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    13 Horror Movies That Were So Disturbing They Were Actually Banned

    Yep, they were literally that scary.

    1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

    Warner Bros.

    Although being well-received by audiences, this dystopian crime film was given an X rating in its original release by the American Film Institute, resulting in director Stanley Kubrick removing scenes of a sexual nature for a re-release in 1973. As for the UK, Kubrick himself had the film pulled due to a series of copycat crimes after the its release. The UK had to wait until March 17th 2000 for official cinema screenings.

    2. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

    United Artists Europa

    10 days after its premiere in Milan, Cannibal Holocaust was banned under the orders of a local magistrate, and director Ruggero Deodato was charged with obscenity. One scene that got him into big trouble showed a woman being impaled (yep, I know), and was sent to the courts to determine whether the violence shown was real or not. After proving his innocence, Italian courts still decided to ban the film due to the genuine on-screen deaths of animals, citing animal cruelty laws. Although it's still banned in various countries worldwide, the film was released in the UK in 2001 after nearly six minutes of cuts.

    3. The Last House on the Left (1972)

    Hallmark Releasing / American International Pictures

    The Last House on the Left tells the story of two teenage girls who are abducted, tortured, sexually assaulted, and murdered by a group of psychopaths – leading to their parents' bloody revenge. It was originally banned due to its scenes of violence, with the BBFC refusing to even give it a certificate for release. The film was finally allowed to be shown uncut in the UK in 2009.

    4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

    Bryanston Distributing Company

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of cannibals while on their way to visit an old farmhouse. It actually got mixed reviews to begin with, but is now hailed as one of the most influential horror films of all time. It was originally banned in the UK until 1999, but has been able to view ever since.

    5. The Exorcist (1973)

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Okay, this movie shook the tables, honey. Originally released on December 26, 1973, the film was banned in the UK from home video release, but that's not the crazy part – the original trailer was banned too, with the director mentioning that Warner Bros. were concerned it would be too disturbing for viewers. It was officially released on home video in 1999 after successfully being released back in cinemas the year prior! And that's what you call groundbreaking cinema!

    6. Hostel: Part 2 (2007)

    Lionsgate / Screen Gems

    The 2007 sequel to Eli Roth's Hostel was banned from theatrical release in several countries, including New Zealand, who banned the gory film outright, after after the distributor literally refused to make cuts in order to receive an 18 certificate.

    7. Grotesque (2009)

    JollyRoger (Japan) / Media Blasters (US)

    This Japanese horror film, which follows the brutal torture of a young couple at the hands of a sadistic madman, was been banned in the UK after fears it could do psychological damage. Although the distributors hoped for an 18 rating, BBFC director David Cooke slated the film, saying it was a "risk of harm" to the public, and going even further as to say it was nothing but a "spectacle of sadism."

    8. The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

    MGM Distribution Co.

    The Poughkeepsie Tapes is an American mockumentary-type horror film that was banned due to its graphic horror scene and similarities to snuff films. It was meant for release in 2008, however, the film was yanked out of cinemas with no real explanation as to why. But according to Variety: "it contains scenes that are so disturbing and profoundly unpleasant, it deserves a chance to frighten a wider audience." It was finally released in 2017 on home video after ten years of being banned.

    9. Faces of Death (1978)

    Aquarius Releasing

    According to The Guardian, this movie is considered to be "one of the most depraved films ever" and too right, TBH. Banned in 46 countries, the BBFC added the film to the UK's "Video Nasty" list, due to violation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959. It was also infamous for creating a copycat crime (Yes, another one) where a 15-year-old was prosecuted for the murder of a fellow classmate.

    10. SAW VI (2009)


    It's a bit wild that the world waited for SIX Saw movies before finally deciding to ban one, don't you think? SAW VI was temporarily restricted in Spain before finally giving it the "Pelicula X" rating, which is usually reserved for pornography. It was also banned in Thailand, where sale or even distribution of the film is outlawed.

    11. Maniac (2012)

    IFC Midnight

    This remake of the 1980 film of the same name, follows the violent exploits of a brutal serial killer. Although allowed for release in the UK, New Zealand actually banned the whole thing, removing the mainstream cinema or DVD release in the entire country.

    12. The Human Centipede 2: The Full Sequence (2011)

    Bounty Films (United Kingdom) / IFC Midnight (United States)

    If you've seen any of The Human Centipede films, you'll probably know why the second instalment in the franchise was widely banned. Although eventually accepted for release in the UK (after heavy, heavy cuts), the BBFC flat-out refused the film's release both in cinemas and straight-to-video release as they felt it posed a "real risk" to watchers.

    13. Antichrist (2009)

    Nordisk Film Distribution

    Antichrist tells the story of a couple who, after the death of their child, retreat to the woods where the man experiences strange visions, and the woman manifests increasingly violent sexual behaviour. It was banned in France, after waiting a WHOLE seven years to do anything about it – in which the ruling court admitted the culture ministry had made “a mistake” in the original decision of releasing it.

    Have you seen any of these films? Let us know in the comments!