What are considered terrible films
Disturbing Movies: They're not for the faint of heart
This article is entirely due to 'The Handmaid’s Tale' (2017). A lively discussion broke out in our editorial team as to whether and to what extent the series was too disturbing to watch. The monthly rape of young women is thematized and shown in rather violent images.
Those with a faint heart will break off the successful drama series after the first episode. Others, like me, are positively drawn to this cryptic subject. But even if I can say that I am quite tough, there are still films that take me with them as a die-hard horror and psychological thriller fan.
That's why I went looking for the most disturbing films for you. For the sensitive as a warning that they should stay away from these flicks, for hardcore fans as a recommendation - because the way I see it, these disturbingly good films did a hell of a lot right if we remembered them for a long time after watching them stay.
> With an Amazon Prime subscription * you can watch the first two seasons of 'The Handmaid’s Tale' here for free.
In the video: Can you guess the film title from the emojis?Video by Sarah Glaubach
When are films disturbing?
Before doing that, let's briefly talk about what disturbing films are. It can be summarized as everything that affects the viewer psychologically disturbs or even physically pushes him open. What exactly that is is subjectively different. The strength of the aversion to what is shown can also be very different.
Still, there are a few things in common that disturbing films and series have. Content that is potentially harmful to minors, such as (child) abuse, drug use, discrimination, rampage and other violent topics, is given an FSK from the start from the age of 16 or 18.
In the end, it doesn't matter how explicitly the atrocities are portrayed on film. Horror films are not always disturbing. Therefore it is intended in the following Not go around disgusting torture or revenge horror flicks - if only because I refuse to offer a stage for pure perversion.
Instead, we are showing you a series of films that are well worth seeing that press all the buttons on the viewer and rightly so as disturbingly good can apply. As I said: if you have weak nerves, you shouldn't watch these films. I trust that you will be honest with yourself as you assess.
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1. Disturbing Movies: Funny Games (1997)
The order of the listed films is not supposed to say anything about the degree of disturbing effect, but for me 'Funny Games' is the worst and at the same time the best film I have ever seen.
It's about two boys who, out of sheer malice, terrorize a family in their own house. The scenes with the little son are almost unbearable. The American version of 'Funny Games U.S.' is also more harmless. (2007) not - Michael Haneke also directed this and took over the original pictures 1: 1 with a different cast.
2. Disturbing Films: Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Seldom has drug addiction and its devastating consequences been portrayed as ruthlessly as in 'Requiem for a Dream'.
Darren Aronofsky has created a masterpiece with it - the dramatic soundtrack ("Lux Aeterna") by Clint Mansell is also world-famous. The film is so disturbing that it is impossible to watch it more than once.
3. Disturbing Films: Antichrist (2009)
Actually one could list every film by Lars von Trier here, because the Danish scandal director provokes again and again with disturbing content. With 'Antichrist', however, the rate of shock moments is particularly high.
There is child abuse, murder, (self-) mutilation and Willem Dafoe's face, which is no less creepy than the gloomy Tann around it. Anyone who happily strolls into the forest after 'Antichrist' has my respect.
4. Disturbing Films: The Passion of the Christ (2004)
From antichrist to real Christ. But anyone who believes that a film with Jesus as the main character would be peace-joy pancakes will experience their blue miracle with 'The Passion of Christ'.
Mel Gibson gives us a tough insight into the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus Christ: From the betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane to the crucifixion on Mount Golgotha to the resurrection. The film is more disturbing, but also more haunting than any Easter sermon could be - and you don't even have to believe in God for that.
5. Disturbing Films: Deliver Us From Evil (2009)
Disturbingly biblical it continues with 'Deliver us from Evil'. Please do not confuse it with the 2014 film of the same name, a terribly poorly made Netflix horror that has nothing to do with the Danish film from 2009.
What happens if a stranger is accused of murder in a small, xenophobic town? Right, there is a lynch mob with pitchforks and worse. The injustice and intolerance of the people in this film made me mad and shook me for a long time.
6. Disturbing Films: Utøya July 22nd (2018)
Worse than a disturbing film is only a disturbing film based on real events. 'Utøya July 22' tells of the massacre on July 22, 2011 on the Norwegian island of Utøya. Fierce: The assassination lasts just as long in the film with an agonizing 72 minutes as it does in reality.
Of course, a film can never do justice to the horror of a real rampage. 'Utøya July 22nd' comes very close to that. The nerve-racking waiting and fear is at least more tangible here than in action-driven amok films. And in the end you are just shocked by the senseless bloodshed.
