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    15 Movies Too Disturbing To Watch All The Way Through

    Films are meant to give us an escape, but these films will make you step away for a while.

    There are some films out there with content so sad, graphic, or unsettling that it's a challenge for some people to watch them in their entirety.

    Arthur in "Joker"/Peter in "Hereditary"/Alex in "A Clockwork Orange"
    Warner Bros./A24/Warner Bros. / Via HBO Max/Youtube/HBO Max

    It takes a strong will and sometimes an iron stomach to see such films all the way through, but sometimes, people need to step out and process what they just watched. For this reason, let's dare to take a look at the Top 16 Films Too Disturbing to Watch in One Sitting.


    Given the context of this post and the question being answered, all of the films listed below are highly disturbing and contain various depictions of violence, torture, sexual assault, and death. Please proceed with caution, and take care of yourselves!

    15. The Human Centipede

    Katsuro in "The Human Centipede"
    Six Entertainment Company / Via

    The title alone says it all.

    14. Hereditary

    Peter sitting in class in "Hereditary"
    A24 / Via

    This modern classic follows a dysfunctional family haunted by an evil presence after their grandmother's death. While the film has many gruesome moments involving a lot of head stuff, much of the unsettling content comes from the characters themselves as they begin to break down and turn on each other. That dinner scene alone will make you buckle beneath your blanket.

    13. Joker

    Arthur Fleck dressed as The Joker in an elevator in "Joker"
    Warner Bros. / Via HBO Max

    While it is based on a comic book, this movie is no joke. Joker is a tragic retelling of the origins of Batman's greatest enemy, depicting him as a man wronged by society before transforming into the Clown Prince of Crime. Featuring an Oscar-winning performance by Joaquin Phoenix, this film effectively makes you sympathize with the Joker as it shows the sad world he grew up in. But with all that dreariness packed into a two-hour film, you may find yourself switching to an actual comedy halfway through before gathering the nerve to finish it all.

    12. Requiem for a Dream

    A woman in a red dress standing at a pier in "Requiem for a Dream"
    Artisan Entertainment / Via HBO Max

    This film is a dark trip into the horrors of drug addiction. Following four characters and their experiences with drugs, the audience is taken down some dreadful rabbit holes as the characters lose themselves to a variety of terrible misfortunes. From imprisonment to prostitution to shock therapy, our protagonists go through absolute hell until the very end, leaving them with no hope in sight.

    11. Cannibal Holocaust

    The film crew standing beneath a tree in the forest in "Cannibal Holocaust"
    United Artists Europa / Via

    Long before The Blair Witch Project brought the found-footage horror genre into the spotlight, Italian director Ruggero Deodato broke new ground with it thanks to his extreme and violent cannibal film. Depicting graphic acts of violence, abuse, and actual animal cruelty, this guerilla movie ended up getting banned in multiple countries. In fact, the film was so realistic that, along with obscenity charges, the director was arrested and accused of murdering his actors. While those claims were declared false, the fact the film was so convincing shows just how extremely terrifying it is.

    10. IrrĂŠversible

    Le Tenia cornering Alex in "IrrĂŠversible"
    Mars Distribution / Via

    Basically Memento on really bad acid, this film is a reverse-telling of how two men try to avenge the brutal assault of the woman they love. It's a graphic and intense movie featuring violent beatings and a minutes-long abuse scene that is difficult to sit through. As the title implies, it will be impossible to unsee what happens in this film — that is, if you watch it all the way to the end (or rather, the beginning).

    9. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

    The Masters and co. in "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom"
    United Artists / Via

    This horror art film is a journey through several circles of hell, as it's just two hours of four wealthy libertines abusing teenagers they've kidnapped. Salò takes a deep dive into the depths of human depravity, featuring many horrific and grotesque acts that won't be elaborated on here (though you won't eat chocolate ice cream the same way again). This entire film is a giant middle finger to humanity, and it's no surprise that it's still banned in several countries.

    8. A Clockwork Orange

    Alex and his "droogs" walking down by a lake in "A Clockwork Orange"
    Warner Bros. / Via HBO Max

    Abuse. Ultra-violence. Beethoven. These are the words that sum up this dystopian crime film. The story focuses on Alex, a young delinquent who engages in multiple acts of sexual and physical violence before he's ultimately imprisoned and reconditioned through the infamous Ludovico Technique. Understandably banned for its graphic content, this cult classic paints a brutal picture of humanity and society as a whole.

    7. Seven

    Mills and Somerset walking down a red-lit hallway in "Se7en"
    New Line Cinema / Via

    This thriller by David Fincher follows two detectives as they hunt down an unnamed serial killer who commits murders representing the Seven Deadly Sins. The murders themselves are particularly disturbing, and that infamous twist ending is enough to make you die a little inside.

    6. The Evil Dead

    Ash and Cheryl standing in front of his car's headlights in the dark in "The Evil Dead"
    New Line Cinema / Via

    In Sam Raimi's first major film, five college students travel to a cabin in the woods. There, they unknowingly unleash a demonic entity that possesses them one by one, leaving the protagonist, Ash, struggling to survive its reign of terror. Unrelenting in its graphic visuals, the film is a bloody and brutal nightmare that makes full use of its dark premise.

    5. The Passion of the Christ

    Jesus Christ standing in a cave in "The Passion of the Christ"
    Icon Productions / Via

    This biblical drama depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus's life as he is tortured and crucified. Mel Gibson's film is unrelenting in its gory content, as it portrays the day of Christ's death with utter brutality. This shocking depiction of Jesus's final day on Earth makes this movie a tough one to swallow.

    4. Antichrist

    Nic falling to the street in the snow in "Antichrist"
    Zentropa / Via

    Directed by avant-garde filmmaker Lars von Trier, this experimental horror flick depicts a married couple who travel to their cabin in the woods after the death of their infant son. It is there that the man has unsettling paranormal visions and the wife engages in some violent sexual behavior. Featuring graphic and unsimulated sex scenes, including one involving mutilation of certain body parts, this film isn't the kind of horror film you'd want to watch with your parents.

    3. The House That Jack Built

    Jack in "The House That Jack Built"
    Zentropa / Via

    Another Lars von Trier project, this film features a serial killer (who bears a frightening resemblance to Dwight Schrute) as he engages in many gruesome murders in the state of Washington. It's a horrifying and unsettling film that delves into the mind of a psychopath, and the way he butchers and disfigures his victims is enough to mess you up for days.

    2. The Exorcist (1973)

    Fathers Karras and Merrin standing by Regan in her floating bed in "The Exorcist"
    United Archives / FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images

    While this horror classic may not be considered tame to scary modern audiences, this film is not for the faint of heart. We all know the story of a little girl possessed by a demon and the two priests tasked with saving her. This film has many disturbing scenes that include the girl in question releasing bile and obscenities, spinning her head around like an owl, and doing the unspeakable with a crucifix. It's no wonder audiences in the '70s were traumatized by this film, and this was long before they got to see the scarier director's cut.

    1. Schindler's List

    The girl in the red dress walking with other Jewish people in "Schindler's List"
    Universal Pictures / Via

    Widely considered to be one of the greatest films in cinema history, Schindler's List follows the titular industrialist as he takes in Jewish refugees as factory workers to spare them from the Holocaust. E.T. director Steven Spielberg took the world by surprise with his horrifying and poignant depiction of one of the darkest moments in human history. With the film clocking in at 195 minutes, audiences will have to endure over three hours of watching the suffering of those who experienced Hell on Earth during World War II.

    Do you agree with this list? Were there any other films that we missed? Please let us know in the comments section below.