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36 Of The Most Brutal Movie Scenes People Have Ever Watched

Good luck making it through this whole list.

Have you ever watched a movie and had to leave the room because the scene was simply too hard to keep watching? Well, Reddit user u/Organic-Connection-4 recently asked people, "What are the most brutal, hardest to watch movie scenes?" Here are some of the best responses (please read at your own discretion; some of this content is very upsetting):

🚨Warning: Spoilers and very upsetting and brutal content ahead. 🚨 

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

1. "I’ve seen Zodiac several times, but the murder scene by the lake always throws me for a loop. The sheer noise of their screaming is just so very cold and horrifying. It leaves me speechless just thinking about it!"

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2. "Charlie's death in Hereditary. The way Peter stops the car after her death and then continues home in shock and goes up to his bedroom. Then, the camera continuing to focus on him as you hear the sounds of his parents getting ready for work, then the blood curdling scream and sobbing of his mother. It's just a master class in building a sense of dread. I've used the word 'dreadful' to describe that movie to people so many times, and I always have to explain that I'm not meaning bad, but literally filled with a sense of dread."

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3. "Saving Private Ryan, when the German soldier is stabbing the American soldier slowly whilst 'shhhhh'-ing him."

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4. "The shift from encouragement to frustration and anger and finally to desperation during The Neverending Story when Atreyu's horse, Artax, dies in the swamp. I recently read something on Reddit about how that scene depicts depression (Artax sinking into the mud) and how even despite their efforts, others can't always save you. Hearing it in those terms was really eye-opening."

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5. "The way the camera pans away during the sexual assault scene in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and you feel the palpable relief at not having to see it, but then the camera starts slowly drawing closer to the room and shows you the horrifying scene in full brutally. Absolutely, masterfully done. The revenge was so deserved."

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Sony Pictures Releasing / youtube.com

6. "The most disturbing scene in The Road was when the father prepared to kill his own son to spare him from a fate worse than death, knowing that if they were caught, he would most likely be raped and enslaved."

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7. "The scene in Climax where the girl gets kicked in the stomach. I saw it at a limited cinema screening. The added bass from the sound system made it absolutely sickening. It was the most silent I’d ever heard a theatre crowd go."

Wild Bunch

8. And also from Saving Private Ryan, "When Wade (the medic) yells for his mother while he's dying. He had just told Captain Miller the night before that he felt bad for pretending to be asleep in the past and not talking to her even though he missed her. You can tell he really regretted that, and it’s just such a human thing. You make this weird decision for no apparent reason and then regret it later in life. You get the feeling that he wants to try and fix it when he gets to see her again, but he never gets the chance."

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9. "I watched American History X over 10 years ago. The image of the curb-stomping scene has consistently disturbed me since then. It’s one of those things you want to forget but can’t. Maybe it’s just because it’s easier to think about it happening than the prison scene."

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10. "For some reason, the de-gloving scene in Gerald's Game disturbs me. I've watched plenty of brutal movies, but for whatever reason this scene was rough for me to watch."

Netflix

11. "There have been far worse scenes in better movies, but the one that shocked me to my core was from The Fisher King, when he remembers his wife getting shot. I just wasn't expecting it. Nothing has affected me like that since. I think it's how the blood hits his face. Robin Williams was such an amazing actor in dramatic movies; I literally felt his shock."

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Tri-Star Pictures / youtube.com

12. "I cannot get through the part in the animated Dumbo film where the mom is in the cage and is swinging Dumbo and then he has to leave again. I loved Dumbo as a kid because I have big ears and elephants are my favorite. My boyfriend came over, and we watched it recently, and when I got to that part I started sobbing, and we couldn’t finish the movie."

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Disney / youtube.com

13. "That one small scene in Titanic where the mother is telling a bedtime story to her children while the ship is sinking. They're trapped below deck, and she knows there's nothing she can do for her children except be with them in their final moments together. The rest of the movie didn't bother me apart from that one scene."

Paramount Pictures

14. "In We Need to Talk About Kevin when Kevin, after two years of counseling, medication, and distance from his dysfunctional family, was now facing adulthood in 'big boy prison,' and straight-up said, 'I honestly don't know why I did any of it, and I never really did, not even back then.' It was such a dark, shocking, and thought-provoking film."

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15. "The closing scene of The Mist."

