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10 Most Disturbing Horror Movies That You Don't Want to See

Updated on October 30, 2014

List of Most Disturbing Movies

Warning: The movies listed here are extremely disturbing, violent, and sadistic. I wouldn't recommend them to you if you have heart problems or don't want to develop them in the future.

You might have seen horror films that scare you whenever you think about them, but have you ever sat through a movie that not only scares you, but also disturbs your mood, nervous system, and thoughts? It would be logical to stay away from such movies, but many film lovers have developed a taste for such disturbing flicks. These kind of films are said to be based on or inspired by real life events.

Personally, I get too scared while watching such exploitation movies. I have seen a few of these, and they were enough to make me want to stay away from such torture flicks. I have seen a few of these torture flicks, and they were enough to make me want to stay away forever. I want to avoid watching any more disturbing movies so badly that I have made a list of movies that I will never watch again. This is that list.

These 10 movies were selected based on the level of violence, torture, and sadism they contain. Movies that are based on true life events were preferred over fictional films. Some movies on the list have won many reputable awards, performed exceptionally well at the box office, and received critical acclaim. Other movies were almost unheard of when first released, but gained notoriety later on.

As I do not watch such films, chances are I might have missed a few popular disturbing movies. I would be more than happy to add them to the list if you make me aware of the omission in the comments.

Disturbing Movie Poll - Vote Please

What Disturbs you the most in a movie?

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Top 10 Most Disturbing Movies—Vote or Add Sadistic Films

Frankly speaking, I haven't seen all the films listed here. I do not have the stomach to watch sadism and masochism in films.

The list here represents the most sadistic horror and gore movies. I did lots of research to come up with this final list. If you've seen any of the horror films listed here and thought that it was too much for you, than vote for it in the poll at the end of this article.

Please note that you may even find movies that are not of horror genre but were still disturbing due to the theme or plot; feel free to add these in the comments as well.

Top 10 Disturbing Movies

Below is the list of movies I find most disturbing.

#10: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"— Banned for More Than Seven Years

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a cult classic horror film directed by Tobe Hooper. The film may have received critical acclaim but you just cannot overlook its graphic depiction of gore, violence and torture. The original 1974 film was banned in parts of the US for more than seven years—in the UK, the film was denied a rating for 25 years. But the bans did not affect the film's success. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre spawned a large number of sequels, remakes, and reboots. The film is said to be based on real life events. However many people deny this and consider it to be purely fictional. Whatever the case, you can't deny that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is disturbing, featuring scenes such as the one in which Leatherface kills his victims and cuts them into several parts before serving them to his family for dinner.

I got goosebumps while watching the ending chase scene of the original film. Since then, I have tried not to think about it; I am too scared to recall it exactly. If you choose, you can watch it below.

#9: "I Spit on Your Grave"—A Woman Chops and Burns Five Men Beyond Recognition, but No Jury Would Ever Convict Her

For fans of graphic gore, violence, and inhuman torture, I Spit on Your Grave is a masterpiece. The film is often mentioned in pop culture and on lists of best horror movies, not because of scary paranormal things, but because of its shocking violence, torture, pain, and disturbing images.

The film was made twice. Meir Zarchi wrote and directed the original in the later '70s, when the slasher genre was full of rape revenge films. However Meir's I Spit on Your Grave was so violent and controversial that it developed its own place in the list of beloved controversial movies. The 2010 remake of the film was praised by critics. Advances in visual effects made the violence shown in the film made the violence more real and raised the eyebrows of a few critics.

Here is my not-so-favorite scene from the film:

#8: "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer"—Yeah, I Killed my Mama...

The film is based on the life of Henry Lee Lucas and his acquaintance Ottis Toole. They met in Florida in 1976 and stayed at Toole's apartment with his 12-year-old niece, Powell (the basis for Becky in the film), with whom Lucas had a sexual relationship. The duo went on a cross-country killing spree—Lucas later confessed to killing over 600 people. While newspapers pointed out the impossible logistics of such a sensational number, Lucas was convicted of 11 murders and the true number is probably higher.

