5 Disturbing Movies Everyone Should See

Even though these may not be the most unheard of films, if you haven’t seen them, you absolutely must. Some of them will make you cringe, some will make you sad and still others might make you angry. Stay on the lookout for the following gems.

5. Cannibal Holocaust

Let me start off by saying this is a film that made me pretty upset. It’s claim to fame was the controversy surrounding it. A group has disappeared in the Amazon rain forest while filming a documentary about the cannibalistic tribes in the area. The director,  Ruggero Deodato was arrested in Italy after the film was released because the government believed the actors were actually murdered on film. Of course, he now regrets everything he did for the film, but that’s not what aggravates me. All animal deaths (including two monkeys, a turtle, a snake, a pig and a spider) were all real. Now, I don’t care if these animals were fed to the natives afterward. Deodato did this simply for the shock value. And that is despicable.  Even still, this is one everyone should see.

4. Oldboy

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Not your typical kidnapping film. Imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su takes revenge on his captors. The reason this film is on the list it because it is so utterly cringe-worthy. If there’s one thing I can’t handle in movies it’s pulling out teeth. And that’s all I really have to say about that. Oh, and just forget about that remake directed by Spike Lee in 2013. Just…forget about it.

3. Aftermath

Although this is a short film, it made the cut because you gotta see this. A morgue attendant decides to do some naughty things with a newly arrived corpse. This film made me want to shut my eyes tight, yet I couldn’t stop watching. If you’re into the “icky squishies,” I implore you to watch this one. Go ahead. It’s on YouTube. Do it now. I’ll wait.

2. Eraserhead

Now, Eraserhead is a difficult one to watch. I’ve only seen it once and I can hardly bring myself to do it again. Of course, it’s David Lynch, so it’s got to be tweaked, right? Well, this film is not only frightening, it’s confusingly terrifying. If you enjoy those films that make your head, ears and eyes want to explode, go for this one. Just…don’t invite me over when you decide to slip it in.

1. Uninvited

Now this is a gem. This Korean film was directed by Soo-youn Lee, a relatively unknown writer. But as you can see from the trailer, the long, drawn-out shots and disturbing noises are enough to make you feel uncomfortable already. Oh, and that split second shot where they show the truck backing up on the kid in the street? Yeah, they don’t cut away. At all. So, if you’re looking for something truly worthy of roller coaster of terror, pick up this one.

What films disturbed you beyond reason?

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Paranormal Talk-tivity – What’s the Best Ghost Film?

So, how about we do some paranormal talk? Well, first I suppose we should establish some ground rules. I’m talking strictly ghosts here. Other realms of the paranormal such as UFO’s and Cryptozoology can wait. I want to go into what makes a good ghost film (story).

First, I’ll give a little background on myself. About five or six years ago, I founded a paranormal investigation group. Yes. Yes, I did. Honestly, I’m not  a heavy believer (I’m more interested in what science can explain), but it was fun running around in dark places in the middle of the night trying to get scared.

Of all the experiences I’ve had and all the locations I’ve explored, my favorite was the Brookdale Lodge. Aside from it being the first and only public place we investigated, it was thrilling because it had been featured on television. A lot.

I’d like to tell you that we saw a bunch of shadows, caught a bunch of voices on tape, and saw a real live ghost on film, but I can’t. The visit was rather lackluster aside from a random piece of equipment we’d been using starting to malfunction. The only thing I couldn’t explain was listening back on the tape and hearing something odd.

Both of our male members were alone in a small room above the bar in the main part of the building. This was probably around 7pm on a weekend. The bar was full, but the door to the room cut off almost all of the noise. We’d previously “misplaced” another member of our group who I’ll call Pam. One investigator asked, “Where’s Pam?”

While listening back on the tape, I was surprised to hear someone else respond, “Who’s Pam?” And it was not a voice I had ever heard before. So, that was slightly unsettling.

