Horror has long served as a way for people to place themselves in a controlled environment to experience things that cause them fear without actually having to experience them.
This has led to movie producers pushing the boundaries in horror, giving us some of the most disturbing films ever to grace the earth.
Many of the following films feature gore, brutalization, cannibalism, sexual assault, torture, abuse, and many other topics that can be offensive or mentally disturbing for many viewers.
Because of that, all of the below films have heavy content warnings.
Without further ado, let us check out the following list of the most disturbing horror movies ever created!
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
When it comes to the most disturbing horror movies on the internet, few movies can come anywhere close to Cannibal Holocaust. Reaching levels of infamy, many films can only hope for.
Cannibal Holocaust is a found-footage mockumentary about a group of adventurers who make contact with a cannibalistic jungle tribe.
While cannibalism is disturbing enough, it is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this movie. Not only do they have some of the most gruesome deaths ever seen on the big screen, but they are so realistic that the director had to prove he didn’t kill his actors.
Additionally, there is a hard-to-watch SA scene, which is made even worse when you learn that the girl who played that part barely spoke English and was not fully made aware of what was going to happen to her.
All around, Cannibal Holocaust is a difficult movie to watch, and it is not for people with weak stomachs. It is a movie exploiting the act of exploitation itself for some meta-analysis of exploitation films, but that doesn’t detract from the horrors shown within it.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
A film centered around a psychopathic main character, A Clockwork Orange seeks to disturb its viewers by twisting the world and utilizing violence in brutal ways. The main plot of the film follows Alex DeLarge, a gang leader who undergoes a medical experiment to make him opposed to violence.
While the experiment works, viewers are still forced to watch SA and other gruesome acts as the main character works to return to his previous personality of a violent psychopath who led a small gang.
It also features one of the most uncomfortable milk-drinking scenes horror has ever used, and it is sure to leave you feeling gross.
As a horror movie, it is nothing too special, but when it comes to the material within the movie, it quickly becomes one of the most disturbing films the horror genre has ever created.
The Human Centipede 2 (2011)
If you think that most of the movies on this list have too many redeemable qualities, let me introduce you to The Human Centipede 2, one of the most vile movies ever to cross the big screen. One of the main reasons why this movie is so disturbing is because viewers of the first Human Centipede: The First Sequence thought it was too tame, and so the producer decided to go all out, making The Human Centipede 2 and 3, both of which are disgusting.
The second film is all black and white, and the main character is a young man obsessed with the first Human Centipede. He decides that he wants to make his human centipede, leading him to kidnap multiple young women and men.
After kidnapping them, he performs crude surgeries, and the movie does not shy away from showing graphic violence. It is a vile movie and well-deserving of its place as one of the most disturbing horror films ever created.
Have you grown tired of films that come with a plot? Maybe you like your killers never to get named and for there to be no real reason or rhyme behind the crimes you witness on the screen. If either of those sound like you, then you will love grotesque, which is nothing more than brutal torture porn that comes from the home of disturbing films, Japan.
In this movie, a young couple is going out on a date when an insane doctor kidnaps them. He takes them to an unnamed location where he begins to perform torturous and horrific experiments on them, ranging from the young woman having her eye plucked out to having their tongues sliced in half.
It is one of the most shocking films on this list and is filled with disturbing content that will make you wonder what you are doing with your life. It is not for someone weak to the stomach, and even seasoned horror fans will find themselves wincing as one disturbing thing after another occurs.
The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
The Devil’s Rejects is a Rob Zombie film and is quite easily one of the best movies he has created. However, it is still one of the most disturbing movies on this list, and it has a way of making you question your morality as the film gets you feeling sorry for the villains by the end of the movie.
The main characters of this film are the murderous family known as the Firefly Clan. As they try to escape the law, they murder multiple people who get in their way and perform multiple heinous deeds. Like every other Rob Zombie film, it does not shy away from showing graphic depictions of violence and SA.
While it is a disturbing film, it is still well worth a watch, as you will either love it or hate it; there is no real middle ground for Rob Zombie films. The Devil’s Rejects is the second film in a trilogy, though, so you will want to watch House of 1000 Corpses before this one. It is just as brutal and disturbing, so be prepared for that.
