The 13 Most Brutal Horror Films

A list of the 13 best horror movies ever made is on its way, but for now I wanted to bring this list to the masses. Of all the horror flicks I’ve ever seen, here is the 13 most atrocious, brutal, unforgiving, appalling, vicious, and straight up blood soaked mainstream films. I do not condone all of these films because some, if not most, of them are just plain wrong, and are only going to be appreciated by those who can also appreciate an artist’s expression of free speech. This list is here to either give horror hounds some extra films to check out or to warn others to avoid these films at all costs. These are ranked 1-13 with the most brutal towards the top. Consider yourself warned.

1) I Spit on your Grave (1978) – This movie and The Last House on the Left are often grouped together because of their similarities involving long drawn out rape scenes at the beginning and ultra violent revenge killings at the end. The only difference is I Spit on your Grave’s rape scene is about 30 minutes long involving 5 men and 3 or 4 different encounters, it seems like it is never ending, and I could only take so much before I started fast-forwarding through it. It is literally the longest gang rape scene of any non-pornographic film, and it shouldn’t be watched by anyone. My friends and I were like, “OK, we get it.” I have read that Roger Ebert thinks this is the most disturbing movie he as ever watched, which is hard for me to believe but certainly not outside the realm of possibility. There is nothing too envelope pushing as far as violence is concerned except for a castration scene at the end, but she certainly gets her revenge as hinted in its original title “Day of the Woman.” A remake just came out and the filmmakers did what I figured they would do which is shorten and tone down the rape scene, and lengthen and turn up the violence. Don’t watch this, but if you must, don’t watch in front of anyone who you don’t want thinking you’re a twisted SOB.

2) Cannibal Holocaust (1980) – This one is pretty notorious in horror circles and it lived up to my expectations. This movie was filmed with a pretty low budget and this is why the director killed several living animals on scene to save money, which is one of most controversial parts of the movie. The rest of the film is a super realistic look into cannibalistic savages and how they live. A naive group of filmmakers venture into the savages lives to make a documentary and group rape/murder ensues. No one could get away with this type of film today. The deaths on scene look so real that the director actually got arrested for making a snuff film, but got released when he proved it was not real. This is also possibly the first movie to use the “found film footage” story line used by films such as The Blair Witch Project.

3) The Last House on the Left (1970) – This is one of Wes Cravens first films and probably his best work despite the fact that it’s quite unsettling. This cautionary tale is one that has inspired 100's of films. It was created to try and keep kids away from drugs by showing them a worst-case scenario, and it did a pretty good job because this film is very disturbing. The beginning has a pretty lengthy rape scene and brutal murders, then continues with more revenge motivated torture by the parents of the girls who were killed at the beginning. The remake of this film is one of my favorite horror movies of all time, but the original is a little much, because like I Spit on your Grave, there is about 45 minutes of women being brutalized which is terrible to watch.

4) Martyrs (2008) – Wow. You know a movie is going to be difficult to watch when the director apologizes for the gruesomeness of the film before it starts. Literally the director was like, “Sorry about this movie…” before it started. The whole thing is so over the top violent it is guaranteed to make the most experienced horror veterans cringe, and it does this in a way only French filmmakers can. Nothing but non-stop violence that leads up to an ending that will haunt your dreams. Good times.

5) Inside (2007) - The French don't play around when they make horror movies. They had to have spent 25 grand on fake blood alone during the filming of Inside. You will be hard pressed to find any American slasher film as consistently gory as this one from start to finish, and that's a pretty bold statement. I hate to call this a good movie, but it's a good movie. It has a good plot with an angle that most other horror films don't have, and it draws you in and keeps you interested with characters you care about from really talented and popular (in France) actors. There are not many horror films, except for Rosemary’s Baby, where the main character/victim is pregnant, and I think it makes it all the more disturbing. The whole movie is very brutal with a large body count where each death is shown with painful realism, and it only gets worse until it climaxes with a scene of bloody awfulness. Inside is certainly not for everyone specifically not for those who are pregnant. This movie is largely amplified by Beatrice Dalle who gives the most amazingly creepy performance by an attractive woman I have ever seen.

6) The Hills Have Eyes (2006) – I saw this movie FOUR times in theatres because I kept dragging friends and relitives to it which is a number beaten only by Ocean’s 11 (because Ocean’s 11 is the perfect date movie) and everytime I viewed The Hills Have Eyes in the theaters there were always several people who walked out of the movie during one particular scene. If you have seen this movie, you can probably guess the scene; it’s where two horribly disfigured men go into the trailer and rape one daughter while the other daughter watches as one man points a gun at her baby, and outside the father of the group is getting burned alive on a cross. This Wes Craven remake was directed by Frenchman Alexandre Aja who directed High Tension. This movie is the perfect horror movie on so many levels because not only does it have a GREAT cast, and an amazing story with an insane amout of justified gore, but the antagonists are all people with huge physical deformities which basically turns them into monsters , and a lot of people are terifired by their looks alone. That’s why this movie hits so hard.

