There are nights when I can’t sleep at all. Though I always keep Ambien in my house for nights like these, my taste for morbid, twisted horror fiction often leads me to a late-night indulgence in movies that many would term downright disturbing, scary and hellish or to say the least, will f*ck with your mind for a long time!
53 Most Disturbing Movies to Watch in 2021
I’m not easily revolted, but gosh some of the movies I’ve watched over the years made me ask “wtf is wrong with these filmmakers?” So indulge in this list of over 50 movies that will totally mess with your mind. And if you have a heart made of steel check out these movies that actually killed their viewers.
1. The Crucible (1996)
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Arthur Miller(play)
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield
Synopsis: Within the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, the town chief, Reverend Parris, finds his girl Betty, niece Abigail, and other young ladies dancing in the woodland with his slave Tituba.
Betty swoons in fright at being found and remains unconscious. Rumours of witchcraft spread through the town and a huge crowd gather at Parris’s house whereas Parris, apprehensive around his reputation, questions Abigail approximately what the young ladies were doing within the woodland. Abigail says they were dancing, it is later discovered that Tituba was attempting to summon dead spirits.
2. The Seasoning House (2012)
Director: Paul Hyett
Writers: Paul Hyett, Conal Palmer, Adrian Rigelsford
Stars: Rosie Day, Sean Pertwee, Kevin Howarth
Synopsis: Angel, a young lady who is constrained to work in a house that specializes in providing captured ladies forced into the sex exchange to different military personnel. A deaf and mute vagrant quietly plots a bright and brutal vindicate on the soldiers who prostitute girls.
3. Bone Tomahawk (2015)
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Writer: S. Craig Zahler
Stars: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox
Synopsis: Within the Old West, a sheriff (Kurt Russell), his appointee (Richard Jenkins), a gunslinger (Matthew Fox), and a cowboy (Patrick Wilson) set out on a mission to protect three individuals from a savage gather of cave dwellers.
4. The Grudge (2020)
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Writers: Nicolas Pesce
Stars: Tara Westwood, Junko Bailey, David Lawrence Brown
Synopsis: A Detective explores a murder scene that features an association to a case that her new accomplice handled previously. The killings happened in a haunted house that passes on a ghostly curse to those who set out to enter it. Before long, the revile spreads to a terminally ill lady and her spouse, and another clueless couple who were within the off-base put at the wrong time.
5. A Serbian Film (2011)
Director: Srđan Spasojević
Writers: Aleksandar Radivojević, Srđan Spasojević
Stars: Srđan Todorović, Sergej Trifunović, Jelena Gavrilović, Slobodan Beštić, Katarina Žutić
Synopsis: In our list, this movie makes the first place for a reason, the story revolves around the life of a retired p*rn star who is looking for a job. Finally, he gets the job to produce a p*rn movie. However, he is found involved in acts that are insanely disturbing such as having anal sex with all the characters and brutally killing them.
6. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Director: Ruggero Deodato
Writers: Gianfranco Clerici(story and screenplay), Giorgio Stegani, (additional dialogue: Italian version)
Stars: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen
Synopsis: This movie will surely give you goosebumps, Cannibal Holocaust is about a film crew who lost their way in the lush green Amazon rainforest and were never found. The rescue team failed to find the bodies of the crew members. Instead, what they found were gruesome clips containing extreme acts of violence. Surely, not a movie for the faint-hearted.
7. Begotten (1990)
Director: E. Elias Merhige
Writers: E. Elias Merhige
Stars: Brian Salzburg, Donna Dempsey, Stephen Charles Barry
Synopsis: This movie is all about 30 mins of extreme disturbance and “oh what the f*ck” moments with no dialogues at all. A weird figure is shown tied up, who is actually God himself, he disembowels himself and tears himself piece by piece, after which suddenly a female character comes out of him and starts to rub God’s penis and take the semen. That female figure is supposedly the mother earth who then gets impregnated and gives birth to a child. The child is then attacked by nomads and vomits some sort of round object which the nomads keep safely. We seriously have no idea who’s brainchild this SH*T is and what were they thinking when creating this ugly mess.