A Serbian Film (2010)
When it comes to the most disturbing films of all time, most people will state A Serbian Film as the worst, and for good reason. It is toted as an art film by those who like it, but it is nothing more than a disturbing, vile film filled with pedophilia, necrophilia, SA, gore, and other various horrific scenes.
It has been banned in over 46 countries for its material, including a pregnant woman and newborn being SAd, a young girl having her teeth knocked out, and a host of other graphic content too disgusting to include in this article. When it comes to most extremely disturbing horror movies, none take the cake from A Serbian Film.
It is a dark and brutal snuff film that will leave you wondering if there is any hope for humanity because there are no saving graces for this movie. It is just one scene after another of the worst things imaginable and should be avoided by essentially everyone if you value your mental health at all.
Infinity Pool (2023)
A new film, Infinity Pool, has already managed to find itself amongst the most disturbing films ever created, thanks to its no-hold bars when it comes to sex, violence, and brutalization of the characters in the movie. It stars Mia Goth, who has made a name for herself from X and Pearl, and she puts on a fabulous show.
The main plot of the movie follows a married couple who goes on a vacation to a small island known as Li Tolqa, where they find themselves in a terrible accident. As per the rules of the tribe who lives on that island, they have two options: either be executed or buy a clone and watch the clone get killed.
The male lead is then introduced to the hedonistic lifestyle of the tribe by Mia Goth’s character and becomes a murder tourist. As a concept, it is an amazing movie, and it is filled with some of the most brutal violence I have seen on the big screen in a long time. Only time will tell, though, if it will keep its place as one of the most disturbing horror movies of all time.
Inside is an hour-and-a-half-long brutal slasher, in which the main character is a pregnant woman whose husband passed away shortly before the events of this film. At first, everything is going fine until a strange woman begins tormenting her because she wants the baby the main character is about to have.
What this turns into is one of the more disturbing films ever, where you watch a cop get killed with knitting needles and a C-section performed on a pregnant woman with no anesthesia shortly after her face was nearly completely burned off. Every time that you think this film can’t get any more shocking, it manages to get worse.
Even with all the disturbing content, it is still actually worth a watch, unlike many of the other films on this list. So if chopped-off limbs, burning flesh, and the brutal removal of a live baby from a pregnant woman’s stomach as she lies dying sounds like a fun movie to you, then you may enjoy Inside.
Ichi the Killer (2001)
Ichi the Killer is a well-respected cult classic when it comes to disturbing horror films, and that is primarily because the movie simply shows brutal violence instead of trying to shock viewers like many exploitation and snuff films do with their content like A Serbian Film and A Clockwork Orange.
A Japanese action-horror film, it focuses on the Yakuza and a young martial artist named Ichi, who has a dark personality, which leads him to earn a title, which is the name of the film Ichi the Killer. He gets involved with the Yakuza, who are looking for their boss, who disappeared with a large sum of money.
Not only is Ichi the Killer one of the best horror movies in general, but it is also one of the scariest movies you will ever watch, as this Japanese horror film is not shy when showing the gruesome and brutal torture and murders that this movie is known for. If you can sit through the entire film for a watch, you’ll be hard-pressed to bring yourself to stomach a second one.
August Underground (2001)
A horror movie in the found footage style, August Underground, is one of the most disturbing films on this list, and it is incredibly hard to believe that it is just a movie and does not show real footage. The entire film is shot like a cheap recording you would find on a recorder in some basement and shows some vile things.
On the lesser end of the brutalities shown, a young woman has her nipples sliced off, a young man is castrated, and other various body parts are removed from various young men and women throughout the movie. There is no saving grace in this film, as the entire thing is just one long snuff film.
It is almost as bad as A Serbian Film, and the found footage style makes it difficult to separate yourself from the events occurring in the film. So, if you are interested in a found-footage gruesome snuff film, look no further than August Underground. It is certain to leave you sick to the stomach.