However, the goal of this post is to figure out what makes a good ghost movie. To start, there are so many different aspects of the genre. We have harmless entities, spirits out for revenge, possession and living houses. Okay, let’s grab the best from each category.

1. Harmless Entities

Beetlejuice (1988)

Why it Made the List

Beetlejuice, aside from being my favorite film and starring one  of my favorite actors (can you guess?), is this top pick because it’s a movie I can watch over and over again. Say his name three times and you’re in for a world of trouble (did you catch that? I didn’t say Beetlejuice again because it… Damn it). Even though Beetlejuice can be considered a villain in the film, the ghosts are pretty harmless. And I give this classic props for the outstanding imagery and downright frightening spirits.

Honorable Mentions

The Sixth Sense (1999)
Ghost (1990)
Field of Dreams (1989)

2. Spirits Out for Revenge

Ghost Story (1981)

Why it Made the List

Ghost Story is probably one of the most visually-striking revenge ghost films. Fred Astaire’s last movie was a gift to all viewers. Alma Mobley was murdered by four men. And her spirit lies in wait until they are successful, elderly and comfortable. Then, she prays on their sons. As I said before, the visuals in this film were brilliant. All I have to say is melting eyes and I get shivers.

Honorable Mentions

Poltergeist (1982) – This was a very very close second
What Lies Beneath (2000)
Stir of Echoes (1999)

3. Possessions

The Exorcist (1973)

Why it Made the List

As you already know, I’m a sucker for long drawn-out shots and visuals. The Exorcist was directed incredibly well and made the viewers feel continually uncomfortable. Based on the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty, the film centers around preteen Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) and her actress mother Chris (Ellen Burstyn). Regan begins acting very strangely, and Chris exhausts all medical avenues and is eventually left with exorcism. The film does an excellent job at characterization and the director even uses a film style that’s much like the writing in the novel.

Honorable Mentions

The Conjuring (2013)
Insidious (2010)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

4. Living Houses

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Why it Made the List

Based on (supposedly) true events, The Amityville Horror centers around the Lutz family as they move into a new and very cheap house in the suburbs of New York. Of course, the house was famous for the murder of an entire family. George, the father, becomes increasingly agitated and is eventually overtaken by the anger the spirits have left behind in the house. The film is brilliant because the carpets look so comfortable. No, I’m kidding. The Amityville Horror is genius because it truly scared me. Whether it was the red eyes outside the window, George dreaming of axing his new wife, or the swarm of flies on that poor priest, it got me good.

Honorable Mentions

The Haunting (1999)
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
Monster House (2006)

What’s your favorite ghost film? I’d love to find out!

 

Top 10 Scariest Short Films

Yes, Halloween was a whole four months ago, but in my opinion it’s never too later (or early?) to scare yourself into an entirely new sleep schedule. Want to try it out?

I’ve scoured the Internet to find some of the most frightening and shocking short films out there. I found lots of gems, but I somehow whittled the list down to my top ten. And without further ado, here they are.

10. Slash-in-the-Box

Why it Made the List

Slash-in-the-Box had some classic horror elements that we all know and love. Okay, maybe we don’t all love a jack-in-the-box. In fact, I hate them. But that’s why this short made the list. Not to mention the fake-outs that made me tense and then snicker.

The Downside

The reason Slash-in-the-Box made number ten is not only do I not appreciate typing out words with too many hyphens in them, but the film also used a few cliché elements that I didn’t quite appreciate. The baseball hopping down the stairs was also out of place. And why did wifey not notice the huge puddle of blood in the kitchen?

9. Red Balloon

Why it Made the List

Because it was creepy. Plain and simple. The little girl was creepy, the rain was creepy, the house was creepy, and the breathing stuffed bunny was creepy! The camera work was superb and it definitely had an amazing ending.

The Downside

The babysitting horror thing is slightly out of date at this point. Coupled with the cliché jump scare dream, the film did it’s job with the creepy factor, but failed in originality.

