30 Horror Movies So Sick And Twisted You'll Never Unsee Them
By Lisa Bernier and Chris E. Hayner | @ChrisHayner on
This brainchild of horror guru Eli Roth is pretty much every backpacker's nightmare. In it, a pair of American travelers check in to a hostel in Slovakia and are forced to endure a series of truly gruesome tortures.
Image: Lions Gate Films
It's hard to tell exactly which genre mother! belongs in. One thing's for sure, though: It has some of the most disturbing moments ever committed to film, including the cannibalistic climax of the film that finally sends Jennifer Lawrence's titular character over the edge.
Image: Paramount Pictures
The best horror films on Netflix
Great news for Netflix horror fans: There are plenty of great, terrifying films available for streaming right now.
The players: two men. The stakes: Only one gets out alive. The twist: One has to kill the other to survive. Add in plenty of torture and you'll soon understand why Saw is one of the most infamous kidnap-and-torture films to date.
Image: Lions Gate Films
The Thing (1982)
Eighties horror at its best, the remake of the 1951 original has become something of a cult classic itself. Starring Kurt Russell in his glory days and featuring alien possession, this story, with its gore and goo, might seem a little kitschy to today's viewer. However, props to director John Carpenter for pulling off a story about an enormous, nigh-unstoppable parasite that's still fairly scary.
Image: Universal Pictures
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Rob Zombie's directorial debut is filled with the kind of gore one would expect from the White Zombie frontman. In the movie, a character is scalped and later vivisected, exposing his organs without killing him.
This French-Belgian horror tale is about as graphic as you'd expect a movie about flesh-eating to be. Your stomach will churn as Justine, a former vegetarian, develops an unquenchable hunger for human flesh.
Image: Focus World
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)
Take the original Human Centipede and quadruple the most important elements: You know. The people. In the human centipede. In short: Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ewwwwwwwww.
Image: IFC Midnight
The Last House on the Left (1972)
Before he was renowned at the creator of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven released this truly depraved and sadistic film in which a gang of killers and rapists torment two young women. It was so violent that it was banned in the United Kingdom until 2002, when particularly offensive scenes were removed.
Image: Hallmark Releasing
This horrorfest was written by Dee Snider, who also stars as the mentally unbalanced Captain Howdy.
Howdy, a sadist and a schizophrenic, lures teenage victims via chat rooms. Briefly reformed after a stay in an institution, he soon becomes unbalanced again and wreaks havoc in a small town. It's pretty much every parent's nightmare come true.
Image: Artisan Entertainment
The Woman (2011)
This story has every "ordinary family in the backwoods hiding a secret" horror trope imaginable. Those are accompanied by brutal torture scenes leading up to a bloodbath that pretty much decimates 75 percent of the characters in the film.
And in (probably purposeful) irony, the real monsters in the film are the men, not the eponymous woman.
Image: Bloody Disgusting
Evil Dead (2013)
This 2013 reboot of a cult classic, which gender swaps Ash for a woman named Mia, has some incredibly disturbing moments -- such as when Mia loses her hand and replaces it with a chainsaw.
Image: TriStar Pictures
The Lure (2015)
In this Polish horror-musical -- essentially a demented retelling of The Little Mermaid -- an actual mermaid falls in love with a boy. She then faces the choice of either eating him or dying.
Image: Kino Swiat
With one of the most graphic and infamous self-mutilation scenes in the history of filmmaking, Lars von Trier's controversial work stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe as a grieving couple trying to get their relationship on track following the death of their child.
Of course, they decide to do this in a cabin in the woods, and from there things just go so, so...wrong.
Image: Zentropa Entertainments
Child abuse survivor Lucie sets off on a quest to take vengeance on her former torturers. In the process, she and fellow survivor Anna must endure a house of horrors.
Featuring a scene where one character is flayed alive, the gruesome flick packages two philosophical questions: What is true transcendence? And what happens after death?
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Part coming-of-age film, part zombie movie, part ewwwwwww, this dark interpretation of teenage hormones throws together an undead captive girl, an abandoned mental asylum, and two indolent high school boys.
The result: One horrifying scenario. It's so grisly that its attempt at black comedy is lost in all the wince-worthy moments on screen.
Image: Dark Sky Films
Event Horizon (1997)
A classic in the science-fiction horror genre, this is the stuff of nightmares come to life. When the rescue crew of Lewis and Clark investigate what went wrong at the starship Event Horizon, they discover an evil sentience that hurls people into insanity and horrifying hallucinations. This flick may not be as sick and twisted as the others on this list, but the lurid torture scenes are still burned into our brains, so there's that.
Image: Paramount Pictures
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
The title pretty much explains what this 95-minute film is filled with: people eating people, and in the most gruesome of ways. Framed as "found footage" from a documentary team researching a tribe in the Amazon rainforest, this movie should not be watched while you are eating...anything.
Image: Grindhouse Releasing
The Skin I Live In (2011)
With Antonio Banderas in perhaps his creepiest performance to date, this psychological horror thriller by Pedro Almodóvar centers around a plastic surgeon gone mad, the woman trapped as his guinea pig, and the secrets behind their relationship.
Image: Sony Pictures Classics
No list of sick and twisted horror movies would be complete without something from Takashi Miike, and this one's a doozy. Probably the worst dating experience ever conjured in the history of mankind, the movie features middle-aged widower Shigeharu, who learns that love the second time around can be a killer. Literally.
Image: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
You're Next (2011)
Ax-wielding murderers crash a family reunion in this slasher flick, where only those brought up in a survivalist compound survive. Does anything make sense? No. Does bloody gore abound? Yep.
Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood (1985)
The second in a series of Japanese horror movies, Guinea Pig includes scenes so graphic -- including dismemberment -- that the FBI launched an investigation in 1991 to determine whether anyone was actually killed during production.
Image: Unearthed Films
I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
Considered one of the most controversial films of all time, I Spit on Your Grave is the story about a woman who, after being gang raped, plots her violent revenge against those who assaulted her. It was initially banned in many European countries and still cannot be sold in Ireland.
Image: The Jerry Gross Organization
From rabid animal attacks to skin being torn off of faces, this Peter Jackson-directed movie is filled with imagery that you simply won't forget.
Image: TriMark Pictures
Cabin Fever (2003)
With a flesh-eating virus at the center of the story, this film -- noted horror director Eli Roth's first -- is filled with disturbing visuals.
ABCs of Death (2013)
The ABCs of Death is a series of 26 short films, each one based on a letter of the alphabet. Each is disturbing in its own way, from a man fighting a dog for money to a young boy being killed by a toilet.
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Between the bloody violence involving a pregnant woman and the impromptu Caesarean section it leads to, everything about this French horror film feels very, very wrong.
Image: La Fabrique de Films
Ichi the Killer (2001)
This manga adaptation, which includes a scene where a man is skewered and suspended by hooks, gets incredibly creative with its twisted visuals.
Image: Media Blasters
The most disturbing moment in this movie is an amateur surgery carried out by a disturbed teenager.
Image: Anchor Bay Films
The Green Inferno (2013)
With scenes depicting cannibalism and suicide (among other acts of violence), Eli Roth's homage to Cannibal Holocaust was not well-received by critics.
Image: Universal Pictures
The shape-shifting main character of this body horror film must kill an increasing number of victims to survive, ultimately assuming their memories and personalities.
Image: Uncork'd Entertainment