7. Disturbing Films: An American Crime (2007)
'An American Crime' also draws on true events: In 1965 the irascible Gertrude Baniszewski "adopted" the sisters Sylvia Marie and Jenny Likens. One of them quickly turns her into the black sheep of the whole family. The most shocking thing: Gertrude's children and the neighbors' children also participated in the abuse of the girl.
In addition to 'An American Crime', another film adaptation of the horror act came out in the same year: 'Jack Ketchum's Evil' aka 'The Girl Next Door'. Overall, the Ketchum film is closer to reality and therefore EVEN more disturbing than the "light" version by director Tommy O’Haver.
8. Disturbing Movies: I See, I See (2014)
In 'Ich seh, ich seh', the Austrian directing duo Infernale Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala demonstrate how disturbing it can be the other way round, being harassed by one's own children as a mother.
The twins Elias and Lukas do not recognize their mother after plastic surgery and try to expose the supposed doppelganger. If need be, use force. Watching that can really get you down.
Reading material: We see twice: These stars played several roles in one film
9. Disturbing Movies: The Killing of A Sacred Deer (2017)
The thriller 'The Killing of A Sacred Deer' relocates the Greek legend about Iphigenia into cold reality. How far would you go to save your family? And which of your loved ones would you sacrifice for it?
The doctor Steven has to ask himself this question of conscience after his family is hit by a curse. Curse sounds like ghosts and hocus-pocus, but in this film the unearthly element seems disturbingly real. When the children start apologizing to their father for trifles such as a wrong haircut in order not to be killed, one gets cold.
10. Disturbing Movies: The Lodge (2019)
'The Lodge' is a new trick by the Austrians Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. In 'The Lodge', too, a young (step) mother is haunted by her two (step) children.
In 'The Lodge' the terror is even more subtle than in 'I see, I see'. The mother is systematically driven insane. Add to that an eternally rumbling background noise and you are mentally exhausted as a spectator. When the credits were running in the cinema, I couldn't move. That's how disturbing and final is the end of the film.
11. Disturbing Films: Hereditary (2018)
The film with the unpronounceable name has been hailed as one of the best horror films of all time since it was released. Rightly so, because 'Hereditary - the legacy' manages to traumatize the viewer without a lot of blood.
The reason for this is the realistically designed family tragedy. The conflicts go back several generations. It wouldn't have needed the psychic horror to make 'Hereditary' a horror hit. The scene in which the mother hovers over the son's bed and wafts away along the ceiling is the scariest thing I've seen in a long time.
12. Disturbing Movies: Dogtooth (2009)
Like 'The Killing of A Sacred Deer', 'Dogtooth' comes from the pen of the Greek master director and screenwriter Giorgos Lanthimos. In 2011 the film was even nominated for an Oscar for "Best Foreign Language Film".
The parents of three children experiment here with their own worldview. They exchange terms and the children are only allowed to leave the fenced-in home if their canine teeth (dogtooth) fail. More disturbing than the absurd lies (the cat killed the son), however, is the trivialized incest between the siblings. A very, very sick film.
13. Disturbing Movies: Midsommar (2019)
With 'Midsommar', director Ari Aster has stepped up again after his cult shocker 'Hereditary' when it comes to disturbing films. This time the venue is a remote settlement in the Swedish Hälsingland, where the residents want to celebrate midsummer with a few selected guests from outside the country.
However, the idyll quickly cracks. At some point the events come thick and fast and at the showdown of the festivities you literally take off your shoes. Even the Oscar-winning director Jordan Peele ('Get Out', 2017 and 'Wir', 2019) is said to have said after viewing the film that these were the most disturbing images he has ever seen.
14. Disturbing Films: Nocturnal Animals (2016)
When fashion designers make a film, it is clear that it is going to be extremely stylish. Such is the case with 'Nocturnal Animals' by ex-Gucci designer Tom Ford.
Admittedly, for the most part of the film you don't get what is going on. The levels of the narrated world are complex and confused. There's a lot of violence, murder, and manslaughter, but worst of all is the rape scene in the middle of the film. The helplessness of the victims is so palpable here, as if you were there live. Nothing for weak nerves!
15. Disturbing Films: Irreversible (2002)
Even less for the faint of heart is 'irreversible'. The drama by the French enfant terrible Gaspar Noé, narrated consistently backwards, was the first film that I couldn't finish watching.
It all starts with the skull of a stranger being hit with a fire extinguisher. I had to cover my eyes, but the noises and descriptions of my sister ("Oh God, the whole face is gone!") Were enough to drive me into the fresh air. I found out later that the beginning wasn't by far the worst thing about the movie.
