelley

    Actually, my list encompasses several genres. They are just films I could not bear to sit through ever again!

    1. Bruno (Within ten minutes, the theatre went from almost 3/4 full down to only four people including myself and my friend!)

    2. Schindler’s List (filled me with so much disgust and rage, I could never do it again– brilliant film all around, though)

    3. The Human Centipede (Yep! That one!)

    4. Batman & Robin (The nipples! My God….! The nipples!!!)

    5. Birth Of A Nation. (Aaaaw, Hell No!)

  • Tim Isola

    I thought house of 1000 coprses was much more of a disturbing mind fuck of a movie than Devils Rejects, loved em both, but the first was more disturbing. Never seen cannibal holocaust, but from your description it definitely sounds like it should be number 1 on this list and def something i couldnt tolerate. Sounds far more disturbing than Clockwork, which i love of course.

  • Tim Isola

    Should try Natural Born Killers again, its absolute genius and not just as one of the most disturbing films of all time, its one of the greatest films of all time period.

  • Christos

    A serbian movie OMG

  • visitor

    Liquid Sky made me so uncomfortable that after watching it I took a shower and cleaned my whole apartment.

  • only_tennis

    honestly,don’t know any other..ur list seems quite complete but wouldn’t say Seven is that bad:D.Anyway, I don’t watch these kind of movies to begin with so..

  • Figgs

    Try watching “The Woodsman” or “GUMO” and then come back and rethink if the movies you rated were really “that bad!”

  • Caitlin

    The Proposition. Man, that movie is brutal.

  • Lelebooboo

    Any rape scene in a movie not only makes me uncomfortable, it makes me physically ill. I have skipped movies because I hear about a rape scene in it.

  • Jack Jackson

    Twelve Years a Slave….I could watch it once but the raw brutality of Patsy’s lashing cannot be seen twice…at least it shouldn’t.

  • Omphalos

    I’m surprised that the has been no mention of Bad Lieutenant (1992) with Harvey Keitel…20 years later and I still can’t get some of the scenes out of my head.

  • Chayzee

    See I actually quite enojoy some of those movies on the list i.e Devil’s Rejects and Clockwork Orange but can definitely understand where the author is coming from….My personal choice for most disturbing movie would probably be AntiChrist…Do yourself a favour and just don’t watch it

  • Dennis

    The original film Last House on the Left was a difficult film for me to get through. So were the Human Centipede movies.

  • Seen some bad stuff

    This author obviously hasn’t seen ‘A Serbian Film’
    Enough said.

    • derps mcderp

      Obviously most here haven’t.

    • This is my Nope face

      I could have gone my whole life without seeing that movie. The end… *shudder*

  • Sovung

    I’m surprised the SAW series isn’t on the list.

  • tertuliano maximo afonso

    Incendies !!

  • Joey’smom

    After Hostel, I swore off Rated R movies

  • marzoz10

    The second Human Centipede. Couldn’t finish it. It was too gratuitous, even for a gratuitous genre. There was no “fear factor” so to speak, as in the original, where you could almost feel the unwilling participants’ horror.

  • Hass

    I pretty much sure that the human centipede 2, should be there , only the scene that feature the pregnant woman that will crush her new born baby so she can escape is going to put this movie in the list.

    But I have to say your list is good, some of them I am going to watch just to see what you talked about .

  • Mark Johnson

    I still don’t understand the love people have for The Devil’s Rejects. Rob Zombie’s directing takes a stale course halfway through House of a 1000 Corpses. As well, it really wasn’t that gory or scary… Just a shock factor that was numbed after the first movie. All it really made me feel was satisfaction that the main characters finally died (and hopefully the franchise with them.) It belongs in the same trash bin as 2001 Maniacs and Human Centipede.

  • Jennifer Erskine

    While I adore the work of Terry Gilliam – I simply could not finish The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The same is true for Anthony Hopkins’ last hands-on-deck film, Slipsteam

  • Felcherbutt

    Umm, this quote was ripped off word-for-word from Tex Watson:

    the character Otis as he’s about to kill a victim: “I am the devil, and I am here to do the devil’s work.”

    That is what Watson said to Sharon Tate and her friends right before he murdered them all.


      Rumor has it that some of Polanski’s actual mid sixties home movies are about as creepy as it gets. “Dumb Suppers” and witchcraft stuff, with Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, and the whole gang are in them. They were confiscated by some cop and locked away. Kennith Anger movies starring Robert Beausoleil, are fairly creepy, too.

  • Gerard Es

    I used to pu the clockwork orange just to have somenoise in the room, I think you just have bad taste in movies.

  • Kelly

    Hmmm this list is silly. What about Antichrist? What about Salo? What about Night and Fog? What about A Serbian Film? the list could go on. A few of these aren’t hard to watch…maybe I’m just bias because A Clockwork Orange is my favorite film? Or can some people just not handle tame films?

    • Kelly

      Also Irreversible? Also Requiem for a Dream? Eraserhead? again, it can go on and on..

    • Chayzee

      A serbian film ! Yes I forgot to mention that one ! I’m exactly the same as you …Clockwork Orange is one of my favourites !

  • Aletheya

    Interesting list, though I can’t agree with some of the choices. I’ve seen A Clockwork Orange a number of times, though not for some years now, and think it quite brilliant. NBK is one of the movies I watch every year – pure artistic genius. I don’t care for slashers, so haven’t watched any of those.

  • freded

    “a serbian film” I found it to be quite disturbing

  • Larry Bryan

    Requiem for a Dream, Oldboy, A Serbian Film, Trainspotting, and Kids would have to top my list.

  • Matt

    Requiem for sure.

  • Matt

    and Pi… messed up.

  • Daedlana

    I suppose that few amount of people have seen the movie Rubber.

  • Konnie

    Oddly enough, Se7en is one of my favorite films and I can sit down and watch it just about any time…

  • Roxanne Marquez

    “I don’t know about you, but the song itself is enough to make me uneasy, let alone having to watch those images at the same time.” I almost laughed because Nine Inch Nails is my favorite band of all time. That’s what they do best, since Nine Inch Nails have featured songs on Se7en, Natural Born Killers, Lost Highway and the Doom Generation. Nine Inch Nails is supposed to be disturbing (although they have toned it down recently).

    • Roxanne Marquez

      Also not surprisingly Natural Born Killers is one of my favorite love stories/movies of all time.

  • ⚔Christophuh⚔

    I found this article incredibly hard to take seriously

  • two

    I loved both Oldboy was genius and Requiem makes anyone think twice about taking anything including asprin. both were relentless

  • jess

    These are all fine. Sitting through five minutes of X Factor or a Beyonce video – any kind of rom com or happy ending type thing – is quite beyond me however. I see all that’s being denied and it’s far, far worse than any film I’ve ever watched, including Nekromantik or Salo (I love Salo. I feel so happy when I watch Salo. ‘At last… yes… now, people will know…’ etc). I’m quite surprised that the listed items here are meant to be disturbing. I find them relaxing. The Japan one with alligator pudenda looks a trifle silly (though the picture should be used as a Valentine card, or maybe marriage proposal), but the rest of them – they are necessary, sane, hopeful sentiments – poems and paeans of calm and beauty in a existence otherwise dissociated and disgusting. Are you quite sure you should be reviewing this sort of stuff? The RELIEF I feel when I watch these things. I just think… if it isn’t home to you, maybe go back to On Golden Pond. You probably find Martyrs hard – maybe – Clockwork Orange is a kind of comedy version of the book, and there’s something humorous about Natural Born Killers too – these things aren’t really disturbing – they should be more disturbing – they are not disturbing ENOUGH. I don’t think I can actually remember a horror movie that ever really disturbed me, now I come to think of it. No. They have all made me feel reassured and happy, as if I have friends at last. It’s real life that’s horrific, real life that can’t be sat through, that revolts me, makes me squirm in my seat and demand to leave the premises, that corrupts me by association; real life and real people: they are monsters and it is monstrous. P.S. No, I’ve not seen Requiem for a Dream. I am going to read the book first. But I already know it will give me a warm glow in my heart and I definitely WILL have to write to Hubert Selby Junior this time. I know he’s dead, but from where I’m sitting, that’s the smallest problem.

    • Chris

      You sir, are a certified psycho

      • jess

        I’m a girl. I don’t think anything I say shows signs of emotional distance, and though I’ve begged doctors to slap some label on me many times, they refuse to call me even slightly disturbed, so not ‘certified’ for sure. Entertain me, m’lud.

        • Harlow Rioux

          Rape makes you reassured and happy? You are . Insensitive, unaware, indifferent and dead inside. You lack a conscience. In short, you ma’am, are a sociopath. Or desperate for attention. Or so hardened by a really horrific personal life whatever light once flickered as your soul has been swallowed up by the darkness of your existence.

      • Alja

        Apocalypto. This still gives me the chills at least once a week. And I like many of the movies mentioned here. Anyone else find it very disturbing?
        And yes, Kids must be one of the most disturbing movies i’ve ever seen.

  • Iero

    Melancholie Der Engel was hard to sit through, but I did it. And it was horrible, yet strangely artsy.
    Without the subs it’s just a load of people puking and urinating and cutting up cats but with the subs it’s really out there and.. like, ‘woahh’.

  • UrbanAllegory

    How the hell is Precious not on this list?

  • Kamen

    Human centipede 2…

  • nashvilletn79 .

    You mention the remake of “I spit on your grave”, but don’t include it. It should definitely make the list.

  • apchar

    Gigli. Definitely Gigli. I’m scarred for life by that atrocity.

  • Yinal Ardan Aktaş

    Try August Underground’s Mordum.All of them are disney movies for this.

  • lgstarn

    How about Pasolini films, e.g. Salo? Wow.

  • LRR

    I can’t watch ” Deliverance”. Also, I have to fast forward through the tortute scene in Resevoir Dogs”

  • k28

    Surprised to not see in the list “Salo”..was hell of diffuclt movie to watch , i could not eat for two days after watching it n needless to say i watched it only halfway!!! On the contrary “Clockwork Orange” is a good movie with serious satire to society we live in….violence in movie is noway as graphic as its in other movies..it shud not be on this list….

  • jrollan91

    probably the most disturbing movie i have ever seen in my life is a serbian film… Im not really a fan of foreign films but this will without a doubt make you miss a little sleep…

  • Megamiaow

    Se7en?! Putting that in the middle of the list is just silly. It’s like a less scary version of Silence of the Lambs.

  • coppersmom

    adored clockwork..can’t watch it? not a film buff.

  • Bradsbythe1st

    Clockwork.. are you kidding? There nothing HARD about it. Why not choose some thing that’s really hard to watch.. say Inglorious Bastards for example!!

  • SmileAway

    The Other (1972). Violence toward children always makes me sick.

  • DickWrinkle

    You, sir, are a dumbshit. I couldn’t sit through Zeitgeist. These movies are hardly worth mentioning in the context you put them in. What about Antichrist? Or 120 Days of Sodom? I’ll give you Cannibal Holocaust, but that’s it.

  • LadyJame

    I could not get through Human Centipede 2. Turning it off was all I could do to keep from vomiting..

  • Filipa

    A Clockwork Orange is one of my favourite films! (I also loved the book!) I don’t get tired of watching it (you must think I’m the most disturbing person on earth, Matt lol).

    In my list the number one would be Gummo (1997). I watched it a few years ago and I swore never to watch it again!

  • Deb

    The Exorcist, 1973 version.

  • Buddenbrooks

    A Clockwork Orange is a great movie… I love it. I read the Anthoney Burgess novel 1st as the move was banned in most places. Highly recommended oh my brothers!

  • Nerdy

    All of these movies but Cannibal Holocaust and Tokyo Gore Police and they are all in my mother’s top ten videos hmmmm, maybe I should make her see that psychiatrist.

  • Crabby

    Hard to watch???

    These films are classics.

  • Jerome Davis

    It’s hard for me to watch the Zapruder film.

  • Gabriel Frost

    Human Centipede 2. I dont let anyone i care about watch it. Watch it from beginning to end without taking a mental break.

  • John Leite

    Last house on the left, (the original) I couldn’t watch again, I watched it when I was 17 and that scene by the lake where the killers stab that girl in the butt has stuck in my head since 1974.
    On the boring side I waited so long to finally watch 2001 a Space Odyssey, wow! that one introduced me to an extremely effective sleep aid (and I’m a big Sci Fi fan, three times I tried and three times I didn’t even get half way through before I was fast asleep, space was never more boring.
    Never been able to stay awake through a Kevin Costner movie either, even Waterworld. (supposedly an action movie and total ripoff of Road Warrior).

  • fairportfan

    Only one on the list i was ever particularly interested in seeing – and did see – was A Clockwork Orange.

    Had no trouble sitting through it, either.

    DOn’t know what that says about me.

  • Cat

    For me films that spring to mind are Schindler’s list and that one with Hilary Swank- boys don’t cry? -

  • Robbie Sue

    Clockwork Orange still gives me nightmares on occasion :( and I am 63 years old. Oh, and it forever ruined “Singin’ In the Rain” for me!!!!!!

