Don’t forget to check out Part 1 and Part 2 before reading. Well, that’s about it for the movies you’d want to tell people about on this list. This list will be completely filled with movies too horrifying to even think of for more than a few seconds. If you’ve managed to see even one scary movie on the list, my condolences. But, it’s much more likely you haven’t heard of them. Or if you have, it was because they are infamous.
These movies made people question why anyone would make them. The films on this list are purely disgusting in most cases and unwatchable to most people. Not to discourage you from reading on… but something is WRONG with the people who made these movies. There are nine more movies on this list and each one is shocking, offensive, and terrifying.
Without a doubt, these movies are the darkest, and most depraved. Humanity has made a lot of things in our time on this planet. Most people would agree that we could’ve done without these films. But all reason and sensibility aside… let’s dive into the list and see why.
9. The Skin I Live In (2011)
Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, this psychological Spanish thriller is gruesome. Few movies blend this level of horror and gore with sensuality like this one. A brilliant plastic surgeon mourns his wife who was burned to death in a car wreck. He becomes obsessed with creating a new type of skin. Even though his dead wife could not be saved, he is wholly possessed with this creation.
In typical mad-scientist fashion, he loses his morals and begins doing things that sane men wouldn’t. There is a LOT of blood and a sort of human guinea pig situation that gets under just about anyone’s skin. But one thing is for sure, this movie is probably Antonio Banderas’ most horrifying film. Far removed from his usual fare, this movie was clearly a project he believed in.
8. Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood (1985)
There’s a lot of horror movies that start with the premise of someone getting kidnapped. There’s the Saw series, of course, showing how a depraved mind could use this situation. But nothing quite touches the scenario played out in this film. Directed by Hideshi Hino, it’s been said that most directors don’t like to count him among their number. His vision is definitely one not shared by many others.
Depicting dismemberment and torture to such a realistic degree as this movie is difficult, to say the least. This scary movie presents itself as a snuff film sent by a fan to Hino. This movie was investigated by both Japanese officials and the FBI. Both groups thought the gore in the movie was real. Even today, with modern film technology, this movie still looks just as terrifyingly realistic. You will NEVER look at a bouquet of flowers the same… I know I won’t.
7. Braindead (1990-1993)
This movie has the prestige of being the only scary movie on the list directed by famed New Zealander Peter Jackson. Released in America as Dead Alive, this movie is an unmitigated gore-fest with a touch of humor. Basically affecting a zombie outbreak as a result of an animal bite, this movie is actually pretty funny. As long as you can get past the blood and gore… which is some of the most graphic.
A momma’s boy finds a new love that takes away from his devotion to his mother. His mother, an overbearing control-freak, follows them on their date. She gets bitten, slowly starts to turn into a zombie… and things get messed up. I won’t go into the storyline any further, this one is almost worth watching. But suffice it to say, this is NOT your regular zombie movie. This is DEFINITELY Peter Jackson’s least famous film. Not that that’s a bad thing, they can’t all be Lord of the Rings.
6. Lifechanger (2018)
In one of the newest films on this entire list, Lifechanger is a twist on a familiar genre. Getting kidnapped in a horror movie is bad enough. But this killer isn’t just a killer, they’re a SHAPESHIFTER! That means that after the killing is done, this shapeshifter assumes his victim’s form. He does this until their body decays around him, and he is forced to search for new prey. Body horror is a particularly terrifying genre, and this scary movie is definitely contributing to that.
As the shapeshifter moves from body to body, we are left with a single narrator. This both holds the storyline together and causes shudders. As the killer’s form changes, the inner monologue doesn’t, giving a sense of continuity. While this is a fascinating technique, the intense killings don’t leave much room for interpretation.
5. Anthropophagus (1980)
If you looked up the definition, you already know what kind of scary movie this is. Cannibal horror isn’t new, and in the 70s and 80s, it was at its peak popularity. Director Joe D’amato at this time had only made ‘adult’ horror movies and this was his first conventional horror. But this movie basically starts with a deserted island near Greece and a small group of people.
