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Disturbing Movies You Won’t Be Able To Sit Through


There’s bound to be a film out there that
pushes one or two of your buttons. These movies, on the other hand, push every
single one of them. These movies aren’t just hard to watch. They aren’t just edgy. And they don’t just challenge the entire concept
of good taste. They’re deeply disturbing on almost every
level. Director Eli Roth is no stranger to movies
that are hard to sit through. His 2006 horror hit Hostel proved that beyond
a shadow of a doubt, and turned his name into a synonym for over-the-top violence. With The Green Inferno, however, Roth pushes
things further than ever before, and unless you’re a seasoned gorehound, chances are you
won’t make it to the end. In the grand tradition of the video nasties
of the ’70s and ’80s, Inferno tells the tale of a group college-aged activists who head
to the Amazon to protest a logging operation. They find cannibals instead. “We are all going to escape tonight, all of
us, I promise.” “Okay?” “Okay.” You can probably imagine the non-stop stream
of gore and misery that follows, and if you can’t last through the whole movie, well,
that’s kind of the point. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Roth said: “If I’ve really done my job as a director,
nobody can actually watch your movie… You don’t want people walking out of a movie;
you want them running out of the theater screaming. When that happens, that’s like a standing
ovation for me.” The Green Inferno achieves its unsettling
dread by shooting on location in Peru, utilizing physical special effects, and casting members
of the Amazon’s native population in key roles. That’s led some critics to accuse Inferno
of cultural appropriation, but Roth doesn’t seem to mind. He’s insisted that the amateur actors were
all paid fairly, and while they didn’t have much experience in front of the camera they,
quote, “got it right away and loved it.” Don’t confuse Martyrs, the 2008 French thriller,
with its 2015 American remake. Both movies have roughly the same plot, but
there’s one big difference: the English language version is remarkably tame, despite its inherently
unsettling subject matter. That’s by design. Writer Mark L. Smith told Creative Screenwriting: “I’m not a lover of violence. I tried to stay away from all the violence
and keep it offscreen, which was kind of the polar opposite of the original.” So if you’ve got a low tolerance for abuse
and still want to watch something messed up for some reason, stick with that one. On the other hand, if you want to test your
mettle, go for the original. With graphic depictions of brutal acts, Martyrs
isn’t for the faint of heart. When it screened at Cannes, audiences left
the theaters in droves. They just couldn’t handle it. From the basic plot to the film’s horrifying
climax it’s easy to understand why. Sure, Martyrs is also a nuanced story about
guilt and friendship, and Smith is right when he says that there’s more to it than mere
gore. But the gore is a big part of it. Like the New York Times wrote, this isn’t
one for amateurs. You won’t find everything that makes Irreversible
hard to watch on screen. Don’t get us wrong: Emotionally, the movie
is absolutely brutal. It’s bad enough that even its star, Monica
Bellucci, can’t sit through it. But that’s not the only reason over 250 people
fled the film’s Cannes premiere, with many fainting or seeking medical treatment. The sound played a big role, too. See, Irreversible uses infrasound, or low-frequency
sound waves, to augment its unsettling visuals. You can’t actually hear the sound, but your
body registers it anyway, leading to feelings of anxiety, unease, distress, and depression,
in addition to the shivers and, sometimes, nausea. “It’s sort of anxiety producing. I don’t know about fear, but it’s unnerving.” It’s a trick that many modern horror films
use, including Paranormal Activity, and while infrasound doesn’t affect every member of
the audience in the same way, it’s credited as one of the reasons why Irreversible makes
many members of its audience feel sick. In fact, many people who watch don’t even
make it very far into the film. Thanks to the soundtrack, a mere half hour
of Irreversible is more than enough for many viewers, forcing them to turn the film off
before its most horrific action even truly begins. When The Woman made its Sundance debut, many
people left the theater. Others simply wished they had. By all indications, that’s exactly the type
of reaction director Lucky McKee was hoping for. The plot, which centers on a dysfunctional
family’s attempt to “civilize” a wild woman by locking her in the basement and torturing
her, is explicitly designed to push every misogynistic and toxically masculine button. “Do we really get to keep her?” “We do.” Oddly, it’s also a thoughtful and nuanced
film, at least once you get past its surface shocks. It’s not all gore and gloom. The Woman has something to say. It also has a pretty decent Rotten Tomatoes
score, especially for this kind of thing. There’s a rewarding experience lurking underneath
the discomfiting chills, you just have to last through the whole movie to find it. Good luck. Filmgoers at the Toronto International Film