Henry claimed that he and his nine elder brothers were victims of child abuse. His mother allegedly beat him often, without reason, and he once even went into a coma for three days. Lucas's first victim was his own mother.

The film outlines the cross-country run of Henry, Ottis, and Becky, during which the two men kill people without any reason. The duo choose random victims and occasionally kill people with whom they were annoyed. The film won many awards for best director, best actor, best actress, and best screenplay.

Here is the official trailer for the film:

#7: "The Girl Next Door"—Inspired by Actual Events

The Girl Next Door is based on the 1989 novel of same name by Jack Ketchum. The novel was inspired by the murder case of Sylvia Likens in the mid '60s.

In actual events, Sylvia Likens and her sister, Jenny (both born to carnival workers), were sent to live with their aunt, Gertrude Baniszewski, in Indiana. Sylvia and Jenny agreed to pay $20 a week to Gertrude Baniszewski. However when the money didn't arrive in time, Gertrude started beating girls and focused her torture plans on Sylvia Likens. Gertrude began routinely abusing Sylvia, and allowed her children and other kids of neighborhood to do so as well. She was raped multiple times, forced to eat her own urine and feces, burned, and usually kept naked in the basement.

The film visualizes the horror that the two girls faced as a boy tries to help the girls escape from the house.

Here is the trailer for the sadistic film:

#6: "Cannibal Holocaust"—The Film They Did Not Want You to See

The most popular banned film of all time, Cannibal Holocaust is widely regarded as the pioneer film that led to popular use of the "found footage" formula in movies. Upon its initial release, the film was thought be a snuff film and a case was even filed against its director, Ruggero Deodato, because people claimed some of the actors were killed on camera during the filming. (For those who don't know about snuff films, they are a genre of films that show people actually getting murdered to add more reality to the film.) These rumors were later denied by the actors concerned. However, the actors did agree that they had no idea what kind of film was being made at the time.

The film takes place in an Amazon jungle where cannibal tribes are found. Some believe that the cannibals shown in the film are rea-life cannibals and they were provided with the meat and blood of animals to shoot for the film. Cannibal Holocaust includes disturbing images and videos of cannibalism and authentic footage of killing animals. The film was banned in several countries and remains banned in many of them to this day.

Here is the final scene from the film, which made me to go sad and silent for almost a week:

#5: "Men Behind the Sun"—Friendship is Friendship; History is History

The film is based on the true event of human experimentation carried out by Unit 731 of the Japanese army during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45). During that period, Japanese soldiers captured Russian and Chinese units and kept the soldiers as hostages. The hostages were then taken to Unit 731 of the Japanese army, where soldiers attempting to develop a biological weapon experimented upon them. However the unit was abandoned and the experimentation discontinued after the end of World War II.

Tun Fei Mou's movie depicts the torture and violence Unit 731 carried out on Russian and Chinese hostages. The film was banned in many countries due to disturbing content.

A signature torture clip from the film:

#4: "Flower of Flesh and Blood" from the Guinea Pig Series—She Always Gets a Part

The Guinea Pig series consists of seven very famous slasher gore films that gained attention worldwide when Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen contacted the FBI, mistakenly reporting one as a snuff film. The most notorious film in the series is Flower of Flesh and Blood (the one that Sheen reported).

All seven films in the series have different stories, and each story concerns a human being taken as a hostage by a psychopath who experiments on his/her body just for fun. The films are pure fiction and is not based on any true event. However, they did inspire Japanese serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki. The whole series is banned in several countries, and controversies related to movies arises from time to time.

A very sadistic scene from the Flowers of Flesh and Blood:

#3: "The Human Centipede"—Their Flesh Is His Fantasy

The Human Centipede tests your humanity and limits in facing torture and pain on screen. Dutch Director Tom Six came up with an awful fantasy idea of surgically attaching human beings from mouth to anus. The film focuses on Doctor Heiter, who drugs and kidnaps two female American tourists and a male Japanese tourist. He surgically joins them from mouth to anus with the male tourist (who cannot speak English to communicate with the others) in front. The three hostages are forced to crawl, as they can not walk, and eat each others feces during the exploitation course of the doctor.