7) Saw 3 (2006) – The first Saw is hands down the best of the series, but the only other film of the franchise worth mentioning is Saw 3 because it is SO violent. I think people die in WAY worse ways in this film than any of the others, especially the guy who’s arms and legs slowly got twisted until his bones broke apart, and when they do surgery on Jigsaw’s head and blood is spraying all over the place, then the shotgun goes off on that one dude, and it’s like BLOUUUU, and blood's like SPLAAAATTTT. If Michael Bay where to direct a horror movie, it would be a lot like Saw 3.

8) Chaos (2005) – This is a super lame remake of The Last House on the Left. It’s called Chaos because that is the name of the main killer. Sylvester Stallone’s son is in this movie, which is kind of funny, and he does an ok job. This is self-proclaimed “The most brutal film ever made” which of course it is definitely not. There are only two scenes that make you want to turn away, involving a knife, which are over the top but they're not very long. I won’t go into it, but it’s bad enough to make this list. At the beginning of the movie we are told that Chaos is so brutal so it will act as a cautionary tail to parents and rebellious teenagers, which is ridiculous because your average concerned parent is not going to want to watch this movie. They would probably throw up all over the place, and try to destroy the DVD player. Overall it is a 100% copy of the plot of Last House on the Left, as everyone already knows. Not really fun to watch. 90 percent of the movie consists of 2 girls being brutalized by overpowering white-trash murdering rapists. Um, there you have it.

9) Blood Sucking Freaks (1978) – This movie is totally 70’s cheese, but it’s almost non-stop torture from beginning to end. It’s about a traveling show that performs tails of the macabre, only what they do on stage is real. Spooky stuff.

10) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
– This sequel is not as good as the first, but I think it is more disturbing and demented than the first, and that is saying a lot, because The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the father of the modern horror film.

11) Funny Games (2007) - If this movie doesn’t make you want to buy a gun, I don’t know what will. Funny Games leaves you unsure if you liked it, or hated it. A wealthy, normal, happy family of 3 gets terrorized and held hostage in their summer home by two high-class preppy young men. You will get mad as you watch, and the goal of the movie is to make you feel uncomfortable, and it does a good job of that. The reason this movie is so brutal is because it’s a couple and a young boy getting terrorized for the entire movie and there is nothing the family can do to save themselves. It makes you wish you could walk into the movie, save the family and kick these preppy dudes assess; but you can’t. Then to make it worse, towards the end the mother of the family is able to grab a shotgun and kill one of the bad guys, then the other bad guy grabs a TV remote and rewinds the movie back so he can stop her from grabbing the shotgun. This movie will seriously piss you off, as the director toys with you just as much as the killers toy with the family. Tim Roth and Naomi Watts do a great job of making it real. There are two versions of this film, one German and one American, both by the same director, and other than the actors and language they are the exact same film.

12) Event Horizon (1997) – Two words… Blood Orgy. This is in my top five favorite horror films of any subgenre, and it has scenes that have made the longest lasting impressions on me of any film from my childhood. I remember the first time I watched this, and it still evokes the same emotions when I watch it today. This is the only movie that paints a scarier picture of hell than Hellraiser 2.

13) House of 1000 Corpses (2003) – I just want to say off the bat that I absolutely hate this movie. Basically it's about a family who kidnaps, tortures, and kills random people who they encounter. The main characters are a group of cliché, shallow college kids who are traveling across country and are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Everything you see in the movie including the plot, the characters, and setting is all taken from other horror movies, most obviously The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and TCM 2. It even has the same actor who played the villain in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. The ending, where we meet the “cleverly” named Dr. Satan, is a bizarre nightmarish sequence that is too lame, fake, and macabre to be good. Everything Zombie has ever done, film wise, is a remake of other films; at least with Halloween he gives the originals credit. All differences aside, this movie is quite brutal as it tries hard to pay homage to other horror films, and it does make it seem like you’re watching a nightmare play out.

Freakshow (2007) – This is not officially a part of this list because I didn’t want to promote it in that way, however, the last 20 minutes of this remake of the 1932 film Freaks is honestly the most horrific thing I have ever seen, and I’m not sure if I’d watch it again for $1000. The rest of the movie would be PG at most.

Splice (2009) – This “non-horror” wins the award for “the most awkward visit to the movies anyone will ever make.” LOL. This movie is so screwed up. Let me sum it up for you in a nutshell. Two scientists who are in a relationship create a half animal half human, thing. This thing grows up as a female with no hair and a tail. It matures and is kept hidden as it eats cats, and grows in strength. The woman scientist starts to dress up the animal woman in human clothes to make it feel more normal. One day the man scientist comes to feed the thing when “she” seduces him with dancing. (It can’t speak English by the way). This is when I jokingly say into my friends ear, “ What if they just started banging it out?” Then... they start having sex. Now this is Adrien Brody, I remind you, having sex with a human beast which he raised as a child. Then toward orgasm the thing spreads skin covered wings and flaps them. The woman scientists walks in on this. Instead of IT getting pregnate from the sexual intercourse it changes sexes and become a male which goes on to rape the female scientist. I can’t imagine watching this movie with anyone other than my buddies. I’d rather watch Red Show Diaries with my grandparents. SO awkward, especially since the previews make no inclination that the movie will be taken in this direction.

There you have it. It feels good to get those movies off my chest. Feel free to hit me up with any feedback or questions, and in the words of John Cusack from 1408, "Stay Scared."

Always dream, always create,
Stephen Martin

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