People Share The Films That Are Genuinely Traumatic
Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

A little over a decade ago, I decided to sit down and watch A Serbian Film. The film was highly controversial. I'd heard that the content was revolting.

Some people found it a genuinely disturbing horror film. Others thought it was over the top, comprised of worthless shock value.

Let's just say that there is life before A Serbian Film and life after it. You might want to stick with the Wikipedia entry for that one.

Not since watching Men Behind the Sun was I so disturbed.

Traumatic watch? Absolutely.


People shared their suggestions after Redditor trufk asked the online community:

"Which movie is genuinely traumatic?"

Lorenzo's Oil (1992)

"Lorenzo's Oil is a hard film to watch because it's about a child who's dying of an incurable genetic disorder, it sticks pretty closely to the medical facts of the case it's based on, and it unfolds from the parents' point of view. Harrowing stuff even though the story isn't totally bleak and it was nominated for awards."

doublestitch

Susan Sarandon received a Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards for her role in the film.

Ghost Ship (2002)

"The movie itself probably isn't but when I was a kid and saw the wire scene from Ghost Ship I was pretty traumatized."

peachpinkjedi

Possibly the best ever opening scene of a genuinely dumb movie.

I honestly remember virtually nothing else about the movie.

Kids (1995)

"Kids. I thought this was going to be a cool edgy teen movie to watch when I was 13 or 14. After it was over all I wanted to do was take a shower and go to church."

xandrenia

I loved this movie but I have not revisited it in years. The final scene scarred me.

Threads (1984)

"Threads. This is the most terrifying movie I have ever seen. It refuses to turn away from the parts of nuclear war that every other movie glosses over. Absolutely, compellingly awful to contemplate."

HarambeKilledEpstein

Carl Sagan was involved with it, as well as a bunch of scientists. Someone needs to sit the leaders with nuclear weapons at their disposal down Clockwork Orange style to watch it.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

"Grave of the Fireflies. Everything about this movie is a true work of art. The story, metaphors with the candy, the brutal, absolutely horrifying ending."

"Even the poster for the film is traumatic. If you lighten it up, you see that the fireflies aren't actually fireflies, but firebombs being dropped by planes in the middle of the night."

RichardTM

It will always be too soon to view this film again. I loved it... but wow.

Trainspotting (1996)

"Trainspotting. I thought Robert Carlyle was a true life psycho. Was surprised to see him in The Full Monty playing a somewhat normal person."

upsidedownchair

An amazing film adaptation of a brilliant book. And yes, traumatic in quite a few respects.

Come and See (1985)

"Come and See. Saw this recently, I was in tears bawling by the end of the barn scene. That movie does such a great job of combining fear, hopelessness, surrealism, historical accuracy and all-too-real horror. It traumatized me for a few days after seeing it."

Kalashacough

It’s such a weird and horrifying film. There’s something about the way it’s shot and structured — the story makes sense but everything seems slightly incoherent and dream-like. It’s like we’re watching how this traumatized kid sees the world.

Event Horizon (1997)

"I watched Event Horizon as a 15 year old who had been left alone for the weekend for the first time at about 11pm on a Saturday night. That was over 20 years ago and I'm still not really over it."

Grenache

It's impossible to watch this movie without thinking about the Hell scene. I still get shivers.

American History X (1998)

"American History X. That entire movie is painful to watch, I love it but it's so depressing, especially THAT scene, you know the one."

CatApostropheX

This movie is devastating. And yes, THAT scene chilled me to the bone.

Martyrs (2008)

"Martyrs. Nope nope nope. Even the Wikipedia entry on that one stayed with me."

dkat

This is the kind of movie that would convince your friends to never let you pick a horror movie again.

The Green Inferno (2013)

"The Green Inferno. The cannibals felt authentic and the dismemberments way to realistic."

[deleted]

Ohhhh... don't get me started on Cannibal Holocaust (which this film borrows from heavily).

Watch some of these at your own risk. If you have certain triggers, you might be in for difficult viewings.

Have some recommendations of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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