Director Tom Six said that he was inspired by Salò and always wanted to make a film full of violence and sadism. The Human Centipede was controversial, getting banned in several countries. However the cult following of the original film allowed Tom to release a sequel in October 2011.

The expression of the victims in the film are horrifying:

The Human Centipede
The Human Centipede

Includes deleted scenes.


#2. "August Underground" (Series)—The Sickest Film Ever Made

The series was developed as independent exploitation films about two serial killers who go on a killing spree while filming their victims' last emotions. I literally vomited when I saw them killing their victims in a particularly horrifying manner. Please do not watch this film if you have heart problems, as it may affect your nervous system.

The first film is a sadistic attempt to capture the life of serial killers. The sequel, August Underground's Mordum, is considered much more disturbing and controversial then the original. Many thought it was a snuff film—the director, Fred Vogel, was even arrested on this charge before he dispelled the rumors. Part of the reason for these rumors may lie in the fact that Fred also stars in the film as one of the serial killers.

Here is the trailer of this controversial horror film:

#1. "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom"—The Final Vision of a Controversial Filmmaker

This controversial film was based on The 120 Days of Sodom, a book by the Marquis de Sade. The film's director, Pier Paolo Pasolini of Italy, was murdered (run over multiple times with his own car) shortly before its release.

Salo revolves around four wealthy and powerful men of Salo (a town in Italy).The four men agree to marry each other's daughters. They take nine boys and nine girls as hostages along with four mature female sex workers. The hostages suffer tortures that include incidents of forced coprophagia (being compelled to eat feces) and rape. The film shows the pain and torture experienced by the hostages during a course of 120 days divided into four different sections. I tried to watch this movie but gave up when the torture began.

Here is a video review of the movie:

Your Opinion

Which movie was the most disturbing film ever for you?

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Shout About Your Most Disturbing Movie

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hey you forgot saw series . . .

    • profile image

      Moral Man 

      4 years ago

      There are so many disturbing horrific horror movies both famous and obscure that it would take a list a mile long to list them all. It would be in the thousands, tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of titles. To list just a very few are Tooth and Nail by Lionsgate, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I spit on your grave, Cannibal Holocaust, Evilspeak are some horrible examples. Violence, malevolence, cruelty, sadism, torture, degeneracy, deviancy, rape, sodomy, execrement, cruelty to animals, cannibalism, satanism, death, and decay. Every form of evil is depicted. Nature has a cruel, violent, dangerous, repulsive side as well as human beings. John Carpenter's The Thing depicts the most repulsive monster imaginable. Its criminally repulsive and it makes me want to throw up. Such movies should come with a warning attached to it. Its really risk taking to watch such disgusting movies. You cannot unsee this repulsive sewage and the scenes linger in the mind years later.

      Most numerous are slasher/killer movies such as Halloween and its sequels and Friday the 13th and its sequels. Horror from the cruelties of Nature are also common in horror movies, with spiders, snakes, sharks, crocodiles, ticks, and mosquitoes being depicted as causing fear, suffering, and death. Theres a venomous fish called the Stonefish whose sting causes unimaginable pain that causes its victims to scream and writhe in agony. The horror of diseases is shown in the movie Outbreak, which is about the dreaded ebola microbe.

      Supernatural horror movies depicting demons, Satan, and devil worship are Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, Beyond the Door, and The Devil's Rain. As in real life, the Devil wins at the end of these movies.