  • shay

    The Human Centipede 2

  • shay

    I could watch Requiem a million times it’s one of my favorites

  • Aidy

    I thought “the Road” could fit in to this category. Although not gruesome or violent it is particularly disturbing and is a film I don’t think I could sit through again.

  • Abbey_of_Thelema

    I LOVE “Natural Born Killers”!
    One of my favourite movies of all time!

  • sarah

    mulholland drive!!!

  • Megan

    Scum needs to be on this list.

  • Pip

    When I think of disturbing movies I don’t usually think about the grossout, cheap, exploitation films, slasher films, horror films, etc. Aside from the fact that they are often so over the top that they don’t feel real, they don’t generally even wind up on my radar — why would I even want to go see them? As they try to one-up each other on how gory, sadistic, and inhuman their movie can be, it is difficult for me to view them as serious or valuable cinematic efforts, though occasionally, one may exhibit unique qualities which redeem its inclusion in cinematic canon (though others clearly don’t have my difficulty in appreciating the genre and I make no pretense at my qualifications as arbiter of any film’s value). For me, the disturbing movies are the ones which deal with disturbing issues and/or graphic portrayals but which are, nonetheless, worthwhile, valuable, or sometimes, even essential cinema. “Natural Born Killers” easily exemplifies this concept — it is a brilliant movie, superbly acted and directed, which makes some very valid and worthwhile observations about our society and culture, but it is brutal, intense, graphic, and plays out like a psychological battering ram. I am very glad that I did not miss it, but often wish I had never seen it.

    Two which I think should have made the list are “Taxi Driver” and “River’s Edge”. Both are well-crafted and important movies, and neither is overly graphic, but the ugliness of the characters’ attitudes and behavior paints a picture I don’t wish to view again. And, as others have commented, when the story comes from real-life, as is the case with “River’s Edge” , the effect can be especially chilling.

    Although in most cases, in making a list like this, I would tend to think of movies with an overall theme or tone which was relentlessly disturbing, some movies have alienated me (from rewatching, not from appreciation of the film) with a single scene. Rob Lowe’s gleeful golf club swing in “Bad influence” for instance just unnerved me — it wasn’t graphic violence, per se, but the look on his face was chilling and stuck with me for a long time. “Dead Ringers” was undeniably creepy throughout much of the film but with the realization that comes from the final reveal, it races past a whole other threshold of disturbing.

    i would not, personally, put “Clockwork Orange” into this category though I can understand its inclusion. The most difficult scene for me was the rape and battery accompanied by “Singing in the Rain” but there were several which had the potential for being unwatchable — the discomfort level, for me, however, was mitigated by the surrealism of the staging. A brilliant film, and like most Kubrick movies, a longtime favorite.

  • charles xavier

    Irreversible definitely should be on this list. The foreign The Audition was pretty hard to watch also. especially when she makes that limbless dude eat her puke. WTF??!!??

  • charles xavier

    oh and definitely Human centipede 2. the first one was pretty disturbing but definitely not as disturbing as part 2. I have never in my life felt nauseous during a film besides watching human centipede 2. So disgusting and i honestly never wanna watch that film again. And I love gory bloody twisted films but Human Centipede 2 I can do without.

  • TheOverlordi

    A Serbian Film… so much pain in a movie…

  • coco

    This list is for kids except for cannibal holocaust and clockwork
    orange. Personally, i find Clockwork orange is not that disturbing comparing to many films that i have watches. seriously, sev7n, is it a joke. that movie is neither remotely
    scary nor disturbing, but kevin spacey’s performance was brilliant. I
    watched a bunch of the most disturbing movies, i got to Serbian film is the one that completely scarred me for life. that movie made me feel really really sick. I would never watched it again.

  • Jason McMillon

    This list includes 3 great movies and 3 movies, in my mind, I don’t consider movies…Nat. Born Killers, The Devil’s Rejects and A Clockwork Orange, are not only great movies in Cult History, but wonderful watches, that I’ve never had trouble sitting through. A skewed pov on this one in my opinion.

  • Rebecca Lallement

    Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door (2007). It’s about the slow rape, torture, and murder of a poor teen girl while living with a cruel aunt. It’s shown from the perspective of a boy that wants to help her, but doesn’t feel he can. It made me feel sick and angry for days afterwards.

  • Cassidy S.

    Gore in gore movies isn’t what makes them difficult to watch. Its usually lack of any discernible plot aside from stressing out hollywood’s Special Effects crews… I’ve never turned anything off because it was too gory, but i’ve switched of plenty of movies because i’m bored out of my skull.

  • Angie B.

    7? That’s one of my fave movies

  • Angie B.

    There are a few that could be added: The Hills Have Eyes (newer one), Pan’s Labrynth, Hostel, sheesh I can never watch those ones again either I also have an issue with “The Orphanage” but that’s because I can’t stand to see things happen to kids

  • armando lopez

    There’s a movie called ” H ” (HYPNOSIS) THIS FLICK IS THE DEAL !! This serial killer uses hypnosis to a new level to his victims…….its out for rent…

  • Dee Mitoro

    how about the 2 Human Centapede they were hard to watch

  • kyle

    How is “The girl next door” not on the list? Based on a true story about a girl tortured,raped, and murdered by her Aunt and her aunts kids..easily one of the most saddest and disturbing videos

  • DanaLavoe

    Irreversible 2002 film was so disturbing.. I will never watch it again.

  • Jayel

    I am not joking here… but the one movie I have never been able to sit through is “Forrest Gump”. It would be the most imbecilic piece of cinematic drivel it has ever been my misfortune to lay eyes on…… The Mother son sex scenes in “bad Boy Bubby” were a bit hard to get through also…

  • FC White

    “A Clockwork Orange”? Really? The absolutely most offensive scene is the opening one. But once you get past that, the rest of it is not nearly as bad. You can’t be serious, putting that at the very top of the list, or including it on this list at all.

    Here are some films that deserve to be there:

    “Straw Dogs” starring Dustin Hoffman in 1971 was absolutely vile for its truly revolting scenes of rape and murder.

    “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was sickening. Every single part of it. It still offends me that movies like this could attract financing.

    But, far and away, the most unspeakably disgusting film in ALL OF HISTORY—I’ll go so far as to say it is FAR worse than any I HAVEN’T seen, that’s how confident I am about its bottom feeder status—was the ultra-sick, unspeakably odious “Last House On The Left”. Everyone I know who saw it said it ruined not just that evening—but the next month of evenings.

    I was so deeply offended by it, it actually forced me to reconsider my firm stance against the death penalty. It really did. But, ONLY for the director—and I wanted to find him, hunt him down and perform the execution myself, with my bare hands!

    • Jacob Stephen Cook

      Many are just offended by ‘Orange’ as you are by ‘Chainsaw,’ and to many others, the latter is much tamer than the former.

      • Richard Richard

        Last House on The Left is actually a very dark comedy. Watch it again. Listen to the soundtrack. That film is not meant to be taken seriously.

  • Joe

    The hardest film to watch, by far, is Terry Gilliam’s magnum opus, Brazil. First, it’s hard on a very basic level because 85% of us are mouth-breathers who will turn it off in the first 10 minutes, claiming it’s a snooze-fest. Second, those of us that remain will spend every scene learning vicariously that we are living in a prison that at best inconveniences us at every turn and at worst “disappears” us in the middle of the night. Finally, we’re offered false hope for the last hour as the protagonist tries to escape, only to be utterly crushed.

    And the concepts in the film are much more relevant today than they were in 1985. You can have your gore films… the one I find hardest is the one that shows me exactly what my real life is like, and explains that death or insanity are the only two options for escaping it.

  • Selina Marie Hope

    i HAVE TO SAY Human Centipide 2 was for me more disturbing than anything on this list. I had to leave the room more than one. I loved Clockwork so much due to the excellent acting of Malcolm McDowell and found Caligula a little hard to watch.

  • Jo

    I loved the movie Dogtooth, a Greek film that won best foreign film several years back. I like dark things, but this was intense, disturbing and a tip of the hat to Theatre of the Absurd, i.e. Ionesco. I think it went over a lot of heads, but if you are dogged (excuse the pun) about literature and film history, the movie was unforgettable. I do not think I could sit through it again though. One of the best pieces of art to come down the pike in the last 15 years.

  • Kayla

    Girl next door. very disturbing, once yo watch you can never unwatch. Girl next door should be on this list. It makes you feel awful for even watching it.

  • Griff_Murray

    1979 “Don’t Go In the House” was pretty gruesome, hard to wrap my head around. Also, Tom Six’s “Human Centipede” movies? That guy needs to be locked up.

  • Sarah

    Japanese horror film Audition, 1999 by Takashi Miike. It is so terrifying and makes you vomit in your mouth

  • Sammy

    Check out a french movie called Martyrs from 2008.


    Director: Brett Leonard, 2005

    An Interpol cop from Sydney, who has his own demons, pursues a man in the United States who liberates women from the cultural norms of thinness by feeding them to gross weights. He also shows their photographs to Internet subscribers. But what else is he up to? The Aussie suspects murder or worse. The cop, Phillip Jackson, and his mark, Michael Metszencalmpf, are in a game of cat and mouse – but which is the cat. Pretty freaky.

  • vincent van gofucyourself

    apart from that cannibal shit u are all a bunch of of little kids

    • steve

      damn right! is this pussyville?

      • Faysal

        and btw – Clockwork Orange? That reality is just around the corner Westerners, keep watching cnn, bbc, fox n’ company.. Big Brother (or NSA) came while you are watching reality TV

  • Finnick

    Pink flamingos #1

  • Billy

    Hello? Titus??? Are you even awake?

  • susana

    I saw a clockwork orange when i was 14 and i loved it! it still being my favourite movie :D

  • Finn Nicolas

    My favourite movie of all time is the 2005 comedy-documentary The Aristocrats. Even though I love it so much, there are still several scenes (ones with Carlin and Saget come to mind) during which I will just start gagging. I usually have to pause it for anywhere from 1-2 minutes to an entire day. Another movie that I love dearly but don’t like to watch is Super, starring Rainn Wilson. This is also a movie that I have to watch in parts, because I cannot see the whole thing through in one sitting. In my opinion, the most hard to watch film of all time is a documentary from 2012 called Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God. The movie is about child rape in the Catholic church, centering on a Catholic run school for deaf boys. The film features many men who were raped in the 60′s and 70′s by the same priest. This movie is possibly the single most gut-wrenching and disgusting thing that I have ever seen.

  • Mary

    I used to watch A Clockwork Orange alot when I was in college. I hadn’t watched it for years and was telling my husband how great a film it was. I rented it, and within 15 minutes he was asking what was wrong with me. I told him I must have smoked more weed than I thought in school. We turned it off and I will probably never see it again.
    Another one that was hard for me to watch was Apt Pupil, with Ian McKellan as the Nazi who befriends a young boy who blackmails him when he finds out he was in the SS.

  • Harlow Rioux

    People mocking this list are missing the point entirely. The author never says these films are terrible and here never suggests the list is about the most shocking due to gore. He is talking about the psychological aspect (though gore may be part of the film it is not the PRIMARY REASON) he uses to a deem a film hard to watch. He’s made valid points for each of his choices, imo. Being able to sit through and announce how much you love torture and gore has nothing to do with the point of the article. His inclusion of The devils rejects sums it up nicely-good film direction is present-which makes it a thousand times worse to witness on a psychological level than some of the porn gore listed by those who think the author is talking about gore specifically. Which he isn’t. Another poster mentioned the brilliant Saving private Ryan. There is real emotion in those scenes-and it’s so well acted and directed that the invasion of Normandy might as well be happening for real. I’ll never get through thaty scene but I can sit through some gore fest (though I don’t find it a pleasurable experience). certain films scar you on a psychological level so deeply and they may be utterly devoid of gore. For me, M is one of those films. It’s haunting, upsetting and extrodinarily complex AND controversial in that it evokes empathy for the main character a serial killer of children.

  • carl e cook

    boxing helena, silence of the lambs, blue velvet, the fly (remake)—all have their moments where art crosses over into a nether realm of dispair

  • CuteSagittarius

    Some more titles which come to mind are:

    > In The Realm Of The Senses (1976)
    > Salo (1975)
    > A Serbian Film (2010)
    > Mystic River (2003)
    > Bad Boy Bubby (1993)
    > May (2002)
    > Sweet Movie (1974)
    > Come And See (1985)
    > Quills (2000)
    > The Green Mile (1999)
    > Eden Lake (2008)
    > The Woman In Black (2012)
    > Audition (1999)
    > The Grey Zone (2001)
    > Julia’s Eyes (2010)
    > The Virgin Suicides (1999)
    > In A Glass Cage (1987)
    > Grimm Love (2006)
    > The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
    > Goya’s Ghosts (2006)
    > Dear Mr. Gacy (2010)
    > The Hunger (1983)
    > Grotesque (2009)
    > The Boy In The Striped Pajamas (2008)

    Brilliant movies, most of them… Not all are my favorites, but each one is disturbing in its own way. Will be back later if I remember more. :)
    P.S. List has no specific order.