8. Antichrist (2009)
Director: Lars von Trier
Writer: Lars von Trier
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm
Synopsis: The film “Antichrist” is based on a Danish experimental film. This disturbing movie portrays immense sadness that will leave its footprints on your mind for a long period of time. The story of this horrifying film revolves around a couple, who are struggling with the death of their son. They go to a secluded cabin, looking for some solace but shockingly, they start representing predatory sexual behaviour and masochism in a weird turn of events. Suffice to say, it’s the kind of movie that escapes normal description.
9. The Human Centipede: The First Sequence (2010)
Director: Tom Six
Writer: Tom Six
Stars: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie
Synopsis: The story of this movie revolves around a mad German Scientist, who kidnaps three foreigners to do some grotesque human experiments. What are the experiments like? Well, the scientist pulls out their teeth, rips out their knee caps and attaches their anus to the other’s mouth to fulfill his deranged fantasy to make a human centipede. Sounds pleasant, right?
10. Ichi the Killer (2001)
Director: Takashi Miike
Writers: Sakichi Sato(screenplay) Hideo Yamamoto(manga)
Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ômori, Shin’ya Tsukamoto
Synopsis: This movie is actually an adaptation of a manga series of the same name by Hideo Yamamoto. The plot follows the violent Yakuza through the eyes of Ichi, who becomes aroused when he is infuriated. The movie is so disturbing that the cinemas handed out vomit bags when it was on screen (TRUE STORY). It’s claimed that many people fainted watching the movie and it has been banned in several countries.
11. In My Skin (2002)
Director: Marina de Van
Writer: Marina de Van
Stars: Marina de Van, Laurent Lucas, Léa Drucker
Synopsis: The movie is about a girl who gets into a strange kind of obsession with her bruise after she gets injured. She keeps on carrying on this self-destructive behaviour with a piece of metal and becomes so obsessed that she starts feeding off her day in and day out. The movie is insanely weird getting to a point where it really gets hard to carry on watching it.
12. Happiness (1998)
Director: Todd Solondz
Writer: Todd Solondz
Stars: Jane Adams, Jon Lovitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Synopsis: The story of this disgusting movie revolves around a dysfunctional family, where the father casually tells his son that he raped two of his pals, but gives surety that he would never rape him. How thoughtful of you, dad.
13. Aftermath (1994)
Director: Nacho Cerdà
Writer: Nacho Cerdà
Stars: Pep Tosar, Jordi Tarrida, Ángel Tarris
Synopsis: Have you ever seen post mortem? If you are going to watch this movie, don’t forget to keep a vomit bag with you. The movie begins with a scene of a graphic autopsy of a body and soon takes a turn to stomach-turning imagery. The amount of depravity showed, coupled with necrophilia is unspeakable. Even though this movie is only 30-minutes long, it will certainly leave a bad taste in your mouth for a long time. Of course, it is almost impossible to watch these movies with your family. However, if you are looking for family-friendly horror movies, you can check this blog.
14. Audition (1999)
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Daisuke Tengan
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina
Synopsis: This is a movie especially produced for those who get a kick out of senseless torture and violence just for the heck of it. The story revolves around a person “Shigeharu Aoyama” a widower, who is looking for a new wife. For this, he plans a casting call for a movie that is never going to happen and soon falls in love with “Asami Yamazaki.” What happens next will probably be you telling yourself why you decided to watch this filth in the first place.
15. Nekromantik (1987)
Director: Jörg Buttgereit
Writers: Jörg Buttgereit, Franz Rodenkirchen
Stars: Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski, Harald Lundt
Synopsis: This movie is almost unbearable to watch since it is full of extremely disturbing scenes and not everyone can endure such disturbing content. The story is about a road cleaner, who takes a dead body to his home and asks his girlfriend to have sex with it. Wait what? The creepiness doesn’t end here. What follows will make you throw up. Don’t blame me if you lose your appetite for a few days after watching this.
16. Dogtooth (2009)
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers: Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos
Stars: Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Angeliki Papoulia
Synopsis: Man, I am telling you, this movie is impossible to watch. The story revolves around three siblings, who are rarely allowed to go out of their house by their dysfunctional parents unless their dogtooth falls out. You will see the three siblings being tortured in quite a few creative ways. It makes you wonder, “couldn’t the director do something better with all that creativity”?