      Of all the horrors, one of the worst if not the worst is being buried alive, or premature burial, whether its inside a coffin, vault, crypt, tiny cellars, tiny attics, closets, crawlspaces, chimneys, a hole in the ground, etc. Suffocation and claustrophobia are among the worst forms of torture. In the 1970s horror movie, Kiss of the Tarantula, a girl lives in a funeral home/mortuary with her undertaker father. She keeps many Tarantulas as pets and uses them to kill people who have wronged her. She kills her sleazy uncle by putting him inside an airtight coffin and lets him suffocate to death. Being buried alive is the most disturbing horror imaginable and is a fate worse than death. The movie Kiss of the Tarantula exudes death the way a funeral home/mortuary exudes death and touches on two of the biggest fears, which are being bitten by spiders and being buried alive. Its horrific beyond imagining.

      Afterdark and Horrorfest by Lionsgate distributor have come out with some sick, disgusting horror movies such as Tooth and Nail. Cannibalism is a recurring theme in their movies. The artwork on their DVD covers is also disturbing and disgusting. The proliferation of horror movies and horror novels is a sad commentary on society. The real world is a horror movie, and the Devil is directing it and ruling it. The world is a scary and dangerous place ruled by the Devil and ruled by evil.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My favorite genre is Horror. I realize that it's all fake, and the blood and gore don't bother me. However I am disturbed when something is based on actual events. For example "The Girl Next Door" was hard to stomach considerig it actually happened. You listed several movies I have never seen before, and I am intrigued to watch them now. Nice lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have seen none of these movie, the only view of the images disturb me. I hate violence and I do not want to see violence in movies.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hey, Old Yeller bothered me, so I will just trust you that I don't want to see any of these...just the images were way more than enough for me...I just don't like any of this stuff and don't consider it entertainment.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The Girl Next Door was pretty disturbing the things that were down to her should have never been.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I saw the Human centipede and i thought it was very disturbing. Great Lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      beautiful lens, i like texas chainsaw

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Texas Chainsaw is hard to seems like each new version just gets worse too!

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      7 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Since I just watched Salo here, it gets my vote.


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a disturbing movie with a disturbing title.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      SAW series was not included as well as wrong turn?

    • kcsantos profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens! Too bad, I just read it now since I already made my own list (Top 5 Bizarre films). Please feel free to check this out. Anyway, Nekromantik's ending is very funny and disturbing at the same time. Salo will always be the most disturbing for me, having read the book as well.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Cannibal holocaust is not there in the list

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      7 years ago

      Your lens takes the cake (or maybe the bucket of worms) for rounding up a successful list of 10 disturbing films. ick

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      visitor Q

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A Serbian Film is pretty wild... :-\ Salo, Irreversible, and Martyrs were hard to watch without cringing.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image


      7 years ago

      The Saw Series. This is an excellent lens!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent lenses. Featured on my "want a creepy book to read for halloween?" because I also added scary movies. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      the most disturbing move with good picturization is "The Serbian movie" which is banned...

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image


      7 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      added to my HORRORween lens (it will be published August 31st!)

    • TwistedWiseman profile image


      7 years ago

      Nothing really disturbes me, I just enjoy it when those who killed and raped get tortured and mascaraed. I get some kind of morbid pleasure watching that.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Some how the Hills Have Eyes and the Ruins top the list. I thought The Midnight Meat Train would be disturbing to me but the prior two stand out.

    • brendonb lm profile image

      brendonb lm 

      7 years ago

      Old Boy is psychologically the most disturbing. Caligula is sickeningly gory and of cause Cannibal Holocaust is horrifying

    • GregKuhn profile image


      7 years ago

      I enjoy horror (but, like a baby, I still cover my eyes sometimes). But I cannot stomach torture of any kind. Thanks for this lens; I'll make sure NOT to watch any of these!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @anonymous: agree that movie blew my head

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A Serbian Film has to be a top choice!

    • allenwebstarme profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent collection of disturbing movies.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I just watched the trailer of The Human Centipede! Ahaaaaaa!!! Love your lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Your top ten list is pretty close to what I would say is the most disturbing. Though I do consider Eraserhead a pretty unsettling movie. And though it's not in my top ten, Santa Sangre is certainly up there. So may I suggest removing White Noise and Dark Water from the top 100 and adding Santa Sangre and Aftermath...just a thought :)

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations on your lens being included on the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night"



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