  • Guest

    Hands down, the documentary film “The Bridge”.

  • Sooz James

    Human Centipede.

  • Sooz James

    I have never liked scary, gory, violent, or stupid comedies. I saw the original Blob in 1966 when I was six I had nightmare s for years. Every now and then someone will be watching these kinds of movies like Silence of the Lambs which was acted brilliantly, and I will watch. Human Centipede was one of these movies. The thing that upsets me so is that I know in my heart there are really sick people in the world, as well as in our own towns, and cities that could actually carry out the premises of these movies in real life. It is so disturbing how real theses stories could really be. Humans at their Best. I will take movies like Darjeeling limited and Bag Dad Cafe over and over again before I will ever stoop to watching this kind of cinama.

  • June

    “The Paperboy”!!!!

  • TooRotten

    The Human Centipede! Just plain awful. The plot, the acting, the Director should be boiled alive for even thinking about this! Just glad I didn’t have to pay for it!

  • Guppy1

    I remember Cannibal Holocaust, I was stationed in Iwakuni Japan, and saw a huge protests outside a theater that was showing it. With a title like that and a protest going on it had to be good. A few of my friends and I went to see it later that night.
    Needless to say 4 of us tough guy Marines didn’t make the whole movie, fk’n nasty. Leaving the theater I noticed that nobody else was leaving (there was a good crowd) and thinking either the Japanese were cheapskates and didn’t want to lose their money on the flick or, more likely, were into it. Later I was told that the Japanese like ‘gore’ movies.

  • Dusty

    I looked through the comments and did not see anyone talk about Human Centipede

  • Teezy5795

    The film event horizon is so disturbing the alternate universe “hell” where people mutilate themselves in fear is so terrifying

  • Chris Mayne

    This is a really tame list. I wonder what it must be like to be a grown adult and still have nightmares.

  • PippyFilthBits

    So, I guess it’s weird that I loved “Maniac” and was saddened by it’s ending.

  • Eddy

    Trainspotting was a hard film for me to fully watch with the junkies and the infant scene were he walks on the ceiling was a little much for me…and as a young boy i was scarred by Pink Floyd: THE WALL only to later become a fan of the film and the band lol

  • Ozzie

    8mm….that movie was so tough to sit through – I know it’s Nick cage but the rest of these actors and their performances..so dark and downright SCAREY..I barely made it through it before I had kids…..I know better than to even try now.

  • bobby

    what a fucking pussy.

  • Applefish

    Although I made it through the entire movie, my wife couldn’t handle even hearing The Human Centipede II from the other room!!!

  • jennifer

    “Crash” with James Spader and Holly Hunter. It took me over a year to finish it. Also “Antichrist” with Willem Dafoe. *shudders* Never again.

  • Josh H

    The Human Centipede 2, The Entity, Hostel, and I agree the list continues.

  • Lesa Smart

    Threads, a BBC movie about a nuclear attack and the breakdown of society is also very disturbing. Another honorable mentions Wolf Creek and Blindness.

  • RJ

    I’m surprised they didn’t include Final Destination and Texas Chainsaw Massacre

  • The Mongol

    U missed “A Serbian Film” u idiots! dat was twisted for real!

  • ElisabethChristoffersen

    Any movie with real animal abuse is where I draw the line.

  • hefe

    throw in oldboy, braveheart , the professional, suicide club , battle royal, pulp fiction and heat. Could be renamed, most entertaining movies produced

  • Kubrickfan#46

    A Clockwork Orange consistently makes lists of “Greatest Films of All Time” for a reason. I have seen it at least twenty times, and never grow tired of it. On the other hand Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge was one of the most execrable pieces of cinematic garbage I have ever had to endure. . . more boring the The English Patient. (And by the way, the expression is “lo and behold. . .” which anyone who writes for a living should know.)

  • JamesT32

    Audiences’ bloodlust’s aren’t generally greater than their intellects? Duh, of course they are.

  • Alex DeLarge

    Clockwork Orange is my favorite! Although I do feel badly for all the things poor Alex had to endure. Now you want to talk about a movie incredibly hard to watch, “Titanic” is it!!! It took less time for the ship to sink than it did to watch the movie, it made me scream “Sink the damn boat already”. That, followed closely by “Magnolia”! Another never ending movie that should have been named “monotonyolia”.

  • Anon

    A Serbian Film? Anti-Christ?? Come on gentlemen – do your homework. Nothing in A Clockwork Orange or Devil’s Rejects comes close to Charlotte Gainsbourg with a pair of rusty scissors.

  • sb

    The girl next door. That is the first movie I had to shut off.

  • The goose

    Pink Flamingos, I am shocked it is not on this list.

  • Anonymous

    I have watched “A Clockwork Orange” many times, it makes me think. A lot of these movies on here made me think when I watched them like “Se7en for example…I don’t see how they are hard to watch, I love watching movies that move me, and to add the fact that the point of some of these films IS to disturb you, so you WILL think about what it is about.

  • DancingInHisMindPalace

    “A Serbian Film,” “Gurotesuku”, and “Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood” definitely trump all of these. “Audition” perhaps, as well, though I found it easier to consume than the other three.

    • Barbara Lynn Glazeski

      Seeing a person list films, but then tack on something like “Audition” as being included in their difficult to watch list, I can’t help but wonder how bad the others really are… “Audition” is cake.

  • olty

    Cannibal Holocaust is nothing compared to Faces of Death

  • Bram Hengeveld

    I don’t think I want to watch ‘Buried’ ever again. I didn’t have nightmares because of it and the amount of gore is really small (a chopped of finger), but the totally unnerving experience is excellently portrayed in what is probably the smallest movieset possible. Brilliant.

  • Pamperwithrachel

    Event Horizon, for me the level of gore and violence made it one I could not make it through.

  • Barbara Lynn Glazeski

    When I see lists like this, I always wonder if the movie Antichrist will make it on the list. I have only seen it make one “disturbing horror movies” list but it’s seriously pretty fucked up… Not gory so much as disturbing. Surprised it’s on Netflix, to be honest.

    I think Clockwork Orange is highly overrated at best. While I get the whole “1984 Big Brother” thing, I remember expecting something less hackneyed. Most of it comes off as a joke to me.

    I also wonder why movies like Dancer in the Dark don’t make these types of lists. Am I the only person that was deeply moved and disturbed by that film??

  • Shelby

    May had my stomach in knots

  • DCC

    Deliverance was the first film that popped into my head as one I assumed would be on this list. It’s not gorey, sure, but It was just torturous to watch unfold. Hard Candy is another.

  • TR

    A Serbian Film! Makes all these look like a Disney movie.

  • Howard James

    Minus “Platoon” just about any Oliver Stone movie.

  • Howard James

    Oh, and David Lynch’s “Eraserhead” was pretty tough.

  • anon

    ummmm eraserhead?

  • Josh

    Some great movies in there. Agree about Cannibal Holocaust… that was by far the hardest movie I’ve tried to sit through. Another Italian movie ‘Salo’ should be on the list. I also had a hard time with Blood Sucking Freaks.

  • Richard Martin

    I would say “Salo” was a very difficult movie to watch but, none-the-less, strangely fascinating.

  • Kristen

    You were spot on with Clockwork Orange! That is number one on my list all the way! I watched it all the way through, but I CAN’T STAND that movie! I dated a guy who said that was his favorite movie of all time…really made me wonder about him… Yuck!

  • Peri Sword

    The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover was one of the most disturbing films of all time. It begins with an man being beaten and peed on and gets worse from there.

  • Jelleebean

    Antichrist with Willem Dafoe….. that’s a movie i wish i could unsee.

  • John Deering

    The descriptions of “Dogtooth” make me not want to watch it. “Vile” for the extreme painful violence, I don’t wanna watch it. “The Human Centipede” is just like WTF I can’t believe they all made this movie . . .

  • John Deering

    However I too stopped A Clockwork Orange by the time they got to him viewing the images and becoming more peaceful. The word “ultra-violence” does not mean the same thing as “rape” at all but in that movie they try to make you think everyone has penis fantasies and rape desires or something. HAAAAAAATED IIIIIIIIIT.

  • amymartin@moviepilot.com

    Clockwork Orange at number 1? Seriously? Really? Seriously?

    I watched this film yesterday (I’m 15 by the way!) and I can see why it is controversial for sure, but I could never EVER watch a film like Maniac or cannibal holocaust and I’m a huge horror fan! These should be at the top!

    • Cassie Robinson

      My boyfriend and I watched Maniac a few days ago (the one on the list not the original) He loved it and asked me what I wanted to do after it was over. My response: “Drugs, lots and lots of drugs so this will be erased from my memory”

  • Jenn

    Two movies that SHOULD have been mentioned: 120 Days of Sodom and Justine. Marquis de Sade was a sick and twisted man. These movies are based on his books and are beyond sick!

  • Jacco Jansen

    Nah, bru, this lost is seriously out of whack. I watched Natural Born Killers so many times that i couod recite all lines off by heart complete with accents and all…

    And Clockwork Orange? Seriously? Hardest movie to watch? Seriously? The dialogue overshadowed all else with such awesome things like saying “look closely as I rape your wife” as “viddy well, brother, viddy well” or “well, see for yourself. It’s right here in front of your own eyes” as “evidence of the old glassies”. Lets not forget the awesome soundtrack. How awesome was that scene where the nude actress walked onto stage and that soundtrack kicked in? Nah, seriously, the soundtrack and the dialogue made the movie awesome enough to watch it again last night. Brilliant movie. Worth quoting in real life. Makes your list real horror show.

    If you want to list movies that are hard to watch then if you are not listing Dumplings in your list you are wasting your time. By far the hardest movie to watch was Dancer in the dark. It is the only movie I ever needed three attempts to watch and I still find it too hard to ever want to watch again. Never before has love for a child been such an endurance test…

    • Jacco Jansen

      Edit: the irony… With movies being so gory these days that you end up yawning at all the red screens (oh, look, 3 seconds of colour! Woo hoo), the difficult movie to watch , ever, is not a horror movie at all…

      True love is far more powerful than any psychopath… :P

  • Vyrisus

    Hostel 2 was pretty rough, particularly the scythe scene. I’ve watched a whole lot of horror movies and that scene is one of the most brutal things I’ve seen done to a person, in a movie or otherwise. It takes some brass balls to sit through that scene without squirming at least a little.

  • RS

    Sorry dude, but I don’t think you can take THAT much as you claim, bu who knows I found the Evil Dead remake very hard to watch, so…

  • Rather Lovely Thing

    Another movie that gave me a bad time was “The Killer Inside Me” I just can’t look at Jessica Alba the same way anymore.

  • Kora

    I have a list like this as well, but mine is called the ‘Once a decade and not befor’ movie list.

    >Irreversible (the worst for me was when they talked in the end of the movie…everything was normal and fine.)
    > Clockwork Orange
    > Grave of Fireflies (yes, it’s not gore and it’s animated, but just thinking about it ruins my happiness)
    > It (still can’t watch ‘it’)

    • Kora

      ‘The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things’
      That’s my number one!!!

  • Li Tempo

    MONDO CANE, THE VALLEY (Obscured by Clouds).

    To a somewhat lesser degree, THE DEVILS, SALO and MARTYRS.

  • DOOgIT

    requiem for a dream definitelty. and ichi the killer.

  • Danielle Rubiolo

    The Human Centipede was really disturbing for me!

  • kevin

    Apparently no one has seen The Human Centipede or worse, The Human Centipede 2. The first one was intense and just gross. I can easily handle gross things like that, but the second movie had to be the most disturbing thing I have ever seen. I do not wish that I hadn’t seen it because it’s one of those things to experience (because I’m sick like that) with others (my cousins and I watched the first one at a family gathering on Christmas eve and my friends and I all watched the second one at my birthday party). But anyone that thinks they’ve seen a disturbing movie has obviously not watched these. They are supposedly trying to make a third; I plan on seeing it.

    • Mike A

      a Serbian Film makes the human centipede movies look rated G

  • Jane Chiarello

    I cannot ever watch ERASERHEAD again. I am mentally scarred forever more from it

  • JDP

    Um…A Serbian Film

  • Kim Morin

    ‘Seed’ was the most disturbing movie I have ever seen…my teenage son and I could barely get through it …having skipped a most gory part..

  • Amy

    I’m sixteen, and I actually really like A Clockwork Orange. Sometimes I’ll put it on before I go to bed. Does that say something bad about me…?

  • Ian

    The french movie “IRREVERSIBLE” should be #1… seriously !

  • Lucy Gregory

    The human centipede 1 & 2

  • Jessi

    Gummo was pretty disturbing for me. I’ve never had such a visceral, overwhelming feeling of just pure “blah” and ickiness and sadness and depression. The scene of him eating spaghetti in his dirty bathtub with the brown water…ugh. It still sticks with me.

