Image by Andreas Glöckner from Pixabay

Some of the best movies out there are the most challenging, even the most disturbing. What might disturb someone might not disturb another, but the films listed below are widely recognized for their ability to shock. If you ever want to feel helpless, just watch the subway scene in Irreversible.

If you want to watch a film that will make you recoil in disgust and make you evaluate humanity and your place in it, just watch the final third of Martyrs. Want more of an emotional gut punch? Grave of the Fireflies or Dancer in the Dark might be more your speed.

People shared their suggestions after Redditor ILikeEPTales asked the online community,

"What is the most disturbing movie you have ever watched?"

"It's about a widower..."

"Audition (1999)

A Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Miike.

It is about a widower whose son suggests that he should find a new wife. He agrees, and with a friend, stages a phony audition to meet a potential new life partner."


This movie switches gears in such a weird and unsettling way. Of course, this means it's time to rewatch it.

"It was an amazing..."

"American History X. It was an amazing movie but I'll never watch it again."


There's one scene in particular that everyone remembers and I agree––it's horrible, mostly for what you don't see.

"The music..."

"Requiem for a Dream. It's like this slow-spiraling train wreck into despair that you can't stop watching. The music really adds to it as well."


A movie I have been putting off rewatching for the longest time. However, there is no doubt that it is brilliant.

"I cannot say..."


An American black comedy directed by Todd Solondz.

The film portrays the lives of three sisters, their families, and those around them.

I cannot say more without ruining it. What I can say is that I watched this film with a group of 5 maybe 6 of my dearest friends and we had no expectations about it. We just heard it was good.

Afterward, we sat in silence for a very, very long time."


This movie is hilarious... and then it quickly finds way to make you disgusted. There's a certain scene between a father and his son near the end of the film that really got under my skin.

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"The lack of any music..."

"Zodiac. When he's stabbing the couple at Lake Berryessa. The lack of any music while hearing their screams is disturbing."


A classic sequence. Not for the faint of heart.

"The film concerns..."

"Blue Velvet (1986)

A neo-noir psychological thriller by the indomitable David Lynch.

The film concerns a young college student who, returning home to visit his ill father, discovers a severed human ear in a field that leads to him uncovering a vast criminal conspiracy."


I rewatched this recently and it was as brilliant as I remember. It's a moody masterpiece.

"That scene..."

"There's a scene from the movie The Road where the father and his son discover a room full of chained, naked people waiting to be eaten by the cannibals living in the house and then they run away and they get chased by the cannibals. That scene really traumatized me when I was young. I remember crying so hard when I watched that movie."


"The film focuses on..."

"Tideland (2005)

A fantasy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. It's an adaptation of the Mitch Cullin novel (also called Tideland).

Tideland centers on an abandoned child, Jeliza-Rose, and her solitary adventures during one summer in rural Texas while staying at a rundown farmhouse called What Rocks. The film focuses on the increasingly dark, imaginative fantasy life the girl creates with the aid of dismembered Barbie doll heads that she often wears on her fingertips."


"I watched..."

"I watched the 1980s The Blob way too early as a child and some of the scenes still bother me to this day. The practical effects in the film for the most part are spot on."


This is one of the few horror films out there that had no qualms about showing the death of a child and it still scares the hell out of me.

"It's a documentary..."

"Beyond the Curve.

It's a documentary about people that believe the Earth is flat. The belief that the Earth is flat is not the disturbing part (although, it is cringingly hard to watch). What is disturbing is learning that people will almost always choose their group's belief over direct evidence that their belief is incorrect."


Well? What's your favorite disturbing film? Or would you really rather not go down this rabbit hole? We totally understand if you don't.

Feel free to sound off in the comments below!

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