8. Cat with Hands

Why it Made the List

Why wouldn’t it make the list? The stop-motion animation was fantastic and it made me not want to hug my cat for once. And the distorted face at the end just did me in. The creepy atmosphere and close camera angles made me feel uncomfortable as well.

The Downside

I can see how the switch from live action to animation would bother some viewers. While I didn’t mind it, it may have been an okay piece with CG.

7. Befellows

Why it Made the List

The shear thought of seeing your significant other call you on the phone while you swore they were next to you in bed is enough dredge up a cute little chill in your soul. I could feel it ribbon up my spine while watching this one. Not to mention the director does amazing work showing the viewers what’s going on while the woman has no idea.

The Downside

I am not a fan of jump-scares. In fact, I hate them. If there’s a way a filmmaker can scare me in my head without making my heart skip a beat I will be one happy camper. But the jump factor was not necessary in this short film.

6. Don’t Move

Why it Made the List

Aside from some chilling CG going on, this film was as claustrophobic as they come. This, folks, is what happens when you try to mess with demons. Move an inch and this monster goes on a face-ripping spree. I love seeing idiots get what they deserve.

The Downside

In my opinion, the less shown the better. The first few times the viewer spots the demon, he’s nothing more than black smoke curling through the air. However, at about 3:54 you get a good look at its face and… I wasn’t impressed. I’ll admit the effect was done well, but it was simply shown way too often.

5. He Dies at the End

Why it Made the List

I am a sucker for long drawn out shots of random objects. And this was directed quite well. Plus, I loved the subtitles to keep us from constantly watching the computer screen. And the tension was very well-built throughout the entire film.

The Downside

The ending. That is all.

4. Victim

Why it Made the List

Students films are either notoriously artistic or horrifyingly so. This strikes a balance between both. I like the close-up in and out of focus shots at the beginning and the sense of unease is well within its limits.

The Downside

It’s obviously a student film. A few too many shots that try too hard to be artistic with an end that seems to fizzle out visually.

3. Sleepover

Why it Made the List

This short film combined horror and comedy in a great way. Plus, it did something horror directors rarely move into–it brutally murdered a child. I have no idea why, but it made me love this film even more. It was directed well and starred Josh Feldman (Insidious), so it had a higher than normal budget for a short film.

The Downside

Having actors you recognize in a horror film can sometimes be off-putting if it’s supposed to be in a run-of-the mill setting smack in the center of suburbia (unless it’s Paris Hilton).

2. Click

Why it Made the List

Aside from no questions being answered as to why there is no one else around and it seems these kids are on their own, this film is simply brilliant. The establishing shots are perfect and the viewer has a sense of camaraderie with the kids. The biggest factor to me, however, is the fact that the viewer sees nothing. No monsters, no ghosts, no nothing. It’s just darkness. And nothing’s scarier than not knowing. 

The Downside

It was a tad drawn out in spots where quicker shots would have been more effective.

1. One Last Dive

Why it Made the List

Obviously I’ve talked about this film before, but it is my number one because it just sets such a dynamic scene. The lighting and tension are perfect and the ending is shocking and scary. I can forgive the jump scare in this one because it was more realistic than simply being there for shock value.

The Downside

There isn’t one.

One Last Dive

My search for the scariest has come up with some great short films as of late. But this one takes the cake. A contest based around the film The Conjuring called “The 3:07 AM Project,” has produced this gem.

Now this…this is an exceptional short film. Not only does the first person dive into murky waters at three in the morning make the viewer already feel claustrophobic and genuinely uncomfortable, but the director does an excellent job at the imagery. The lights perfectly reflect particles in the water to where you can’t see much outside the beam.

But what gets me the most is that baby stroller attached by a chain to a cinder block on the bottom of the lake. I got chills. The build up was flawless and the climax was amazing. I want more from this filmmaker!