    • RobbKong Riot-Activist

      Oh!!! I totally agree!!!
      The bathtub scene was one of the only scenes I’ve seen in a movie that made me slightly nauseous, especially when the chocolate bar falls into the dirty water and he eats it…

  • Micah Lukes

    Whoever made this list, hasn’t seen very many “hard to watch” movies… Try sitting through all three August Underground films…. I dare you…

  • creative77

    WRONG! The 7 movies most impossible to watch are:
    GLITTER with Maria Carey
    SWEPT AWAY with Madonna

    I DARE you to sit through these torture sessions! Once they’re in your brain, you’ll curse yourself for not being able to get rid of the images!!

    • Alien in a crazy world

      Hey, I liked Swept Away.

  • Naja

    I’ve seen quite a few of these movies and, for me, Dogtooth was the most disturbing. It was…just… I don’t know… very, very disturbing…

  • Jake Lakota

    I never cared for horror movies but to each his own. But, I do care how the gov’t blames video games, rock music (c’mon) and gun owners for people who kill. I do not hear a peep about horror movies nor explicit horror movies that show how to do the deed.

  • Desjay Desjay

    The correct phrase is “Lo and Behold”, who writes these articles?

  • ixlplix

    Holy you know what. He incorporated her vagina as the throat of the gator. Shows imagination.

  • Robert Knuist

    Henry,Portrait of a Serial Killer,I Spit on your Grave and the opening
    scene of Death Wish… any movie with a Rape Scene is going to be hard
    to watch….

  • Nite

    Where is “A Serbian Film”

  • justme

    Has anybody mentioned A Serbian Film? I didn’t see it in any of the many comments I read. It is the one film that I couldn’t watch, won’t watch, and wish I hadn’t seen the parts I have seen.

    • Mike A

      Several people have above, I don’t even know how someone makes a movie like that

  • Lucky Turtle

    I’m stunned Hostel didn’t make the cut. It took me 3 or 4 times to make it through that one.

  • DeboraR

    Joan of Arc. I got as far at the necrophiliac rape scene and decided that was enough. I still have difficulty with that. I purposefully avoided several movies on this list, and the 3 that I have (partly) watched, I never, ever want to see again. I will also definitely avoid those noted in the commentary! There are some things I just don’t want tainting my soul.


    120 days of Sodom

  • Brian Lavin

    Lets see, a Serbian Film will change you for life as well as Salo, Ichii the Killer, The Human Centipede films, Antichrist, Gummo, Martyrs, In A Glass Cage, just to name a few. But Serbian Film might be the worst I’ve seen, but one movie I have not seen and based on the subject matter I may not is Men Behind the Sun….look it up on IMDB.

  • J

    Salo: 120 Days of Sodom, and A Serbian Film…these are the things that crush souls and sour minds.

  • Philip J. Fry

    Straw Dogs (1971), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia?

  • kevinh1

    “A Clockwork Orange” is a treasure, and frequently hilarious. Name another film that cameos a young Dave Prowse (Darth Vader himself!), and a bar that serves psychedelic milk? Disturbing? It doesn’t get any better.

  • John Barry

    When I was 14 I saw a Clockwork Orange for the first time. I found it tame but I loved it. I wanted to be “Little Alex” and would run around with my friends realizing I was more like “Dim” than the clever Alex. Me and my teenage buddies never did anything really bad. In fact, we were the kind of kids that’d carry your mom’s groceries in for her. But yeah, that film affected me and my friends.

  • Guest

    I’m showing my age but how about including ‘Mark of the Devil’ on that list? The hook was the theaters’ handing out ‘stomach distress bags’ upon entering the theater.

  • Amber

    Closetland. The end.

  • AB

    Dont need to see the movie hiroshima ever aging that shit was unnecessary to do

  • B

    Caligula and Serbian Film

  • Christopher Austin Gonzalez

    Human centipede 2. Hard to watch and never want to see again. If I had watched this movie after I became a parent, I probably would have broken the DVD in half and then broken all other copies at my work (I work at a video rental store).

    • Roy_Munson

      What about it is worse than the first? Don’t worry about spoiling – I’m never going to watch it

  • Roy_Munson

    No Jim Carrey movies?

    • krislee23

      No Adam Sandler either. Go figure.

  • ShadowInc

    I find documentaries much more distressing than these films. Something like THE COVE would bother me because I hate to see animals harmed. Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997) was so grimy, and depressing that I needed to watch a bunch of upbeat stuff to recover.

  • Lilac

    I watched A Clockwork orange when i was 15 and its my favorite fucking movie ive seen it like a million times.

  • Hard to Shock

    I’m surprised and disappointed “The Shining” wasn’t included, the scariest movie I’ve ever watched in my adult life; I couldn’t watch it right through. Maybe remove “Se7en” and “Natural Born Killers” from the list, they weren’t hard to watch at all. “Devil’s Rejects” pushed boundaries. Other probable inclusions; “Rest Stop”, “The Hills Have Eyes”, both were ultra-violent and graphic. Equally hard to watch especially towards the end is “2001 A Space Odyssey”

  • captainthecapn

    Teeth would probably be hard for most men to watch, but I thought it was funny. I had a hard time with Elephant and Pink Flamingos, though. For two different reasons.

  • HorrorFan13

    Can’t believe A Clockwork Orange is #1. Its one of my favorite films of all time and I love watching it. Also surprised Begotten wasn’t on here. You don’t know disturbing until you sit through all of Begotten in the dark.

  • Jade

    Cannibal holocaust is on youtube.

  • Annusya

    I know this is just a silly entertainment website, but OUAOU, Matt, you’re an awful writer! PLEASE learn about grammar and sentence structure, etc! Also, you couldn’t watch A Clockwork Orange all the way through at SIXTEEN?! It’s a comedy! I’m 13 and I’ve watched it 3 or 4 times! I’ve seen Blue Velvet, Fire Walk With Me, Hellraiser, American Psycho, the real My Bloody Valentine, the real Black Christmas, Mulholland Drive, Alien, When a Stranger Calls, The Shining, The Thing, Sleepaway Camp, I don’t know, a ZILLION movies which are extremely disturbing, lol :P I love them, heee! ^=^

  • aerial_assault_tc

    I didn’t finish Clockwork Orange because it was too disturbing but because I got bored and frustrated trying to decipher the accents and slang. I had no idea what was going on because I kept having to back up several times just to figure out what the heck they were saying.

  • Samirek

    Loool, editor Matt) I watched Clockworg orange at age of 13)) on tv. It was past midnight)) the violence in the movie was horrible…i promised myself never watch it again)

  • Movielover3

    why has irreversible been forgotten… its one of the most disturbing films ever made….

  • Tupo

    Eraserhead. You’ll age 100 years watching that movie.

  • Anon

    Why havent you listed ‘A serbian film’!?

  • Mike A

    This list is missing ‘A Serbian Film’ come on, that lead character is forced to have sex with his own son

    • Anon

      Totaly agree, this movie is still stuck in my brain. there is a part in this movie where they deliver a baby and the first thing they do is rape it. They have alot of these scenes and the worst part comes in the end. I have never seen a movie like this before, Clockwork orange aint got shot on this. Re-write this post even though its old

  • Leslie Tamayo

    I remember when I first saw Robocop back in the day, I had read somewhere that it almost got an X rating for its violence. What most bothered me was the casual indifference everyone had to violent death, eco-rape, and some other topics. It was the world that could allow a Robocop in the first place and I couldn’t live there.

  • Vanihm

    Anything by Lars Von Trier.

  • DocRecall

    Surprised no-one brought up “Audition.” Perhaps because the hardest footage to watch comes near the end, tying the whole masterpiece with a gore-drenched ribbon. Still, I recommend it, as it delivers.

  • Joseph Parker

    Salo, Irreversible, Men Behind the Sun, Ichi, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Serbian Film, Calvaire, Guinea Pig, Fat Girl

  • Gitan

    “Fire in the Sky”…incredibly boring until the aliens begin experimenting on Travis. I walked around scared for a week after that!

  • Jon Haber

    “Serbian Film”…by FAR! I felt like I needed a shower after that one!

  • mightyl

    Excellent choices for brilliant unawarded performances, especially Cruise in Magnolia, Welles in Citizen Kane, Hanks in Cast Away, Watson in Breaking the Waves, and Macy in Fargo. Don’t know the other three, but based on these fine selections, I’ll take your word for it.
    But still you missed my three top choices in this category: Jack Lemmon in Days of Wine and Roses (they made it up to him later for a much lesser performance in a secondary movie, Save the Tiger); Paul Newman in The Hustler (How could they pass over his fantastic performance as Fast Eddie? — but again they made it up via the far inferior sequel The Color of Money); and finally, most egregious of all, Brando, the quintessential Stanley Kowalski in in “Streetcar.” Of course they made this one up too — a couple of times — but again, How could they…?

  • dan

    What about Girl Next Door????? That movie is unbelievably sick. The whole movie you want to just jump in and save the girl but you can’t because you are watching through the eyes of a six year old boy. This movie made me cry and that’s nearly impossible for me to do.

  • Roderic Williams

    No one has seen A Serbian Film?? Probably 10 times more disturbing than ANYTHING I’ve ever seen… and I’ve seen Requiem For A Dream, Irreversible, The Audition, Oldboy. I literally got sick to my stomach watching A Serbian Film.

  • HxEx

    The lack of Serbian Film in this list is unsettling.

  • Brian Deck


  • Mia

    Someone has clearly never seen A Serbian Film. If he had, it would be on this list for sure.

  • arnold3k

    How about Irreversible? or A Serbian Film? Those 2 I will never ever watch again it was disturbing. I mean Clockwork Orange really? That’s like watching a Bugs Bunny film compared to A Serbian Film.

  • Zoe

    Irreversible, A Serbian Film, and the Passion of the Christ are at the pinnacle of their art which means to disturb you, to deform your mind and reshape it entirely into something else and the tools they all three use are the same, incredible visual style, minimal plot, a touch of madness, a philosophy, and the use of visceral realistic snuff-like violence along with relentless soundtracks and foley effects to place you into a state of fight or flight.

    Separating out violence from the art I am left with a few examples which will comprise my list of final 7.

    The brand new television series True Detective on HBO(it’s soul-crushingly nihilistic. therefore do not watch if you’re suicidal and are looking for a reason to stay on this mortal coil.)

    1984: Another very bleak film which caused me to feel horrible for days afterward as I began to reflect on the meaning.

    Grave of the Fireflies: If this film doesn’t make you feel utterly misanthropic and hope for the extinction of our species nothing will.

    and finally number 7.

    Just for fun I’ll toss a new film onto my list. Antiviral. This film disturbed me greatly after thinking about the implications of what was being sold and bought in this film and that to some extent we’re already doing what is taking place in it’s world and it’s all the more disturbing because of it, oh, and it also happens to be directed by none other than David Cronenberg’s son.

    There are many other films I could mention that shocked me or left me bewildered and scared like the Shining, but I’ll leave that to others to make their own lists.

    Thanks for your original list OP!


  • Huguinho Rojas

    “MEN BEHIND THE SUN” (1988) is another one hard to watch.

  • Matt

    You need to see more movies

  • deadhectorwalking

    So what about a Serbian Film?

  • Edward O’Shea

    Try watching Caligula at 15.

  • Mark Nickle

    “A Serbian Film” had some pretty disturbing scenes in it.

  • hjkl

    Jungle holocaust was pretty intense. It is made by the same guy who did cannibal holocaust. It was before cannibal

  • Ruby

    The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover… phenomenal but sooo hard to sit through.

  • Nathan Jacobsen

    The most difficult film I’ve ever seen has to be “The Act of Killing”, which as a documentary consisting mainly of men theatrically re-enacting scenes of their own crimes against humanity, is unbelievably disturbing.

  • WhoCares

    Irreversible – at least one long scene.
    A Serbian Film. But in a strangely goofy “What’s next?”-way.

  • houquan

    I enjoyed most of these films, more than once.
    Surprised there is no mention of ichi the killer

  • Rick

    I think you’re a pussy and shouldn’t be writing about horror movies because you obviously can’t handle them. The title of this article got me to read it. I was hoping there would be something good on here. Most of these are cult movies I’ve seen more than once. And they are tame compared to some movies.

  • musterion

    Clockwork Orange is the only one of these I have seen, and frankly I think I will keep it that way.

  • JAB

    “Se7en” & “Clockwork Orange” certainly belong here due to the moral questions they raise. The grossfests are too easy to include. My list would include “Schindler’s List”, “The Killing Fields” & “Requiem For A Dream”. The sheer tension that “United 93″ creates makes that tough to watch as well (although I rate it as this young century’s best movie).

  • Rez™

    I’d certainly put “I Stand Alone” on that list.

  • Lanna

    Oldboy, for sure. Also, Audition. Audition is the creepiest movie. Ever.

  • Manu

    “A Serbian Film” the hardest film i’ve ever seen. It made me think about where are the limits when you make a movie.