Things quickly go south from there as expected. Even though this movie has a pseudo-sequel, and a remake, it wasn’t exactly popular. It was an Italian film, but bombed hopelessly in Italy. It performed better in other countries, but nobody really loved it. It’s gory, brutal, and has a touch of sensuality that is better left for another film. As is, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth when juxtaposed with everything else in this movie.
4. Ichi The Killer (2001)
No foray into Japanese horror would be complete without a film by Takashi Miike. His love of the genre is enough to make anyone emotional, and his movies are… well, horrific. Ichi the Killer has a storyline that seems simple enough at first glance. The opening scene blends sex and violence so intensely, lots of people don’t make it through. With a twisted sense of humor, there is a mixture of gore, violence, and excess that is pervasive.
A Yakuza enforcer gets a tip on a rival gang member. What he does to this man is graphic and gut-wrenching, and that’s not even the worst part. The gore and violence in this film are so intense it almost produces confusion in your mind. Watching this movie for many, seemingly well-adjusted people provokes laughter, as though to wipe away the gore. It’s almost as if watching this movie, you have to laugh, or else you’ll cry.
3. Audition (1999)
Another addition to this list by Takashi Miike, Audition brings a new level of revulsion. This scary movie starts with a Japanese widower who has decided to date once again. He has a friend who makes movies and they hatch a plan. Creating a fake premise, they begin to audition women for a nonexistent film. They use this as a way to find the main character a new girlfriend. After becoming enamored with a young girl, he decides to pursue a relationship.
What happens after this has got to be the biggest cautionary tale I’ve ever seen. The slimy way these men found this woman has nothing on the violence within her. It isn’t she who should be worried about the predatory nature of men. It is in fact, the men who need to run away from her. This film is a constant, stressful watch, where you are always sure you’ve seen the worst. Miike reminds you that it can ALWAYS get worse, and keeps delivering all the way up to the end.
2. 3 Extremes (2004)
This is a collection of three scary stories from three acclaimed Japanese horror directors. Takashi Miike, Park Chan-Wook, and Fruit Chan all bring their A-game. These stories will chill you to the bone on levels that most American directors will never touch. One story that focuses on a questionable food recipe that promises longer life is a particular classic. It combines SEVERAL genres and melds them together in disgusting ways.
This scary movie is NOT for the faint of heart and will leave you feeling nauseous. It’s not all driven by gore and blood, some of the scares are purely psychological. But no matter what part of this collection terrifies you, there’s something to fear. Not just a collection of great stories from great directors, this film is a masterwork of horror. Check it out if you think you have the stomach. But don’t say you weren’t warned.
1. I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
This movie is at the top (or bottom) of the list for good reason… rather, for several. First of all, it depicts a gang-rape scene that is brutally realistic. It’s beyond difficult to watch, and the rest of the film is the victim getting revenge. It is widely seen as a movie that crosses too many lines. This movie was completely uncalled for, yet has received a ridiculous amount of sequels and a remake. Perhaps this is because of the way it forced itself into the memory.
One thing is certain, after seeing this movie once, you will NEVER be able to forget it. This scary movie is crude, offensive, gory, shocking, and gratuitous. But that’s exactly what it takes to make number one on this list. This film is not to be viewed by anyone who has been sexually assaulted. That cannot be stressed enough, as the words ‘trigger warning’ don’t exactly prepare you. This movie is brutal and dark in every way imaginable, leaving nothing to the imagination of the viewer. You will want to shower after seeing this movie.
My name is Jon Schmitt and I am a writer through and through. Though I’ve spent my whole life obsessed with various sections of Nerd-dom, the thing I like most is writing. If I’m not here on the site, you will probably find me nose-deep in a book, playing games, or reading comics… and always with a cup of tea.