When it comes to the movie watching experience, we as audience members can be highly affected by what we see on the screen. Whether it's a tragedy unfolding that brings tears to our eyes, romantic comedies that make us laugh, or moving dramas that make us think, the medium of film is a powerful one. We might not be scared to go to bed alone at night after a horror film, though; with so much regular blood and gore and an often predictable plotline, horror movies have become increasingly diluted and these days it's more about the fun in the experience.
But what about those movies that really shake all to our cores, leaving us that bit more permanently horrified by humanity than we were before?
When it comes to these sorts of movies, of course, the accolade of 'disturbing' debatable, as it's a subjective idea. With so many taboos already broken in mainstream media, movies goers have become almost immune to Hollywood's version of torture and gore. However, some stand-out movies have been consistently cited as some of the most truly horrifying pieces of cinematic art in history.
This is the top ten list of disturbing films that have shocked many citizens of the general public - the ten movies which have been most commonly reported to be the 'most disturbing'. There's not a slasher flick or serial killer in site; rather, these films make even the most inured horror fans think twice about the boundaries of human resilience. Be warned, some descriptions here contain spoilers, and are not for the faint hearted...
10 The Exorcist (1973)
9 Eraserhead (1977)
8 Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
7 Audition (1999)
6 Irreversible (2002)
5 Deadgirl (2008)
The content of the movie is dark but artistic, an odd psychological study of violence. In addition to the disturbing and vomit-inducing assault on the woman, the dead girl also bites off a boy’s (ahem) appendages. The movie has sick moments that will make both men and women twitch in sympathetic pain. This film wasn't a hit with critics, but it succeeds in disturbing.
4 The Human Centipede II (2011)
The film’s predecessor “The Human Centipede” was such a huge “hit” (and we use that word lightly) and made so much money, the natural thing to do was make a sequel. Of course we expect many true horror fans to roll their eyes at the inclusion of this movie on our list, but despite (or perhaps because of) its questionable artistic value, this is a truly revolting movie. The film centres on a man named Martin Lomax (played by Laurence R. Harvey) who obsesses over the original film so much that he tries to emulate it and outdo it. So we see many people tortured, lips stapled to rear ends, forced to eat the remnants of each other’s digestive tracks...
3 Martyrs (2008)
2 Antichrist (2009)
1 A Serbian Film - UNCUT (2010)
“A Serbian Film” tells the story of a retired adult star looking to get back into the business who gets an offer he can't refuse. Unfortunately there's something darker and more sinister to the offer than meets the eye. With the sexual acts in the movie becoming more and more depraved and inhumane, the finale involves an unspeakable act that really pushes the film over the edge - making it almost unwatchable for most viewers.