  • Thors Man

    What about Schindler’s List?

    • Duck1897

      How was Schindler difficult to watch?

      • Thors Man

        Genocide is difficult to watch. No matter how many times i see it, I still dread the part with the red coat.

        • Duck1897

          Does anything actually happen to the girl in the red coat??

          • Thors Man

            obviously. You don’t have to see it happen on screen to know what happened.

          • Duck1897

            So what happened to her?

          • Thors Man


            Is this a serious question or are you trolling. Stephen King said the worst horror is the horror you don’t see. He’s right.

  • NJHuguenot

    Try sitting through “Straw Dogs” by Sam Peckinpah with Dustin Hoffman.

  • Moogle

    We had to watch Clockwork Orange for our Abnormal Psychology class in University and yes, it is indeed quite disturbing and I do believe I stopped before the ending.

  • johan

    A Serbian Film say hello!

  • bvsfan

    Testament starring Jane Alexander about what happens to her family in a San Francisco suburb after the bomb drops. Watched it once, will never EVER watch it again because as a child of the 60′s and a teen of the 70′s, nuclear holocaust and its aftermath is something I just don’t want to contemplate.

  • Barnabus Phibes

    Cannibal Ferox is what you should watch following Holocaust. What about Salo or the Last 120 Days of Sodom? The X rated Caligula was pretty hard core for its time. Ohh, how about Men Behind the Sun? That movie shook me up a bit… yes. Cannibal Holocaust blah, blah, blah… MEN BEHIND THE SUN. The best part is it is based on a true story. It really happened.

  • Bob Dobbs

    Try watching these; A Serbian Film (2010), Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), The Devils (1971) — of course you will need to look for the uncensored (or least censored) versions, which are harder to find!

  • Connor

    How was “A Clockwork Orange” #1? Don’t get me wrong, I think it was a fantastic movie and absolutely loved it, but that’s why I am so confused about that. It might just be me, but my limit for gore is extremely low, but psychological horror (and I don’t mean cheapshot jumpscares) has no limit for me.

    • E.A. Blair

      I’ve watched A Clockwork Orange many times – and as I said elsewhere, the most disturbing shot for me is the opening, pulling back from the close-up of Alex’ face.

  • proudmule

    Have you seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang???? If not, DON’T!!!!!

  • George

    Not up to date on modern horror movies, because I finally realized I’m not a fan of that genre. I wholeheartedly agree with this review, I’ve seen 4 out of the seven he listed. Some others that that could make his list are Caligula which also starred Malcolm McDowell and I think was produced by Penthouse magazine in the early 80′s. Also “the Hills Have Eyes II” and one called “Little Boy Blue” mid ’90′s. I find it hard to find anything positive or meaningful from these type of movies. I understand the thrill of being scared or confused and surprised but after awhile it gets nauseating.

  • Andie

    I’d say about the last 10 to 15 minutes of the film “Audition” has to be some of the most distribing stuff ever put on film…. Another really awful one I will never watch again is “Wolf Creek”… Somehow that one really got to me, I’ve seen many,relentlessly violent Films but, Wolf Creek reached a boundry for me, I too will never watch cannibal Holocaust again!!!

  • Just2Clarify

    One could probably do a post on “5 drug-abuse movies that are undeniably hard to watch”: Requiem for a Dream, Trainspotting, Spun, Leaving Las Vegas, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas would be on my list. In my opinion, these movies capture the seduction, obsession, delusion, panic and soul-gasping despair of addiction so well that they should be mandatory viewing for those entering the field of social services.

  • Ocrisia


  • Shawn Lein

    Irreversable. There are SO MANY reasons this movie’s hard to watch. Just know that if you make it past the 8-minute long, single shot rape scene, you’re pretty.much home free.

  • Trish Chasity

    Saving Private Ryan one movie that hurt my heart in a traumatic way.

  • Trish Chasity

    Seen Clockwork twice and still found it disturbing after al these years. Malcolm McDowell still gets asked about it.

  • AssnapKined

    “A Clockwork Orange” is NOT for everyone, but I’m not sure it belongs on this list. Maybe the author should watch it when he grows up. Now, “Requiem for a Dream” is a movie I may never watch again..as many people have commented about here.
    Assnap Kined

  • Amethyst

    you think Cannibal Holocaust was hard to watch? Wait till you see Caligula. Now THAT is hard to watch. Took me 3days to finish it, Kept pausing and stopping it

  • david berl

    of the 7 movies mentioned only two are well made, well directed movies with some
    redeeming social values…….Seven and Clockwork Orange

    yes, they are hard to watch
    but the performances in Seven are excellent as is the directing, story line etc

    clockwork orange is well made although the story is JUST over the line of fantasy
    while Seven is a timely movie….could happen now
    CO is a movie in the ” future ” and at best…..not a likely future

    so…bottom line……..Seven…….watch it, enjoy the acting and be sorry for the ending
    CO……watch it ONLY since it is on the list of movies to watch…..only ONCE tho

    • michael

      Strange, I don’t find Clockwork Orange all that disturbing, maybe because it’s so stylized. There’s parts, after Alex is re-programmed and he throws up at violence or sex, that are troubling. But Kubrick’s artsiness takes the edge off the film to me.

  • Jen

    No those r not bad. Now spit on ur grave and gorl next door…. Man

  • duke robertson

    Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion”; many of the listed films are more recent; when gore is presented more spectacularly. “Repulsion” explores the destruction of a mind and was pretty disturbing. brilliant, but disturbing

  • Kevin MacDonald

    How about Eli Roth’s “Hostel”? That movie went from being about three dudes on the hunt for girls and good bud, to being one of the most brutal and graphically violent horror movies in recent memory. The eyeball scene was it for me.

    • michael

      At least this flick offered an exciting escape sequence in the last 20 minutes of so, which sort of compensated you for sitting through it.

  • Emily_1313

    The Human Centipede and The Human Centipede 2 were without a doubt the most disturbing movies I have ever seen. The second one took me 3 days to finish because it was just so outrageously awful. I am without a doubt scarred for life.

  • slinky13

    South of Heaven West of Hell, but not because it was disturbing or scary. It was just bad.

  • Faith

    Excision 2012 should be on this list. That movie will always haunt me…

  • BigZay

    Those were all good movies but I’m surprised “Inside” or “Martyrs” wasn’t mentioned?!

  • t


  • caramae

    i found seed’s opening sequence so hard to stomach, that i turned it off! and i don’t usually find films very disturbing…..

  • jta5

    Saving Private Ryan, there are scenes and sequences that I cannot watch again, in their entirety, and it is my favorite Tom Hanks movie.

    • michael

      Interesting … war with no sugar added is hard to stomach.

  • Laurence Almand

    How about a list of Sleep-Inducing Films? You could list dozens of those!

  • Laurence Almand

    There are several downright disgusting scenes in CALIGULA that make it hard to watch – in addition to its overlong, boring length.

  • Guest

    Lol chumps…try watching Hanger….if you can finish that film then…you win. I couldn’t. I turned it off after *SPOILERS* it came to a guy strapped in a chair with I think a transsexual manlady “Queefing” in the face of the guy strapped to the chair in order to “Interrogate” him. This is AFTER a scene where a man rapes two other men. This movie is downright disgusting.

    • michael

      You’re talking about just gross-out extreme cinema, and there’s so much of that it’s almost boring. Flicks like Hanger or August Underground or Serbian Film are just vile garbage made for the express purpose of being as gross as humanly possible. I guess they’re hard to sit through, but why would you want to?

  • Giovanni

    I know it isn’t a gory film so maybe i missed the point but i just could not get through ” Tree Of Life ” no matter how many times i tried lol

  • Neptunes

    Where’s “A Serbian Film”. The August Underground series, the guinea pig series etc etc.

  • chas potts

    Salo. You have been warned.

  • john


  • SunnyD

    I was 15 when “Se7en” this came out and I still remember sitting in the theatre near tears as I watched because of the callous indifference John Doe had for his victims – regardless of what they did in life, the indignity of their deaths still haunted me. I knew before the end that Gwen wouldn’t make it if only because a) she was pregnant and b) Brad Pitt was the perfect vehicle of vengeance so it made total sense for the film to end the way it did. I have never watched it again.

  • Damaark

    A Serbian Film. They clearly tried to put in as much horrible stuff in there to try and offend everyone that watches it. Some really goofy scenes (newborn) don’t take anything away from the more realistic ones. One movie I really wish I didn’t see.

  • Vikki

    We walked out

  • spais

    great article

  • HorrorFan138

    Good entries on this list, but missing Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Not gory but as disturbing as anything I’ve ever seen. Also, forgetting the original Last House on the Left. Or the Last House on Dead End Street. Lastly, a little known entry: Honorable Mention: I Spit on Your Grave. These movies were stark and brutal and gave no quarter. If you truly want to be shaken to your core, watch these ones. I know I’m missing a couple, but these are a good start.

    • michael

      “I Spit on Your Grave” is hardly “little known,” lol … I agree about “Henry,” and the fact that Rooker turns in such a convincing performance in the Henry Lee Lucas title role makes it all the more disturbing.

  • michael

    Human Centipede, one of the few movies I’ve watched that I immediately wished I could un-watch, despite having seen much more disgusting films (“Burning Moon,” for instance). It’s not all that gory, not scary at all, and it has massive plot holes. It’s not even the adolescent, gross-out “eating scene” that makes you want to take a shower when it’s over, though that helps. It’s the relentlessly depressing nature of a film that relishes the depiction of suffering, more suffering, and ends with, appropriately, a fade shot with a sound track of crying and sobbing and suffering. It’s the film’s ugliness that makes it so hard to watch. Some people felt the same way about “Funny Games,” that it reveled in suffering too much.

  • Lauren

    I can not believe no one has mentioned “A Serbian Film” !!!! I LOVE horror and gore and that is the ONLY movie I have ever stopped half way through because I was so disgusted. I ended up looking up the plot spoilers and read the ending and thanked the lord that I hadnt pushed on and watched the rest… Not hard to watch, IMPOSSIBLE to watch.

  • Tamara Jessup

    How did The Hunger not make this list??

  • John Watkins

    Wow, not only have I watched most of these, but I also have them on DVD. A Clockwork Orange was my favorite film for a long time, still is very near the top of my list.

    Other very, very hard films to sit through: “Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom”. Not just what you see on the screen, but the moral barrenness, the brutality of the thematic elements. If your stomach feels sick after this, it’s not just a visceral reaction to the images; your head will feel messed up, too, for days.

    Also let me go esoteric for a moment, try to open a door many of you all won’t otherwise find: “Dear Zachary: A Letter to His Son About His Father.” Dev.A.Stat.Ing. Oh my god. A true story and a documentary, yet it sounds as sensation as a Holllywood drama/thriller. The documentarist tells the story of his friend Andrew, who is murdered by his estranged ex-girlfriend. But before she can be arrested, she escapes to her home country of Canada. Then she announces she’s pregnant with Andrew’s son, so Andrew’s parents move to Canada so they can be a part of their grandson’s life and try to save him from his crazed mother. This story is crazy, crazy interesting, deeply deeply personal, and just heartwrenching.

    • Corey

      Yeah Salo is so disturbing the book and the movie.

    • Corey

      There’s also a documentary about Albert fish I couldn’t finish, he lured a little girl into a house in the woods tortured, murdered her, roasted her in an oven and proceeded to eat her, then wrote an extremely detailed letter describing his acts, and sent it to her mother.

  • Diggy

    Surprised no one has mentioned “A Serbian Film”.
    I’ve never actually had a movie that was hard to watch… that being said I was laughing my ass of at some parts of “The Devil’s Rejects”.

    • nothing_but

      Diggy-try Anti-Christ. If you can laugh at that you are truly awesome. Good luck.

  • Scrotes

    The abcs of death

  • Aenkiel

    The Human Centipede should have been on this list.

  • Eve

    They forgot Pink Flamingo, THAT was truly disturbing and effed up

    • DDarko

      Oh yea, that was super twisted. Forgot about that one. Roger Water’s right?

      • Corey

        It’s john waters, roger waters is pink Floyd’s guitarist.

  • E.A. Blair

    It’s not “Low and behold” – it should be “Lo and behold”. If you’re going to use a set phrase, the least you can do is get it right.

    The most disturbing shot in A Clockwork Orange is the opening shot, pulling back from a close-up of Alex’ face.

  • poo daddy

    #1 should be requiem for a dream…..I wish I never saw that movie.

    • DDarko

      Agreed…traumatic piece of drug cinema

    • Corey

      That movie is amazing.

    • josh

      that movie sucked. SO unrealistic

  • Jerry Collins

    Can’t believe I Spit on Your Grave (aka Night of the Woman) isn’t on this list. The original was rough (haven’t seen the remake). After SEVERAL minutes of the rape scene I started hitting the fast forward, I got it, these men rape her move on! No, not for quite some time, they don’t. Now, I get that this is the reason for her vengeance and all, but it seemed a third to half the movie was a rape scene. They could’ve got the idea across in MUCH less time. By the by, saw every movie on the list except the Japanese one. Only one I completely agreed on (not that I didn’t get the point of others)was Cannibal Holocaust, the actual killing of animals disturbed me.