If you haven’t guessed from the movie’s name, Snuff is one of the og snuff movies, and it is well-deserving of its position as one of the most disturbing films ever created. It is based on the murders of Charles Manson and his cult but amps it up to 1000 from the very beginning.
Throughout the whole movie, you will find it hard-pressed not to believe that you are watching an actual group of teenage girls and boys following a Charles Manson cult leader who has convinced them that they need to complete murders to bring about the new world that they can become the rulers of.
While the film itself is already pretty gruesome, it is the addition of what the director tried to push as an actual snuff film that made the film so controversial to begin with. The director even tried to make it seem like a real snuff film, but it was eventually revealed that it was not an actual snuff film.
Megan is Missing (2011)
Regarding hard-to-sit-through horror movies, Megan is Missing is one of the most exploitative films on this list. Megan is Missing is one of the most disturbing found-footage films ever and follows two teenage girls who are best friends, with one of them being the typical druggie, partying girl, and the other one being the perfect child.
After the party girl, Megan, starts dating a guy on the internet, she goes missing, and her friend takes it upon herself to find out what happened to her. However, this backfires, as she gets kidnapped as well, and both are subjected to SA and are imprisoned in a dungeon. The ending will leave you scarred for life, but I won’t spoil it here.
Megan is Missing has been banned in New Zealand, and it is on another level because it shows Megan being sexually exploited and the director said he found the inspiration photos and such from a site on the Dark Web. Because of those reasons, this movie has earned its spot as one of the most disturbing horror movies.
Terrifier 2 (2022)
While not everyone’s choice for one of the most disturbing films ever, the Terrifier franchise has some of the most brutal and creative kill scenes that the horror genre has seen in recent years. While the first Terrifier movie was on the more tame side, the second one turned the gore up to 100, giving us one of the most brutal kills ever on the big screen.
This is the bedroom scene that has earned Terrifier 2 a lot of infamy now, as it shows one of the characters in the movie having her body slowly sliced apart, eyes removed, limbs broken, wounds salted, and even more brutalities that I haven’t mentioned here simply because of how disgusting they are.
Terrifier 2 is one of the few movies on this list that does not rely on SA or other similar things to shock viewers; instead, it relies on the murderous intent of Art the Clown, one of the scariest horror movie villains ever. Suppose you feel that Terrifier 2 is not disturbing enough for you. In that case, Terrifier 3 will be released on December 25th, 2024, and the first five minutes alone are already being stated as some of the most controversial moments ever.
An amazing psychological horror film, Audition is a 1999 Japanese psychological thriller that will leave you, as the viewer, incredibly confused as it utilizes a dream sequence.
Still, the movie never tells you when that happens. Thus, you are left wondering if any of the movie happened or if it was nothing more than a dream.
Once you look past the confusing plotline of this movie, you will find an endless supply of strange and disturbing acts, including the garroting of a man’s neck and a long, multi-minute torture scene that involves a lot of needles, so if needles trigger you, you are going to want to stay far away from this film.
Even though it is a confusing movie that warrants multiple watch-throughs to get a solid understanding of the plot, Audition is still easily one of the best and most disturbing horror movies to date.
In My Skin (2002)
If you have never heard of New French Extremism, let me introduce you to one of the most disturbing films of this particular film movement, In My Skin. It is yet another psychological thriller that is filled with topics like self-mutilation and self-cannibalism, so if you have a history of dealing with these types of challenges, I recommend not watching it.
The film has a strange way of keeping your eyes glued on the screen, even when you would normally want to look away, simply because of how captivating the disturbing content is. It’s like a car crash, where you know you should look away, but you can’t keep yourself from watching with bated breath to see what happens next.
Except in this case, it is watching someone descend into madness and slowly consume their own body. This is not a movie for anyone with a weak stomach and will leave even seasoned horror fans second-guessing their choice to delve into the madness that is this film.
But if you can handle it, then you are in for a ride filled with some of the most gruesome self-harm that you have ever seen in a film.
Many horror fans are constantly searching for the next disturbing film or cult classic to watch, and hopefully, this list has given you some ideas for your next horror film.
If you enjoyed this article, check out Horror Movies With Masked Killers to find your next favorite horror villain! Until next time, happy watching!