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u/Upper-Job5130

"Every time I feel like giving up, I remember that ending. Salvation could be just around the corner. Don't lose hope!"

u/Cuttlefish_Crusaders

16. When he hits the nerve in the 127 Hours amputation scene."

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Fox Searchlight Pictures / youtube.com

u/Scat_Olympics

"That scene is a great example of unorthodox sound design. Using gunshots for the breaking of bones and that staticky noise for the nerve. It's not realistic, but it gets the emotion across extremely well."

u/Cutter9792

17. "The rape scene in Perfect Blue. Despite being animated and fictional in the context of the movie, I have to fast-forward through it when I rewatch it because it's so upsetting to me."

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18. "That one scene in Bone Tomahawk traumatized me. Nothing else I've seen in any film before or since has haunted me as much as his shrieking through the scalp in his mouth, or the crunch of bones."

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RLJ Entertainment / youtube.com

19. "The part in Hannibal where Ray Liotta eats the little sautéed piece of his own brain."

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20. "In A Quiet Place when Emily Blunt's character steps on the nail but can't scream."

Paramount Pictures

21. "There are many more brutal scenes in a lot of other films, but the brutality in many of Schindler's List scenes lies in the indifference, and even dutiful joy, of the criminals. And you just sit there impotent and enraged that this shit actually happened. For me, it was the scene with the little girl in red. Poor thing is just walking through the streets as all the ghetto is being cleansed. Brutal."

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Universal Pictures / youtube.com

22. "The rape and torture scene from Irréversible. I unfortunately saw this once and have never been able to forget it. It's so incredibly long and drawn out through every last bit. It’s horrific."

Mars Distribution

u/QueeferSutherland34

"The worst part is in the middle when a guy walks down and sees it happening and just walks away."

u/GuyKnowsNuthin

23. The hobbling scene from Misery.

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Columbia Pictures / youtube.com

24. "The end scene of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. That scene crushed me inside, especially because I was lied to about the boys’ fate."

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Disney / youtube.com

25. "The entire climax of Requiem for a Dream."

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u/ViolentVBC

"The most horrible part is when you realize that it was 'consensual' and probably happens every day."

u/gaytee

26. "In Reservoir Dogs when the young cop is getting tortured."

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Mirimax Films / youtube.com

u/Sparky62075

"The ear, the cop's wonky eye from being beaten, the pouring of the gasoline. So brutal."

u/e_j_white

27. "The scene from Grave of the Fireflies. If you've seen it, you know. It's not gore brutal. It's soul-crushing brutal. You'll need time to to recover."

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u/Thorumar

"The hardest part was just the building dread, because you knew that the little girl wasn't going to make it, especially as their situation just got worse and worse. He kept leaving, and I kept thinking, 'Oh God, this is gonna be it; he's gonna come back, and she's just gonna be dead,' and that happened three or four times, and it was so difficult to sit through the longer it went on."

u/DumpstahKat

28. "The scene in The Green Mile where the guy is getting executed, when he goes, 'Please don't leave me in the dark, boss.' I watched it like 20 years ago, and I refused to watch it again. I've even unfollowed Creepy Catalog because they keep mentioning it."

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Warner Bros / youtube.com

29. "The Russian roulette scene in The Deer Hunter."

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30. In House of Wax when the guy is walking down the stairs and the killer uses scissors to cut his Achilles tendon."

Warner Bros. Pictures

31. "A bit of a curve ball here, but the scene in Marriage Story where Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson have a heated argument. It’s just so well directed and acted that it’s really uncomfortable to watch. It’s like being in the room with a couple who are laying their hearts bare."

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Netflix / youtube.com

32. "Wilson's 'death' in Cast Away. I know he was just a ball, but the whole lead-up shows how real he was in Chuck's mind."

20thCenturyFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

33. "When the Captain kills the hunters in Pan's Labyrinth. I'm not usually squeamish, but I nearly vomited. Had to pause and leave the room."

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Warner Bros. Pictures / youtube.com

34. "In Hachi: A Dog's Tale when Hachi leaves the train station the last time. He's old, can't walk very well, and hurting, and he goes to his sleeping spot for the last time, alone and cold, under the old caboose."

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Stage 6 Films / youtube.com

35. "The scene in Jojo Rabbit where Jojo was talking to the military guy who acted as a semi-father figure during the film. He pushes Jojo off to 'go home!' and leaves the frame. The camera stays on the protagonist, and only a few moments later you can hear the gunshots. Terrific scene."

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36. "The suicide scene in Dead Poets Society. More specifically, the father’s agonizing sobs as he holds his dead son in his arms. That scene has always stuck with me, and even more so now that I have kids of my own. Just thinking about it makes me misty-eyed."

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