    • josh

      the point of the extended rape scene was to make the viewer feel as disturbed and uncomfortable as you did. remember that it was meant to be seen in a venue where FF is not an option. both versions were very hard to watch, including some of her kills

    • emmy_gee

      I have only seen the original I Spit on Your Grave and I loved it. I was crying at the rape scene, that’s how much it hurt to watch. But it made her vengeance so much better. Never thought I’d cheer at a man getting his thang cut off.

  • Heather

    Natural Born Killers is a great love story. It was written by Quentin Tarantino. It’s one of my favorite movies and I’ve watched it over and over. I know every line

  • fattyz

    Except for ‘Orange’ a better question is ‘why WOULD anyone watch them.”

  • Pete

    I think one of the most sickening films I’ve seen was “Human Centipede 2″. It’s just wrong on so many levels! Then there’s Pink Floyds “The Wall”. Watching someone basically going insane. That one does my head in. Love the album…the films hard to watch to the end.

  • Jesse Turner

    Martyr. The whole flailing of the victims skin head to toe, yet somehow she lived long enough to share her epiphany achieve in this miserable state.

  • Corey

    For me the movies I couldn’t handle are, “salo o 120 days of sodom” “teeth” “Mississippi burning” and the “hostel” series.

  • 18235

    clockwork orange was ruined by kubick’s LOUSY DIRECTION…boring when should be exciting.
    oliver stooped is another annoying director—with his jfk just plain stooped.

    the others, gore moves, with European and Asian movies being notorious for their gore.

  • anonymous

    definitely “enter the void”

  • Cameren Lee

    This list includes neither Salo or In The Realm Of The Senses. Something’s wrong with that.

  • Hagg

    Déliverance… the film I will never see again :(

    • Suke Mahpeen

      Thats a love story to republicans.

  • Chuck Cavanaugh

    You missed “In a Glass Cage” from Spain! Such a funny experience at the video store. I was working my way through the Spain section at the time, and it was a busy evening. The checkout clerk warned me in ominous tones, “Are you sure you want to watch this?” The 2 other clerks were intrigued and asked what film. When my clerk reported, “In a Glass Cage,” the others seemed appalled. By then, the other customers in line were looking at me like I must be some kind of pervert. I went ahead and watched it. Never seen any film more shocking. Fantastic film making by people who clearly are insane.

  • chris

    El Topo, disturbed me to the point of not being able to finish in my first sitting

  • Mark Gamba

    The worst for me was: The cook, the thief, his wife, her lover. I did finish it but felt like I needed therapy afterwards.

  • PimpDaddyWiteBoy

    a clockwork orange sucked…

  • Andrés González

    This movies are walks on the park, what about Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom or Martyrs?.

  • cheese

    Alpha dog is another hard to watch. Requiem is an awesome movie,

  • Kenny_Bania

    Everyone talks about animal mutilation in Cannibal Holocaust. HELLO it is all FAKE! Someone started a rumor that the animal scenes were will and hundreds of gullible people believed it.

  • Kenny_Bania

    Natural Born Killers? Really? just another movie about a couple murderers.

  • Kenny_Bania

    Wanna be disturbed? Watch “A Serbian Film”.

  • JoSpin

    Dear Author, “Sonny Boy” with David Carradine should be on this list.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Kids? That movie was tough to watch…

  • Billy Beatty

    Hard to watch film. Try Michael Hanke’s Funny Games. About the most horrifying movie I have ever seen. I only saw the American version though. Decided to skip the German original.

  • myname

    Requiem? not scary at all or hard to watch..I went through the list to watch the movies that I had not seen. I have now watched them all except for the Tokyo movie. I have to say that to me, The Cannibal movie had some interesting parts but it wasn’t the worst. Clockwork Orange I watched for the second time, the first time I didn’t finish it but I watched it because it was considered “controversial” but I didn’t see the big deal. This time I finished it and I am left with the same feeling. It may have been a big deal when it was made at that time but to watch now, it’s nothing. It was an okay movie. Maniac, in my opinion was the coolest movie on the list. It had the best kills, and he played the hell out of that part.
    I guess I don’t find movies like this hard to watch. I love movies like this. The types of movies I find hard to watch are movies that involve some element of truth to them. for example I can’t bring myself to watch any movie that is based on 9/11 or The Columbine Murders. I found Lovely Bones hard to watch, because I am a mother. I find movies where parents lose their children (whether based on a true story or not) very hard to watch.

  • Lindsay

    I found the American version of Funny Games really hard to finish. Its not scary but very disturbing. Movies don’t generally bother me but this one actually gave me nightmares. You just feel speechless when the movie finally ends.

  • Guest


  • UltraModerate

    Wow, there are a LOT of films missing from this list:

    1. Irreversible
    2. Eraserhead
    3. Funny Games
    4. A Serbian Film
    5. Compliance
    6. Martyrs
    7. Human Centipede
    8. Last House on the Left

    And that’s just what I can think of at the moment, and every one of them makes softcore fare like Seven or Natural Born Killers look like Forrest Gump. Whoever wrote this article really needs to see more movies.

    • emmy_gee

      Agree with Martyrs. Ugh that one was scarring.

    • fifiwereking

      interestingly enough, i haven’t seen any of those movies…. and i don’t want to…

      • UltraModerate

        You are correct.

  • William556

    In “Clockwork Orange,” Alex was also given a drug as part of the treatment. Viewing the violence was meant to make the drug sink in. Ironically, Alex liked classical music, particularly Beethoven’s 5th, which was played during some of the film clips he was forced to watch. Some of the people opposed to the program had said there was no element of punishment to it, so the scientist says “here is your element of punishment it seems.” The music was certainly incidental and not personally aimed at Alex, though it did come back to haunt him later.

    When I saw the movie in my teens, the violence and all was rough to watch, but the treatment struck me as even worse. While something should be done about the irredeemable folks like Alex, the drug treatment was frightening because it could be done to anyone. Imagine a government slipping that stuff into the water supply or as part of an emergency vaccination program then having the media flood the airwaves with the very thing the government wanted them “fixed” against. A regime about to launch into a serious dictatorship could do this and flood the airwaves with movies featuring violence and particularly anti-government violence, stories of the history of the country, etc. That would program the people against resistance and what the country had been.

    • pat5star

      LOL….you ever listen to some of the hardcore “chem-trail” conspiracy theorists nowadays? They’d have you believe this is already happening to a certain degree ;-)

  • StrawberryRainbowJen

    This is going to sound rude, but the writer of this is a pretty big wimp.

  • perez

    Weve got a winner! Juice by tappy juice by tappy oooohhhh tappy tappys got juice tappys got juice ooooohhhhh tapppppyyyy

  • MikkiDoll51

    ‘Hellraiser’ was a very disturbing film, also.

  • nothing_but

    Gotta agree with ultra moderate`s comment. See more a lot more movies. Very poor list.

    Ultra`s list is good too but…the worst I have seen by far is Anti-Christ (one messed up movie) not to be seen with a date or ever again..

    Others: Audition, Requiem, Mystic River, Old Boy, Inside, Patch Adams (Director`s Cut), Dead Man`s Shoes, Doctor Zhivargo, Henry, Ichi the KIller……

    Sorry-Mikki-but I love the Hellraiser movies-they have a dark beauty.

    `No tears; it`s a waste of good suffering!`

    Read Barker`s Books of blood-if you have not.

  • BlackBelt28

    What about Anti-Christ, and Human Centipede they should be on this list

  • ron

    clockwork orange was a great movie. the music was fantastic got the movie and the cd

  • Narcissist

    Enjoy “A Serbian Film”?

  • paulbip

    Looking For Mister Goodbar.

  • Cmk

    Pink Flamingos is a movie I wish I had not seen.

  • Colly

    Kids was also a disturbing movie :-|

  • Gorgeousplanet


    • lukebc

      Irreversible is one of the most life-affirming movies I’ve ever seen. If you can make through the most horrible parts and make it to the end (“beginning”) and then think about what you’ve seen, then you’ll understand why I say the movie is so life-affirming.

  • josh

    I was a heavy heroin and cocaine user (among many other drugs) for a long time. Requiem was fake as shit. Lame movie that only disturbs people who have no idea what it is really like. hollywood drug propaganda/modern day reefer madness. if you want to see an accurate depiction of heroin addiction in a movie, watch ‘The Basketball Diaries’. seeing it after i got clean made me physically sick. very realistic withdrawal scene. another movie that kept me up at night was ‘Kids’.

  • emmy_gee

    Haven’t read all the comments but one of the most disturbing movies I’ve ever seen is Antichrist. Lars Von Trier has issues.

  • Mike Olson

    i agree with 7 and clockwork orange whole heartedly, as for nbk, i believe it was the most over rated movie ever made, and wonder why talented mr ripley isn’t on the list.

    • pat5star

      Ohhhh, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a good pick! That bothered me a lot…but only because I know someone who that film could have been based off of!

  • Peter E

    Great subject for an article and I think all of yours that I have seen would be contenders for my list except A Clockwork Orange (which I saw when I was 15 and could not wait to see again…I think perhaps it might disturb me more today).

    Ignore the idiots posting and bragging that you are a pussy for reacting this way. They are just posing and judging in a typically immature internet age way. They miss the very point that reactions like these are personal and not universal. It’s like judging someone for liking broccoli and hating liver.

    My list would also include (as mentioned by many posters in some cases):

    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
    The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
    The Reflecting Skin
    Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
    Straw Dogs (1972)
    52 Pick Up
    Wild at Heart

    My reaction to these films usually was so strong that, despite having cinema as the first and highest love of my life (sad as that may be), I would question if I wanted to continue viewing films anymore. What usually was connected to this emotion was the feeling of a sadistic shock-value effect that I sensed behind the director’s intent.

    I also noted that many posters selected films that were so boring and pointless they couldn’t face sitting through them again. I think that is a different type of list and I have those too and most of them are very critically praised films. With those, I contemplate re-watching them (as painful as sitting through them the first time was) to re-investigate what I somehow missed. That said, I don’t think there is time enough in a lifetime to attempt what is such a likely fruitless exercise.

    Some examples from that list are:
    Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette)
    Close-Up (Kiarostami)
    Pierrot le Fou (Godard)
    2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Godard)
    A Time to Live, A Time to Die (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
    Nostalghia (Tarkovsky)
    Landscape in the Mist (Angelopoulos)
    Inland Empire (Lynch)

    • pat5star

      Wow…I thought I was a better than average film buff yet I haven’t heard of a single movie on either of your lists! Are they American films or foreign?

  • Mathieu Dallaire

    Man bites dog (C’est arrivé près de chez vous) would be my number one on this list

  • Nikki

    1.The Audition (Japanese horror)
    2. Last house on the left (the originl from the 70s never saw the remake the original was hard enough for me to watch.)
    3. Uzumaki (Japanese horror)

  • newyorkgroov

    Bloodsucking Freaks is my personal hell.

  • Jamie Sutherland

    Clockwork Orange is not that hard to watch by today’s standards. The rape scene is not even shown, the camera cuts away as soon as the victims clothes are cut off. I agree that audiences in 1971 would be shocked but compared to films like Irreversible, Audition and Salo, it’s not to disturbing.

  • edthsdgh

    Irreversible plz.

  • Mr.Man

    I Watched A Clockwork Orange and i was 10 years old…

  • perasite

    Salo aka 120 days of sodom. Honestly I’m not sure why it messed with me as it is old and looks old but it is a deep unclean. Also, a serbian film.

  • Sam

    I watched all of Clockwork Orange when I was 17 and it was horrific. I tried re-watching it at 21, thinking maybe it wasn’t so bad… but it was (I almost cried in the first 10 seconds, no lie. Damn his eyes). The movie basically programmed me to feel uncomfortable at certain triggers, like hearing Beethoven. So fucked up.

  • dawnmomofreed

    3 ive heard of and seen and agree, one they left out hostile the first i accidently came across this w/no name ans was like WTF????

  • Chelsea

    Requiem for a Dream is a million times worse than anything on this list….so is Freak Show. They literally skin this chick alive and turn her into “worm girl” for the circus. All set to a jaunty vaudeville tune. Clockwork Orange and NBK don’t even belong here.

  • http://www.coffeecraftsandclues.com/ Des Malone

    Chained was also hard to watch. Suffocating and disturbing…but all in all a phenomenal movie.

  • Random Nonsense


  • dave jones

    Clockwork Orange was set in Russia in the novel by Anthony Burgess. The slang and everything was based on the Russian culture. The movie was set in Britain but not the book.

    • Papaclanc

      No, it wasnt. Burgess used Russian inspired slang, but the book is most def set in England. Maybe you ought to, uh I don’t know, READ it??