16. Disturbing Films: Hard Candy (2005)
Against 'irreversible' everything is basically a child's birthday. Hard candy is also difficult to digest. As in 'An American Crime', Ellen Page plays the lead role here - she seems to have a weakness for broken characters.
In this film, however, Page turns from an alleged victim to a perpetrator. The game of cat and mouse between the avenger for sexual abuse victims and her pedophile adversary is both exciting and disturbing. Because somehow it goes too far. Or not?
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17. Disturbing Movies: Mother! (2017)
Darren Aronofsky, who already shook us with 'Requiem for a Dream', polarized with 'Mother!' again the masses. The exclamation mark in the title is no coincidence: In the mystery drama it gets loud, downright deafening.
As Aronofsky revealed in an interview, the film is about what we do to our symbolic mother nature. It gets biblical and maybe it's a little too much. It is the subtle nuances that are the most disturbing. Like when Jennifer Lawrence begs the intruders to leave her house and herself damn it all not to sit on the crumbling sideboard!
About the interview: "I would never do that again!" Jennifer Lawrence on her new film
18. Disturbing Films: Clockwork Orange (1971)
There's nothing to be shaken about: Stanley Kubrick's 'Clockwork Orange' is a disturbing masterpiece. The role of the hardened thug Alex and his horror show is so iconic that 'Die Toten Hosen' dedicated a song to him in 1988 and we wear bowler hats, suspenders and fake eyelashes in his honor on Halloween.
The excesses of violence in the film are inimitable. Even so, there were copycat murders. In Great Britain, 'Clockwork Orange' was on the index for 27 years. More disturbing than Beethoven's 9th Sonata as the most malicious soundtrack ever are the government's absurd rehabilitation measures, which make Alex a dubious victim.
19. Disturbing Films: Without a Trace (1993)
'Without a trace' is one of the films that never let go of me. There are two films about it. Once a Dutch version from 1988 and the American version from 1993. The plot is equally disturbing, but unlike the original, the US version has a happy ending.
What makes both strips so bad is the idea of the unimaginable. Jeff and Diane take a break at a gas station, whereupon Diane suddenly disappeared without a trace. Jeff searches for her for years until the alleged kidnapper confronts him. The Perfidious Temptation: A detailed confession - if Jeff is ready to go through exactly what the perpetrator did to Diane.
20. Disturbing Movies: The Skin I Live In (2011)
Pedro Almodóvar makes films that are as powerful as a piece of cream cake and are difficult to digest in the stomach. 'The skin I live in' is an excellent example of this. With a duration of two hours and quite a length, the film is quite a board.
But it's also extremely disturbing. The eponymous skin, which the surgeon Robert is working on in his villa, belongs to a mysterious woman whom he apparently keeps imprisoned at home. The resolution of who is hiding under the indestructible super skin leaves you with your mouth open.
21. Disturbing Movies: Oldboy (2003)
'Oldboy' is an action classic from South Korea that became famous for its brutal scenes of violence. Despite his hilarious features, the laughter somehow gets stuck in your throat.
However, the incest ending in 'Oldboy' is more disturbing than the torture scenes or the choking down of a live squid. The turning point comes as a surprise and as terrible as only the ancient Greeks could have praised it more beautifully.
Continue reading: Real fear: These horror films shocked even the actors
22. Disturbing Films: Videodrome (1983)
Watching David Cronenberg's 'Videodrome' in one go feels like a feverish dream and requires a fair amount of masochism. By the way, SM also plays a role in what is probably the most wacky film I know.
The film was recommended to me by the media professional during my bachelor's degree. It wasn't until years later that I took a look at 'Videodrome' and was disturbed by the confusing plot and the even more confusing images. The McLuhanian extension of the human being through the media is supposed to be of interest in terms of film studies. Between porn and guns made of human skin, however, I got out at some point.
Disturbing classic films in black and white
Disturbing films are not invented by directors like Cronenberg, Aster, Severin / Fiala or Lars von Trier. Even in the early years of cinema there were disturbing film experiments.
In the short film 'An Andalusian Dog' (original: Un Chien Andalou, 1929), Luis Buñuel dissected a human eye under the creative guidance of the painter Salvador Dalí and became world famous through the film cut of a mounted cloud.
The film 'Freaks - Missgestalten' (1932), which still leads to disgust in modern horror series such as the fourth season of the 'American Horror Story' (2014), was extremely disturbing for the time.
Something like the honorary title for disturbing films, however, clearly goes to David Lynch. Since this unfortunate baby bird was born in 'Eraserhead' (1977), he has repeatedly managed to traumatize his audience. The pictures stay in your memory forever - whether you like it or not.
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