17. Irreversible (2002)
Director/Writer: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel
Synopsis: Despite featuring one of the hottest female actors of all time “Monica Bellucci”, this movie is said to be the most ‘walked out’ film of all time. It focuses on two Parisian men, Marcus, and Pierre, who are on a mission to avenge Alex, Marcus’s current girlfriend, and Pierre’s former love, who was brutally raped.
18. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1957)
Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Writers: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sergio Citti
Stars: Paolo Bonacelli, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle, Aldo Valletti, Caterina Boratto, Elsa De Giorgi, Hélène Surgère, Sonia Saviange, Inès Pellegrini
Synopsis: The title of the movie says it all. This movie is a screenplay of a book written by Marquis de Sade. The story revolves around four wealthy Italian men who kidnap 18 teenagers and put them into a life of perversion and inhumanity. This movie has all the creepiest things that most normal and sane humans among us avoid, including sadism, sexual depravity, and horrific murders.
19. I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
Director: Meir Zarchi
Writer: Meir Zarchi
Stars: Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace
Synopsis: If you have a stomach strong enough to completely watch this movie, your mind may spit out a thought “What the f*ck did I just watch”. The story revolves around a female author who gets raped by five random men for no reason. However, the movie does not end here. After the rape, the woman takes her sweet revenge on the four men. And by sweet, I mean she cuts off their penises and continues on in a way that I won’t describe here. Surely one of the most disturbing movies to watch.
20. Dabbe 6 (2015)
Director: Hasan Karacadag
Writers: Yasar Al, Hasan Karacadag
Stars: Elcin Atamgüc, Damla Aydinli, Ömer Duran
Synopsis: A young girl witnesses the murder of her mother by gigantic black-faced beings.
21. Dabbe: The Possession (2013)
Director: Hasan Karacadag
Writer: Hasan Karacadag
Stars: Yusuf Bedirhan Arslan, Elcin Atamgüc, Muhammed Yasir Berkli
Synopsis: Turkish horror film directed and written by Hasan Karacadağ, a bride gets possessed after her wedding. Her friend, a psychiatrist tries to perform an exorcism, which leads to even more gruesome events.
22. Caligula (1979)
Director: Tinto Brass
Writers: Gore Vidal (adapted from an original screenplay by), Malcolm McDowell (additional dialogue), Masolino D’Amico
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Peter O’Toole, Helen Mirren
Synopsis: The film focuses on the rise and fall of the eponymous Roman Emperor Caligula, it’s a historical erotic drama.
23. Martyrs (2008)
Director: Pascal Laugier
Writer: Pascal Laugier
Stars: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin
Synopsis: Two girls who faced abuse as children set on a journey to take revenge, only to end up stuck in a hell of depravity.
24. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Stars: Susan Lanier, Robert Houston, John Steadman
Synopsis: A family gets stranded in the arid Southwest Californian desert, unfortunately, a merciless cannibal spots them, you can guess the rest.
25. The Green Inferno (2015)
Director: Eli Roth
Writers: Eli Roth, Guillermo Amoedo
Stars: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Magda Apanowicz, Sky Ferreira, Nicolás Martinez, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Ramón Llao, Richard Burgi
Synopsis: Hardly anyone survives a plane crash, but Justine and Alejandro are the two passengers who do… but to their surprise, they are kidnapped by a cannibalistic tribe.
26. The Woman (2011)
Director: Lucky McKee
Writers: Jack Ketchum (based on: their novel), Lucky McKee (based on: their novel)
Stars: Pollyanna McIntosh, Brandon Gerald Fuller, Lauren Ashley Carter
Synopsis: A lawyer captures the last member of a violent clan and tries to tame her while putting his family in danger.
27. Bite (2016)
Director: Chad Archibald
Writers: Chad Archibald, Jayme Laforest
Stars: Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Denise Yuen, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers, Barry Birnberg, Daniel Klimitz, Tianna Nori, Caroline Palmer
Synopsis: When a mosquito or an insect bites you, you don’t give much thought to it, but the case here is very different. This bite transforms a lady into an insect-like creature that requires human flesh to lay her eggs.