  • Papaclanc

    Clockwork Orange is actually a dark comedy. It shocked me the first time I watched it, but by the third time I was getting the (dark) humor.

  • Maura


  • jon

    The Story of Ricky.

  • Kirk

    I hate this sick stuff. It is not good or healthy for people to view and get a thrill out of watching. It appeals to the most base vile aspect of human nature. It does NOTHING good for society. Harming animals in the name of “art” or to make money should be prosecuted as animal cruelty and actual murder. This is the worst kind of porn that can be perpetrated on the human psyche. It’s sick! And anybody who enjoys watching it is sick too.

    • Jeff

      so….you’re on the fence?

    • Randall Felton

      Cause it’s all about you, and what you think is good for everybody. You, are the one who is sick.

  • Doctor von Wer

    Human Centipede

  • Bee

    Cant.Ever. Watch. Again.

  • satarina

    8mm was almost too much for me. And Trainspotting, for entirely different reasons.

  • anon

    The problem with this list is that 90% of the reasons given are ‘too violent’. I was expecting from the title of the article something more along the lines of “this film is difficult to watch because it forces the viewer to question the way they live their life”. To me, the films that are hardest to watch are the ones that make you question your own moral and ethical guidelines.

    • fifiwereking

      agreed….Murder in the First, and Mystic River are two great movies that i’ll probably never watch again, because my heart broke for some of the characters – not because the movies were incredibly sick or violent… there are others that are unwatchable because they make no sense (Mulholland Drive), or the acting is terrible (Twilight, anyone?), or they’re just plain awful (Blair Witch Project)… and if the author was just going for violent or gross, where are the Human Centipede movies, which i’ve read are the most stomach -turning movies ever made (i’ll take their word for it)?

  • marj

    Totally agree with A Clockwork Orange. Sadism not palatable. One of 2 movies I’ve walked out of in my life. The other was Bolero because it was just plain BAD!

  • https://www.facebook.com/Skribbety Skribbety

    Clockwork scared the hell out of me too and I was also 16 last time I tried watching it lol

  • ntvnyr30

    I would have added the original “Straw Dogs” to the list

  • fifiwereking

    i would have added “any movie in which children dance and sing…..”

  • Rachel Ann

    I own NBK but I’ve only watched it once. Fucking brutal man. I’m no pansy but ugh I felt all kinds of wrong after it was over.

  • Matthew Ryan Kyle

    I guess I never got that feeling in the movie Se7en. ” Whats in the BOX” Whats in the box”

  • Sandy Macmillan

    American History X. I had to stop it a couple of times, then go back to finish watching it.

  • Chris Schaefer

    i’ve seen all these and they are fine. no issues. watch A Serbian Film if you want to watch a movie that is difficult to watch. Funny Games is another one.

  • Guest

    Rob Zombie and his movies such ass.

  • John Wayne Gacy

    Rob Zombie and his movies suck ass

  • John Wayne Gacy

    Hardest movie to watch- Grave of the fireflies. No gore at all, pure human emotion.

  • pawcio.s

    Idiots by Lars von trier

  • Mike

    The orginal “I Spit On Your Grave” rates right up there with “A Clockwork Orange.” I saw them around the same time and was deeply disturbed by both. I have not seen the remake.

  • Paulette Andria Hamilton

    i loved natural born killers can watch it over and over again. Seven gives me night mares every time I see it.. I want to see the cannibal horror movie…

  • Clockworkfan

    … Sad thing being, A clock work orange was much more intense in the book, including but not limited to the fact that alex raped 2 under age girls, where in the movie it was 2 of age girls willingly.

  • ARV

    Seven should not be on this list !

  • RGN

    “Salo, 120 days of Sodom” is the most disturbing movie I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen 5 of the 7 movies on this list and they have nothing on Salo.

  • lilo

    Trainspotting and Acid house are pretty disturbing too.. way more disturbing than Requiem for a dream

  • Jason

    What about 8mm?

  • SuperNitpicker .

    Videodrome, Naked Lunch, any surreal Cronenberg work

  • Sadie Mae Glutz

    Wake in Fright is a movie I couldn’t stomach because they actually hunt and murder real kangaroos. I wasn’t looking for a disturbing movie, and watching animals get hurt is unacceptable. With people you know it’s all makeup, special effects, and acting, but with animals you never really know.

  • Gordon Klock

    Pasolini’s “Salo”,( based on the Marquis de Sade’s novel of the same name) my friends & I saw this in the 80′s, agreed that it was brilliantly done, but probably the MOST disturbing movie we had EVER seen, so much so, that we never had any remote desire to see it again…
    ( Clockwork Orange & Se7en, are old faves of mine, seen them repeatedly…)

  • Stanley Wilson

    That japanese movie clip just made me laugh, seemed like a throwback to the 80′s with the ridiculous killing scene, lol

  • Stanley Wilson

    How come A Serbian Film isn’t on this list, I read some of the scenes and won’t even attempt to watch it

  • RonAz

    This is stupid. I’m sure Tokyo Blood Bath (or whatever it was) is hard to watch. It would be hard to watch because I’m sure it’s a terrible movie! Clockwork Orange and Natural Born Killers are intended to be hard to watch. They are great movies. There are two distinctly different kinds of “hard to watch” movies here. Oh, and we should add Eraserhead; great movie, but hard to watch.

  • John Smith

    Should have called this “takes on movies that are hard to read.” If you
    don’t enjoy these types of movies, then don’t watch them if you are THAT
    sensitive. Not much more to it than that. Go watch Mary Poppins or Peter Pan if you don’t want to be “disturbed.”

    I watched 4 of the 7 movies on your list, and I watched them all more than once. Why? Because they are good movies, or at least I think so. The only movies that are hard to watch are bad movies.

  • laustcawz

    I definitely agree with “Requiem For A Dream!!! This is definitely the most difficult-to-watch movie I’ve ever seen (yet I went to see it three times–it was that compelling!!). I’ve seen “Devil’s Rejects” & “A Clockwork Orange”–not a big problem watching them. Of course, I haven’t seen “Human Centipede” & I’m not sure I want to!! Haven’t seen “Oldboy”, though.

  • Matt & Low

    Ah, I see you raided my daughters video collection. I could have sworn we sold them all after her 5th Birthday. But really, where’s the real list? This one must be a joke. Where’s Martyrs? Frontiers? Snowtown? Literally ANYTHING by Takashi Miike? No, you don’t got this covered.

  • Max

    If you think the movie A Clockwork Orange was hard to watch don’t ever go see the play. It’s based way more on the book than the movie was.

  • Carly Corday

    At the end of SEVEN, my adolescent son and I (watching at home on VCR) stood up and yelled, “NO!” in unison. Never wanted to unwatch anything so bad. Stinker, pure and simple.

  • Carly Corday

    Carrie. The original. The only time I’ve ever experienced being startled as a literal massive electric jolt slamming through my body. I was afraid to think of that movie at bedtime for years afterward.

  • Carly Corday

    Blue Velvet…NOT. I can’t understand why this thing is considered great in any way, least of all as the best performance ever given by the great Dennis Hopper, whose best performance was in True Romance. Blue Velvet is ugly without being a bit artful or fascinating about it.

  • Carly Corday

    Sorry to be a hog. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, the original. You can’t imagine how hard to watch that thing was for us kids who had never been to that story before, to whom it was brand new untested material! My husband, who I swear was frightened by nothing, was scared out of his britches. We saw it at the drive-in. We were 19 or 20. Our new baby girl was being babysat by friends. We couldn’t get back to her fast enough to get inside our little home, huddle together and try to feel safe, and get busy forgetting! What an experience. It can never be duplicated. Things are too far along these days for that.

  • Phoenyx Wolff

    Seven wasn’t that bad at all! Good God, I was watching that when I was 11!

  • kmanthie

    What? A CLOCKWORK ORANGE – “incredibly hard to watch”?? Whoever wrote that must be a really weak person. When I was in high school and for a while after, I and some friends used to watch this excellent Kubrick classic A LOT. I must have seen this film at least 100 times. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is nothing at all like the retarded torture porn flicks like the rest of the list consists of, I mean, Rob Zombie is NOT a “good filmmaker” – he’s just white trash who tries to make snuff-like films as gory as possible, And all that other garbage – there’s just no real reason to see these, unless you’re really into watching sadistic gore, Not that I’m a prude or anything, but really – everything on this list EXCEPT for CLOCKWORK is just trashy torture porn, No story line, no plot, no developed characters, just 2-dimensional, mindless killers. At least CLOCKWORK has a very unique (especially for 1973) message to it -which is, in a nutshell, it is better for people to be completely free and deal w/the consequences than to take away anyone’s free-will by any type of brainwashing conditioning experiment- what Kubrick shows in CLOCKWORK is that this futuristic British government (that uses Alex to showcase this new brainwashing/conditioning nightmare that’s supposed to eliminate rape & violence) is just as bad or worse than Alex and co. the way they were in the beginning of the film. Why, exactly, is this so “difficult” to watch all the way through? Sure, it gets a little long after a while, but it is one of the most brilliant films made, But there is no gratuitous gore in here, Everything is done for a “reason”-whether good or bad.

  • anon

    Edmund E. Merhige’s “Begotten.” I turned it off about 15 minutes into viewing, wanted to return it to the store immediately and forget about it forever…But then kept wondering what happened next…

  • CassandraComplex

    Hobo with a shotgun. It made me feel cheap and dirty just for watching it.

  • Kyle

    Schindler’s List; Platoon; Saving Private Ryan…all good movies…never want to see again…

    • Randall Felton

      You missed the point, and the author of this piece has no idea what a “Disturbing / Hard to Sit Through” film really is.

  • Brambles

    “Irreversible” is just gut-wrenching, terrible, very difficult to sit through.

    • Randall Felton

      All of Gasper Noe’s feature films are pretty twisted. Disturbingly beautiful.

  • pat5star

    Wow…either the author is weak or I’m a freak lol! Seven, Natural Born Killers, and A Clockwork Orange are all brilliant films IMHO and I’ve watched them all multiple times. I’d love to watch them again for that matter. Movies that I find hard to watch and don’t want to watch again is any of those Hostel films (think that’s what they’re called…basically stories of people being kidnapped so they can be killed by those who enjoy killing people, and actually pay to do so) and on a lesser scale, the Saw films. The only movie that scares the crap out of me to the point that I wish I could unwatch it is still The Exorcist. I first watched it when I was about 10 years old and lemme tell ya, I had a lot of sleepless nights after lol! I watched it again a couple of years ago to see if it would change my childhood fear of it and although the movie is showing its age now and not anywhere as scary as I built it up to be in my mind over the years, lol….I still wouldn’t want to watch it at home at night by myself!

  • pat5star

    Oh and the original The Evil Dead! That was another movie I watched as a youngster (my mom worked all the time and whoever babysat me obviously didn’t keep a close eye on me lol!) and it too I watched again a few years back and that time it seemed a lot sillier and clearly showing its age too, compared to modern day horrors, but still…like The Exorcist…it has its moments and not one I advise you watch at home, at night, by yourself!

  • pat5star

    One last post….Primal Fear, I can’t explain it really but I think it deserves special mention. It really freaked me out the first time I watched it (and for this movie I was at least in my 20′s then, not young like my previously mentioned films) and I thought about it for a long, long time afterwards. Edward Norton was FANTASTIC in this movie btw, and IMHO it may have been the best acting of his career…so far!


    “Looking For Mr. Goodbar” is one heck of a disturbing book, by Judith Rossner. I tell ya. Made into a movie Starring Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld, Richard Gere and Tom Berringer. :::::shudder:::::

  • md22mdrx

    Gozu … oh my gawd Gozu.

  • md22mdrx

    Visions of Suffering.
    Oversexed Rugsuckers From Mars – so bad it’s funny. Director “moved UP” to direct porn.

  • syedmusaali

    What about “A Serbian Film”

  • andrew123456789

    I won’t even try to watch Cannibal Holocaust, and I wish it would stop showing up on lists. It is an animal snuff film, and as such deserves to be ignored from now on.

  • kim bunchalastnames

    i don’t know. while ya, i think “clockwork orange” belongs on the list, things like the film with the “alligator girl” sequence just seem … ludicrous. laugh-out-loud silly. the movies that made me so uncomfortable that i just can’t bear to see them again include scorsese’s “the king of comedy” and adrian lyne’s “jacob’s ladder,” with tim robbins. i haven’t seen either “requiem for a dream” or “oldboy,” but i think i’ll give them a go.

  • chiquitiwow

    watch “Salo” that was the worst for me, just when I thought “Canibbal holocaust” was bad…

  • Safa Chaouche

    What about “serbian film” , that was one disturbing hard to watvh movie

  • Ben

    120 days of sodom anyone?