Festival should’ve known what they were in for. After all, its late-night “Midnight Madness”
programming block has its name for a reason: anything goes. Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo,
and one film fan found Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge so intense that he had a seizure right in
the middle of the theater. Reportedly, it was a stomach churning scene
in which a man is forced to remove a giant piece of glass from his foot that did it. Fargeat told IndieWire: “We started to hear someone say, ‘hello, hello,’
from the audience. I didn’t know if it was someone making [a
joke] in the room, then I see the paramedics in the cinema.” Thankfully, the audience member was fine. He was in good company, too. Revenge lead Matilda Lutz admitted that the
scene made her feel “weird” as well, and she was there when the scene was shot. If that scene doesn’t get you, the rest of
Revenge very will might. Starring Lutz as a woman out for vengeance
after being left for dead by her lover and his friends, all of which is shown on screen,
naturally, Revenge is a lean, brutal, and extremely well-reviewed thriller that’s just
as thrilling as it is disturbing. Just don’t take it lightly. Lars von Trier has been down this road before. In 2009, the director rolled into Cannes with
Antichrist, a film that probably deserves its own entry on this list. It’s wildly misogynistic, unsettling, and
is relentlessly bleak, and people walked out when it screened. “Chaos reigns.” A decade later, von Trier did it again. After doling out a multi-year ban to von Trier
after the director said he sympathized with Adolf Hitler, Cannes authorities decided to
let the filmmaker exhibit his latest picture at the 2018 festival. Well, surprise! The House that Jack Built is even more difficult
to stomach than its predecessor. In the movie, Matt Dillon plays a serial killer
on a 12-year murder spree. When The House that Jack Built screened, people
left. Not just one or two, either. Reportedly, more than 100 festival guests
decided to leave the theater rather than finish watching. In the aftermath, attendees turned to Twitter
to express their disgust, calling von Trier’s movie “vomitive” and claiming that it, quote,
“should not have been made.” Fair criticisms, but they should’ve expected
it. The House that Jack Built is so gross that
it wasn’t even allowed to compete for the Palme d’Or, Cannes’ top prize. Instead, it screened outside of competition
in order to avoid any Antichrist-like controversies. When horror fans entered the theater to see
Bite at Fantasia Fest 2015, they received special Bite-branded barf bags. It wasn’t a joke. As Fantasia Fest co-director Mitch Davis posted
on Facebook, during the screening, at least two people passed out. One hit his head on the stairs. Another started puking. By the time the film wrapped, an ambulance
was on site, treating various members of the audience for illness. That’s a pretty strong reaction, but on the
other hand, Bite is a particularly gross movie. The horror begins in Costa Rica, where a bride-to-be
receives a mysterious insect bite while celebrating her bachelorette party. “I’m fine. It’s just a small bug bite.” Not that Casey has time to worry about it,
of course. She’s already struggling with her upcoming
wedding, her domineering soon-to-be mother-in-law, and her fiancé’s child filled plans for their
future. Like Bite’s audience, however, Casey doesn’t
realize the severity of her situation. Before long she’s puking up pus, laying egg
sacks around her apartment, raising a hive of carnivorous monsters, and watching as her
body decomposes, revealing the insectoid form underneath. In other words, Bite quickly goes from a middling
character drama into full-on body horror, and it doesn’t really offer a break once it
kicks into high gear. And as Fantasia Fest proves, it’s not an easy
movie to finish. In fact, you may find it to be something of
an endurance test if you do sit down to watch it. When a filmmaker says their movie is going
to make you vomit, believe them. It’s far, far better than the alternative. Sam Peckinpah’s grim and gritty western The
Wild Bunch might be considered a classic now, but during its initial run, the movie’s hardcore
violence was too much for late ’60s moviegoers. Preview audiences lambasted the film, calling
it “wasted insanity.” After launch, cowboy king John Wayne complained
that The Wild Bunch’s blood-soaked action, quote, “destroyed the myth of the Old West.” Even by modern standards, The Wild Bunch is
still grotesquely violent. In the ’90s, Warner Bros. tried to release
a director’s cut with 10 extra minutes of footage. None of that new stuff was particularly gory,
but the MPAA still took the opportunity to change The Wild Bunch’s rating from an R to
an NC-17, keeping the film out of theaters for an extra two years. The Wild Bunch is brutal and uncompromising
and, at the time, was too much for many theater attendees, some of whom walked out just 20
minutes into the film. Just because The Wild Bunch is a classic doesn’t
mean it’s easy to watch. Even today, all of that bloody ultra-violence
means that you might have to step away before the final credits roll. Don’t be ashamed. You’d hardly be the first one. “Ain’t like it used to be, but, uh … it’ll
do.”

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