28. From Beyond (1986)
Director: Stuart Gordon
Writers: H.P. Lovecraft (short story), Brian Yuzna (adaptation), Dennis Paoli (adaptation)
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel
Synopsis: An obsessive scientist tries to go into a different dimension, when he successfully does so, the creatures in that dimension kill him. The blame for his murder is on his assistant, Dr. Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs). Psychiatrist Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) and detective Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree) take the case and risk going into the other dimension to solve the case.
29. Brain Dead (1990)
Director: Adam Simon
Writers: Charles Beaumont (screenplay), Adam Simon(screenplay)
Stars: Bill Pullman, Bill Paxton, Bud Cort
Synopsis: A scientist that is deeply involved in the working of the mind and why it malfunctions. However, to save himself he taps deep into his mind to save himself from a megalomaniacal corporation.
30. Dead Alive (1992)
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Stephen Sinclair(story), Fran Walsh(screenplay), Peter Jackson(screenplay)
Stars: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody
Synopsis: Lionel (Timothy Balme) visits the zoo where his mother accidentally gets bitten by a Sumatran rat monkey, turning her into a zombie.
31. Slither (2006)
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Stars: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker
Synopsis: It’s a black comedy set up in a small town with a dash of horror, the film pays tribute to the science fiction genre.
32. Ilsa She Wolf of the SS (1975)
Director: Don Edmonds
Writers: Jonah Royston, John C.W. Saxton
Stars: Dyanne Thorne, Gregory Knoph, Tony Mumolo
Synopsis: A lustful Nazi camp commander matches the sadistic nature of Ilsa, while she tries to prove women can withstand more pain than men and demands them to be on the frontline of the wars.
33. Guinea Pig Flower of Flesh and Blood (1985)
Synopsis: The film’s storyline revolves around a man dressed as a Samurai who drugs and kidnaps a woman and goes on to take her to his home, where he dismembers her and adds her body parts to a collection.
34. August Underground (2001)
Director: Fred Vogel
Writers: Allen Peters, Fred Vogel
Stars: Kyle Dealman, Casey Eganey, Dan Friedman
Synopsis: A serial killer is out on the hunt to kidnap and kill innocent people, while his friend films and photographs the bodies.
35. Naked Blood (1996)
Director: Hisayasu Satô
Writer: Taketoshi Watari
Stars: Misa Aika, Yumika Hayashi, Mika Kirihara
Synopsis: According to AllMovie, it “contains one of the most appalling scenes in Japanese horror.” The story revolves around a scientist who creates a drug that turns pain into pleasure and also increases a person’s threshold to pain. the drug is called “MySon.”
36. Man Bites Dog (1993)
Directors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde
Writers: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde, Vincent Tavier
Stars: Benoît Poelvoorde, Rémy Belvaux, Jenny Drye, Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert, Malou Madou, André Bonzel
Synopsis: A film crew joins a heartless killer to document his activities, the crew begins wondering if what they’re doing is such a good idea, particularly when the killer kills a rival and the rival’s brother sends a threatening letter.
37. Tusk (2014)
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Stars: Justin Long, Michael Parks, Haley Joel Osment
Synopsis: An American podcaster is fascinated by an old man who lives deep in the jungles of Canada and wants to interview him. This old person has a mysterious past and it is discovered that he has a dark secret involving a walrus.
38. Slaughtered Vomit Dolls (2006)
Director: Lucifer Valentine
Writer: Lucifer Valentine
Stars: Ameara Lavey, Pig Lizzy, Maja Lee
Synopsis: A 19-year old girl runs away, making a living as a stripper and a prostitute until she goes down the hellish pit of satanic nightmares and hallucinations.
39. The Girl Next Door (2007)
Director: Gregory Wilson
Writers: Daniel Farrands (screenplay), Philip Nutman (screenplay), Jack Ketchum(book)
Stars: William Atherton, Blythe Auffarth, Blanche Baker
Synopsis: A teen girl is tormented badly by her caretaker who further invites the boys from the neighbourhood to further abuse her.
40. Voyage to Agatis (2010)
Director: Marian Dora
Writers: Marian Dora, Adrian D’Angelo (idea)
Stars: Thomas Goersch, Tatjana Lommel, Janna Lisa Dombrowsky
Synopsis: A wealthy couple lures a prostitute to join them on a yachting cruise, you’d think they’d get involved in activities of a perverted nature which they do. But as the sun goes down, the couple abuses and humilities the prostitute.
