What drives us to horror movies? Is it the adrenaline rush we get when we get a good scare? Is it simply pure entertainment? Whatever the answer may be, one fact exists. People love going to horror movies. Ever since the 1930s, horror films have been around. The monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s are a testament that, even during war time, people will still flock to the cinema to watch monsters creep around.
As the horror film evolved, so did the expectation. The 1960s brought us zombies in Night of the Living Dead. The 1970s was the first time that gore came to the screen. Films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Last House on the Left touched a nerve with audiences. On-screen violence only increased as the decades wore on. And yet, people haven’t stopped seeking these experiences out.
Gore in horror films falls under a wide umbrella. Some of it looks completely fake. The violence is so over-the-top that people almost laugh at how insane it is. Other films, however, focus their gore in a more realistic manner. However, it’s always a tossup as to which movie will turn out the goriest.
Certain audiences want the blood and guts. Others want suspense and a creepy environment. This list counts down the 15 goriest movies that will mess you up. These films aren’t just gory. They’re movies that will mess you up after watching them. They contain the type of gore that you can’t unsee.
Watch these movies at your own risk.
15. I Spit On Your Grave
In 1978, the horror movie scene was forever changed. Soon, the world would be taken by storm by a strange and silent man wearing a William Shatner mask that was spray painted white. Sound unfamiliar? Well, Halloween is one of the most iconic horror movies ever. And this is exactly why you probably haven’t heard of another horror film released the same year.
I Spit On Your Grave is intense to say the least. What makes this movie so gory is its frank and excessive depiction of rape and nudity. The plot revolves around a woman who is gang raped. She then seeks revenge on the people who committed the vile act. The film was heavily decried by critics who thought it was shock just for the sake of shock. Don’t watch this film if you have a weak stomach.
It’s rare for horror movies, especially extremely gory horror movies, to garner awards. Most of the time, people scoff at the violence and see it as a lower level of filmmaking. However, occasionally, a film can surprise. It can bring both ridiculous gore and a fantastic movie. Enter Excision, a film made in the U.K. and released in 2012.
Winning in the category for Best Director for the film at the Boston Underground Film Festival, Richard Bates Jr. tells the tale of a high school student who has some messed up visions. Mainly, they’re of her mutilating and murdering her high school classmates. Oh, and she gets sexually aroused when she has these vivid visions. And the kicker is that the film shows a lot of these depraved acts. This is a movie that will seriously mess you up.
Gore, in most movies, is unrealistic. Sure, you can have guts that are made from PVC pipe drop to the floor. You can put a whole bottle of corn syrup onto a body on the ground and make it look as if a bloody massacre had just taken place. But, this type of gore doesn’t really penetrate our psyches. Why? Because, deep down, we know it’s fake. The problem about the movie Hostel is that its gore and violence is done in a realistic manner. And it’s absolutely terrifying.
Following the exploits of a group of travelers in a foreign country, the movie rapidly begins to build up tension in the second half. That’s when the gore strikes. Featuring one of the most cringe-inducing scenes of all-time (involving the Achilles tendon), Hostel is a can’t miss for gore fans.
12. The Toxic Avenger
The 80s were full of a host of campy horror films. While it seemed as if everybody was making slasher films, there was one studio that decided to capitalize on straight up campy premises and all the nudity and gore you could ask for. That company? None other than Troma Entertainment.
Troma would go on to become the king of camp. When you think of camp, Troma is where you’re going to find the most prominent examples. One of these examples is probably Troma’s most known film, The Toxic Avenger. The film, which sees a scrawny teen become a mutated superhero who’s disfigured, is full of boobs and violence. But, it’s the violence that’s interesting to note.
Art films play with a variety of different topics, whether it be war, sex, or everything in-between. Most of the time, art films have a purpose. They are made to invoke a sense of curiosity and make the audience question not only what they are seeing, but also themselves. This is what Begotten does. It just adds in a ridiculous amount of graphic violence.
The film’s plot deals with Genesis from the Bible. With a theme that heavy, it should be no surprise that the subject matter is laid on thickly. The idea of creation and destruction is rampant, and is shown through violence. What makes this movie different from most on this list is that it was positively received by both critics and casual audiences.
Ah yes, the movie that redefined terror for an entirely new generation: the original Saw released to positive reviews from both critics and causal movie goers. They loved the inventive puzzles that the notorious Jigsaw would make and the gruesome deaths that would accompany these puzzles. Not to mention the fantastic twist at the end of the film that makes you want to immediately rewatch it.
Indeed, this film has a lot going on for it. Sure, the series has been run into the ground, but the original Saw had some gross and gory scenes. Who doesn’t remember the part where a person gets trapped in a bunch of barb wire?
9. Guinea Pig
Japanese horror films trend more towards the direction of creepy ghost encounters instead of straight up gore. However, that doesn’t mean that Japan can’t churn out some fantastically gross films that’ll make you want to vomit. While a creepy ghost story and urban legends make up much of Japanese horror films, a film was released in 1985 that challenged this stereotype.