  • bidi

    the most disturbing ones are the foreign ones. Dogtooth is a Greek film that came out in the last decade and boy is it hard to watch. again, it’s nothing scary. it’s not a horror movie per se. it’s just really disturbing to watch this family totally isolated from the world. and i’m pretty sure the people actually fuck each other

  • mike

    you must have a weak stomach I’ve seen 4 of the movies on this list and thought they were great movies

  • Johnny

    Romper Stomper. My friends used to challenge each other to take 2 hits of LSD and sit through the whole thing. Well, I got about 3/4 way through. It scarred me.

  • MRM

    4 of these movies are in my top 10

  • DoctorLecter

    “Requiem for a Dream”, “Grave of the Fireflies” and the Russian film “Come and See” are the greatest films that I never ever want to see again…..

  • Ajax

    “A Serbian Film”(2010) try watching this people!

  • Beemo

    I loved Natural Born Killers. It truly is one of my favorite movies. I loved the message about media brainwashing and I think the satire was very well done. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was Pinkie the Hooker getting choked by that detective. That was some disturbing shit.

    • Beemo

      Forgot to add, since you asked for disturbing movies. I think Ichi the Killer really deserves a spot. It was the only movie ever that I couldn’t bare to watch anymore. People getting aroused by violence, prostitutes being beaten to dead, some mob style violence (Hanging people on meat hooks from the ceiling and emptying cans of boiling oil on them)

      The antichrist also gave me nightmares for the amount of gore in that movie. I mean when the ”Her” character started beating the guys dick to pulp with a stone, only to follow it up by cutting off her own clitoris I thought I was gonna vomit.

  • Ashley Arrington


  • Nikki

    Human Centipede should definitely top this list… forget incredibly hard, it was impossible! and to think they made a sequel!

  • Zach Sowinski

    you had to include a foreign film? why not go with something truly disturbing like martyers?

  • A.C

    I hear a lot about A Serbian Film- I watched it all the way through and it was actually a really great story line and very ingeniously depicted.

  • A.C

    I watched Requim in high school and it was not bad at all.

  • Fi011

    U forgot Human Centipede I, II, III, IV, V…

  • Margarita

    I would add Martyrs,A Serbian movie,Megan is missing, Salo or 120 days of sodom. These are movies that i don’t want to watch again…

  • Bobby L

    The human centipede 1 and 2….vile

  • spanry

    I’m having trouble with A.C. Orange being number one. Just finished Cannibal Holocaust and found it somewhat amusing. Apocalypto, Silence of the Lambs, and even Fargo could be on the list. Oh and Frailty is awesomely disturbing.

    • Jenn Richard


      • spanry

        Sure if you don’t think the savage hunting down of casual witnesses and their executions isn’t disturbing or someone being stuffed into a wood-chipper is hunky dory then I guess Fargo shouldn’t be on the list…

  • Randall Felton

    Irreversible and I Stand Alone should both be mentioned.

  • Debby Wallace

    2 words…human centipede.

  • SmallTownGeek

    Dee Snider’s Strangeland was pretty warped. Mainly because it was all so possible and right then the internet was just becoming mainstream.

  • meggyd

    hobo with a shotgun. i had to turn it off after twenty minutes

    • Phillip Russertt

      that movie was terrible!!!!!!!

  • King Ads


  • RobbKong Riot-Activist

    Has anyone who commented on this post seen Chad Ferrin’s Unspeakable? It’s a Troma film, which is already a red flag for some, but it is a very disgusting film. My girlfriend couldn’t even make it through the trailer for it. I enjoyed it, but I don’t discuss it much.

  • Sheena

    What about Tetsuo, the Iron Man (Japanese) and a movie made by Peter Jackson: Bad Taste? I couldn´t finish them (even though I tried to watch them at my 30s and I love horror movies.

  • Deb007

    Just a comment… I have to agree wholeheartedly with “Natural Born Killers.” I saw it when it first came out in 1994. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who pretty much feels like I have to finish watching a movie once I start. (I did make an exception for “Dumb and Dumber!”) I have always said that if there is one movie I could go back and not watch, it would be that one.

  • gaaxure

    Serbian film? anyone?

  • Jau Poon

    You guys must not watch a lot of movies. Try watching the uncut version of a Serbian film. A Clockwork orange? Se7en? PLEASE….

  • Noah Vale

    Clockwork was one of my favorite films, I loved the book also when I read it in High School. The story has a lot of power and truth behind it. Is Kubrick’s film disturbing you, well watch the evening news. Now that’s really scary…

  • Michael R. Lane

    American History X – awesome film – never want to see it again.

  • danisack

    And Funny Games?

  • BoobyBaker

    I was probably 17 when I first saw A Clockwork Orange. I thought it was so brilliant I immediately watched again when it was over. It’s really a great movie in not just how well it was made, but it’s social commentary.

  • Nick

    Requiem for a dream had me feeling dirty and depressed for about a week

  • Mikel97

    “Killer Joe” is that movie for me.

  • Michelle Smith

    Basketball Diaries is another good ” don’t do drugs ” movie. Not quite the gut wrenching movie that Requiem is but still good none the less

  • FloatingOnAir

    Eraserhead. Nerve racking…

  • Fredrika B

    I do not agree with any of these movies. Perhaps they are hard to watch if you are shallow and prefer college movies or something..

  • Mr.Hard

    Not sure if it was intentional or not but Alex De Large wasn’t treated with overexposure but rather association, he was givin something that made him feel sick and then shown ultra-violence, he then associates ultra-violence with the sick felling he had and he couldn’t become violent without feeling sick.

  • Brett Curtis

    Ummm A Serbian film…. The vomit gore trilogy, cannibal ferox, irreversible, inside, high tension, the story of Ricky, cheap thrills… The list goes on. But five of seven listed in this article are not even close to shocking. Harden up princess

  • sailordude

    Clockwork Orange is hardest to watch? It’s a classic and interesting to watch. The rest are repulsive and I would never think of viewing them so it’s crazy that Kubric’s film is the worst on the list.

  • JunoSynth

    I would put Salo and Martyrs in there also

  • anonymous

    I would pick “bad boy bubby”. It ends on an upbeat note but it took me three tries to get through the first half hour….

  • Nicholas Womack

    Event Horizon, Shakespeare’s Titus with Anthony Hopkins, Any Saw movie.

  • Michael D Ostien Sr.

    For me it was 8MM I was very turned off by the topic and I usually love gore and violence. Mabe it was a bit to real for me and brought out my fears of mans wicked abilities. I bought this movie and watched it once and threw it in the trash because I never wanted my children to see it on accident when I wasn’t around. I have never seen a movie that made me feel the urge to destroy it.

  • Mike

    Oldboy is brilliant, not unwatchable at all. The ending is certainly cringe-worthy but I have actually seen it several times, almost had to in order to really understand it. it is a beautiful movie, not to be missed.

  • justsomechick

    the author is a pussy. his number one most difficult to watch movie was a clockwork orange?? lame. not being able to finish a horror movie doesn’t make sense to me. and natural born killers.. what was the author expecting exactly? and then he says he doesn’t like horror… THEN WHY ARE YOU WRITING THIS? so stupid. devils rejects is badass though. way better than house of 100 corpses.

  • schrodd

    I thought Requiem would end up on here, and Audition as well.

  • Ian

    A Serbian film is the most disturbing disgusting piece of film that I have ever seen or will ever see

  • Shawn Milam

    Has anyone mentioned Ichi the Killer? Or Serpent and the Rainbow? If the movies on this list actually make you real squeamish but you want more I would also suggest Death Race 2000 from the 70′s. It’s not the same as the newer remakes. Also Deliverance and Vulgar are way worse than the list by the author.

  • PoeBoy7

    My recommendation, hands down, goes to Pascal Laugier’s brilliant ‘Martyrs’. But mention should first be made of an even more notorious and repellant title: ‘A Serbian Film’. As well made and well acted as that was, however, I still couldn’t help but feel that a large part of the film-maker’s motive was in seeing just how far they could push the proverbial envelope primarily for the SAKE of pushing that envelope, despite claims of social relevance and political metaphor. Whereas, in sharp contrast, I feel that ‘Martyrs’ is unquestionably an authentic work of art, albeit a deeply unsettling, sad and disturbing one. And the fact that it has both compassion and social conscience makes it — for me at least — that much more upsetting on both an emotional and intellectual level. In fact ‘Martyrs’ actually made me cry at one point, due to the sheer cumulative impact of its relentlessly unflinching focus on cruelty, pain and the hopeless, merciless suffering inflicted upon its central character — not a unique response, as, apparently, many audience members were similarly affected by the film when it played at various festivals. Yet it should also be pointed out that ‘Martyrs’ is actually ANTI-torture-porn, with zero prurient pleasure being taken in the torment it portrays. And the film ultimately stayed with me in a way that few films of that genre do, leaving me with something to genuinely think about. My wife put it perfectly when she said “I’m glad you showed me the film because I think it’s a work of art, but I NEVER want to see it again.”

  • Nàkïá

    It’s “Lo and behold,” not “low.” Lo is an interjection, not an adjective like low is.

  • jpowers55

    No Human Centipede? What about any of the Saw movies?

  • Julia

    Completely agree with A clockwork Orange. You forgot to mention the countless scenes where you can see all the people being raped.

  • Michelle Sikes

    I found Mysterious skin tough, and Requiem even if according to my friend it had a great soundtrack

  • C.J.

    Has anyone ever heard of, or better yet seen, GUMMO? Disturbing and indefatigably uncomfortable…every scene.

  • Jonny01


  • jereboo

    Henry – portrait of a serial killer is easily the most memorable for me. i’ve seen countless horror movies. Henry tops them all. The feel to it is too real. Fangoria did a article about it back in the 80′s? I think called “the best horror movie you will never see”. Due to the MPAA wanting a X rating for it. It’s worth a watch for any real horror fan.

  • bbno4

    Add “The Road,” based on the Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning fiction. Certainly more cerebral than the Gore Porn ones listed. Depressing, disturbing and bleak apocalyptic story. I almost needed therapy after seeing it.

  • sg128

    Henry portrait of a serial killer, Singapore Sling, Guinea Pig: Devil’s Experiment

  • Frank

    Requiem is way nicer. A SERBIAN FILM. There’s a mofo

  • Chuck Black

    Yes I definitely agree with Requiem for a dream-cannot watch a second time–this is such an intense movie-recommended for all those in recovery.

  • sue

    Two words, Serbian film….. u won’t thank me later…

  • Dane

    Requiem for a Dream was good.. but a great movie that is hard to watch is The Road. Its amazing, but so far I have been unable to see it again.

  • Christopher

    I have always though of “A Clockwork Orange” as my favorite movie, cinematic genius! Hard to watch? Absolutely NOT!!

  • SJR

    Very Very Bad Things and Punch Drunk Love

  • shinybrowncoat

    3 generations of my family saw A Clockwork Orange in their teens. It’s become a family tradition! The Cleavers, we are not!

  • indiansummer

    The most disturbing film is A Serbian Film. I have never been so disgusted and upset in my life.

  • Dick

    Clockwork Orange was a great book and agreat movie. It was about the price of freedom and art.

  • laurie90

    American History X!!!

  • Matthew

    “Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom,” is the most disturbing movie I’ve ever almost-finished. I’ve sat through very many disturbing movies with little more than a wince. Salò is the one exception. I couldn’t finish it, and will never try to again. I also expected to see “A Serbian Film,” in this list.

  • samantha

    OK I’m going to describe the sickest most twisted gore bordering on snuff film horror movie I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing right now in four words: the human centipede two.I’ve never seen anything quite like it and whoever thought that something like that had to be put into film needs therapy..as I thought I did when I finally saw those sweet sweet credits rolling on the black screen .I couldn’t eat till the next day had trouble sleeping that night,and no amount of soap and hot water could wash away what I saw but for some reason I felt the need to see it through or everything else I had witnessed would have been for nothing.the first film was sick but not so graphic, for me it was the general idea of the movie.but the sequel…well all I can say is if you want tofeel like you’ve fallen into the depths of someone’s worst nightmare and litteraly feel your skin crawl upon veiwing, then do go ahead and watch.but as I told me blissfully ignorant friend who insisted on also watching it after me ‘once you have seen,u can never never EVER unsee’

  • Topher

    Memento and Requiem for a dream

  • Guppys70

    There are some movies I can never resist watching over and over when I come across them on TV (A Few Good Men) but I shudder every time
    I come across Cape Fear. The tension is unbearable. The original is as bad as the one with Robert DeNiro. He was outstanding. Sick character!

  • DarkRev

    I think Requiem for a Dream belongs on the list, because it is hard to sit straight through. I also think it should be shown in high school to show kids how bad shxt can get.

  • Akash Aluni

    I agree to this discussion, but “A Clockwork Orange” is more of an obscure cult film… much like “La Grande Bouffe”, the only difference being, ACO is quite interesting when it comes to the dialogues; which were vividly instilled in the book as well!

  • Tom Hamel

    This list fails without Human Centipede…

  • Razor Maclennan

    somethings you just can’t unsee. so be careful.

  • Joel Coupland

    Tokyo Gore Police isn’t remotely disturbing. It is a total blast, though.