41. Grotesque (2009)
Director: Kôji Shiraishi
Writer: Kôji Shiraishi(screenplay)
Stars: Kotoha Hiroyama, Hiroaki Kawatsure, Shigeo Ôsako
Synopsis: It’s a Japanese exploitation film, a doctor kidnaps a couple forcing them to compete for survival by tormenting each other.
42. Found (2012)
Director: Scott Schirmer
Writers: Todd Rigney (based on the novel by) Scott Schirmer (screenplay)
Stars: Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis Munro
Synopsis: A bullied & shy boy takes refuge in horror movies when one fine day he discovers his brother is a serial killer as he discovers a human head in his closet.
43. Visitor Q/Bijitâ Q (2001)
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Itaru Era
Stars: Ken’ichi Endô, Shungiku Uchida, Kazushi Watanabe
Synopsis: A stranger befriends a dysfunctional family, where the father is a perverted film producer, the son is being bullied constantly and the daughter is a prostitute. The stranger helps them to find redemption.
44. The Exorcist (1973)
Director: William Friedkin
Writer: William Peter Blatty(written for the screen by)
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
Synopsis: While playing on the Ouija board a young girl displays bizarre behaviour, her mother consults two priests who find out that she is possessed by multiple demonic entities.
45. Inside (2016)
Directors: Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo
Stars: Béatrice Dalle, Alysson Paradis
Synopsis: A predatory stranger becomes obsessed with the unborn baby of a pregnant lady, going to any length to steal her baby on Christmas Eve.
46. Eraserhead (1977)
Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Stars: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph
Synopsis: Henry discovers that a fling from the past is pregnant and decides to accept the baby, but things take an unusual turn when a lizard-like baby is born.
47. The ABCs of Death (2012)
Directors: Kaare Andrews (segment V is for Vagitus), Angela Bettis (segment E is for Exterminate), Hélène Cattet(segment O is for Orgasm)
Writers: Ant Timpson(based on a nightmare by), Nacho Vigalondo(segment A is for Apocalypse), Adrian Garcia Bogliano(segment B is for Bigfoot)
Stars: Ingrid Bolsø Berdal(voice), Iván GonzálezKyra Zagorsky
Synopsis: 26 directors from all over the world connect to, write 26 ways to die, each corresponding to a different letter of the alphabet.
48. The Last House on the Left (2009)
Director: Dennis Iliadis
Writers: Adam Alleca(screenplay), Carl Ellsworth(screenplay), Wes Craven(earlier film)
Stars: Garret Dillahunt, Monica Potter, Tony Goldwyn
Synopsis: A group of strangers is well received by a family on a rainy night, they are unaware that they are at the house of the girl that they just assaulted. With no tension in mind, the group relaxes only to find themselves in the worst and painful situations.
49. Incident in a Ghostland (2018)
Director: Pascal Laugier
Writer: Pascal Laugier
Stars: Crystal Reed, Mylène Farmer, Anastasia Phillips
Synopsis: 16 years after a murder is conducted in a house, a woman inherits it. The woman along with her daughters head to the house only to realize things will take a scary turn.
50. Enter the Void (2009)
Director: Gaspar Noé
Writers: Gaspar Noé, Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Stars: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy
Synopsis: A psychological journey of a drug addict as a soul when he is shot by the cops. He witnesses his childhood, parents and other memories.
51. Trainspotting (1996)
Director: Danny Boyle
Writers: Irvine Welsh (based on the novel by), John Hodge (screenplay)
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
Synopsis: Renton a young drug addict moves to London to mend his ways but is soon pulled back to his old habits by his friends.
52. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stanley Kubrick (screenplay), Anthony Burgess (novel)
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
Synopsis: Alex agrees to reduce his sentence by volunteering for a scientific experiment run by the government, but things don’t go as planned.
53. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writers: Hubert Selby Jr. (based on the book by), Darren Aronofsky (screenplay)
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly
Synopsis: The film is really an anxiety trip, a mother who is addicted to a self-help TV show, her son is into drugs trying to make it big in the world to become a dealer while his girlfriend who could have a bright future is strangled into the drug life.
Have more recommendations for the most disturbing movies? why not add your suggestions in the comments below!! and let everyone know.