Titled Guinea Pig, the movie is about torture. Specifically, the torture of a young woman. The film can almost be looked at through the same lens as the Saw films are looked through today. Torture films were indeed around before Saw, and this film proves it.
8. The Evil Dead
With the campy horror movie craze flourishing in the 70s, some thought that the 80s may bring a different type of horror movie. It turned out that campy horror movies had a devoted audience. They craved the zaniness and downright weirdness of the genre. To continue capitalizing on his wacky genre, a young director by the name of Sam Raimi decided to make a flick that fit right in with the camp of the 70s.
Starring Bruce Campbell, The Evil Dead is a film that is a cult classic. It’s a movie that’s as wacky as it is violent. With a ton of bloodshed and a demon, the blood-soaked story involves a possessed girl who wants to eat your face off. The comic timing of the film is rivaled by the grossness of it.
Many people don’t know that this movie that scarred movie goers for generations is based on a book. Clive Barker wrote the novel and directed the movie based on his work. For those not familiar, Hellraiser is about a group of Cenobites. Cenobites are creatures from another dimension that exist for one purpose. That purpose is to inflict torture on anyone who opens a specific small box.
The film is heavy in its subject matter and the cinematography is great. It’s also extremely gross, right from the beginning. One of the most notable scenes is when a man is being resurrected from the dead. Over a series of scenes, he begins to mend into a human body. And you see this process as the muscles and veins develop.
It’s interesting to view films from different countries. Since each country differs so vastly in their cultures, it’s cool to watch movies from countries that you may not necessarily understand. Since each country’s culture is different, their values and the ways in which they show them are also different. This does not exclude movies.
Movies from a country that isn’t your own can sometimes leave the viewer with a shocked face. A case in point is the film Frontier(s). While France doesn’t necessarily have gorier films than other countries, they do view subject matter differently. For example, nudity isn’t as big of a deal in French cinema than it is in the U.S.
This particular film deals with Nazi cannibals attacking a group of criminals. The violence is high and was actually pulled from a group of horror films that were set to debut under the “8 films to die for” banner because of the excessive violence.
5. Ichi The Killer
Once again, a Japanese film appears on this list. This time, it involves a guy who does despicable things to other people. Namely, he murders them in ridiculous ways. Being released in 2001, the movie has gained a widespread cult following. For whatever reason, people have latched onto Ichi and his sadistic ways.
The movie carries with it a heavy dose of violence. And by a heavy dose of violence, this film also has the notoriety of being a film that has been banned in a lot of countries. While this movie doesn’t have any real violence, it sure does depict a lot of acts in a brutal fashion.
4. The Last House On The Left
Wes Craven is now a household name when it comes to horror films. With classics such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, it may surprise you to learn that Craven had humble beginnings in the film industry. Before Freddy and the infamous Scream mask, Craven directed a film that generated its fair share of controversy.
Way before slasher flicks, Wes was instilling fear into people by creating a film that made people sick due to the nature of its graphic depiction of rape. The film? The Last House on the Left.
The movie had pretty graphic sex scenes, which makes it interesting that critics praised the film. And the film generated a fairly great box office run. It goes to show you that subject matter, no matter the subject, can be handled well with the right people involved.
3. Cabin Fever
Cabin Fever has spawned several sequels. Why these sequels were made, nobody quite knows for sure (as the quality of these films pales in comparison to the original), but, the first film in the series is one of the goriest films you’ll ever see. Set in the middle of the woods, Cabin Fever is about a virus that quickly begins to spread within a group of friends.
Since the friends are isolated at the cabin, you can imagine the tension that begins to ramp up between the friends. What makes this film gory? Well, the virus eats the flesh of those it infects. The effects of the virus is where the gore comes into the fold, and it’s quite disgusting.
Peter Jackson has directed some of the most beloved films of all-time. His work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy is going to be around forever and he took a book franchise that many never thought would translate to the big screen and made them worldwide successes. Indeed, Mr. Jackson has a resume most can only dream about. And yet, he also directed what many claim as the goriest film of all-time.
Known as Braindead around the world (and Dead Alive in the U.S.), this film is actually a healthy combination of horror and comedy. Specifically, it’s slapstick comedy. The film, released in 1992, has since gained a cult following. While some latched on in the mid-90s, many people only found out about the movie after they had seen the visual effects spectacle that is The Lord of the Rings.
1. Cannibal Holocaust
Don’t watch this movie. It’s disgusting in a variety of ways, and the film only gets worse as you watch. You may be wondering what can make this film so bad. Is it the violence? Not necessarily. Is it the sexual assault? Not directly. Is it the sheer brutality of the movie? No. But, it’s disgusting because some of it was real.
Yes, this film has stirred up a storm of controversy when it was released in 1980. The movie revolves around a group of documentary filmmakers who travel into the Amazon rain forest. That’s where it gets messed up. Animals were killed on camera. It was also reported that some of the crew also dies on camera, though this is just a rumor.
The film is so horrible that it’s been banned in several countries and the director was briefly arrested on obscenity charges.
Seriously, do not watch this movie.
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