10) Straw Dogs
Straw Dogs is most famous for its repulsive – and highly controversial – central rape scene. Couple that with its gory finale, and the movie could be accused of relying on cheap, exploitative methods to disturb its audience. In actual fact, however, the violence present in the film is just a by-product of why it’s really so tough to watch. Through an unsettling ambience of ever-present danger, it depicts a world where civilization is just a flimsy facade covering humanity’s basic, savage instincts.
The film sees American David Summer (played by Dustin Hoffman) moving with his wife Amy back to her hometown in Cornwall, England. But their bucolic married life is immediately threatened by a group of local men’s hatred of David and their growing sexual interest in Amy (Susan George).
Straw Dogs might be a harrowing way to spend a couple of hours, but it certainly deserves to be seen. At least give it a go over the misguided 2011 remake. Starring Superman Returns duo James Marsden and Kate Bosworth, the film shifts the action to a Mississippi setting and emphasizes violence over the all-encompassing atmosphere of the original.