Horror films court controversy by pushing boundaries (and audiences) to their breaking points and the folks at WatchMojo have released a video countdown of what they consider the most controversial scenes of all time. It’s a crash course for anyone looking for the most depraved and darkened alleys our genre has to transverse.
From indelible classics like Psycho and The Last House on the Left to recent offerings like A Serbian Film and mother!, it’s a descent into the pits of horror hell! Give it a spin if you’ve got the stomach and let us know what you think in the Comments section! Which scene did you find most shocking? What are some other extremely controversial horror movies scenes that deserve a shout out? Let the debates begin!
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If you can’t stream, the Top 10 most controversial scenes are listed below the video, along with trailers and synopses. Enjoy!
Warning: Below There Be Spoilers
Official Synopsis: Horror movies have the unique ability to excite and scare in equal measure, but these steps are not without controversy! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Most Controversial Scenes Ever from Horror Movies! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be from The Exorcist, A Serbian Film, or Cannibal Holocaust? Watch to find out!
The “Eucharist” in mother!
Official Synopsis: A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.’.
Genital Mutilation in Antichrist
Official Synopsis: While a married couple (Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg) is having sex, their infant son in a nearby room falls out a window to his death. She becomes distraught and is hospitalized, but her husband, who is a psychiatrist, attempts to treat her. Deciding that she needs to face her fears, he takes her to a cabin in the woods where she spent a previous summer with the boy. Once they are there, she becomes more unhinged and starts perpetrating sexual violence on her husband and herself.
The Completed Centipede in The Human Centipede
Official Synopsis: A deranged surgeon (Dieter Laser) plans to make his morbid fantasy come true by suturing three people together through their gastric systems.
The Last Supper in Salo
Official Synopsis: Four fascists kidnap young men and women and subject them to torture and perversion.
The Shower Scene in Psycho
Official Synopsis: Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a heavy rainstorm. Traveling on the back roads to avoid the police, she stops for the night at the ramshackle Bates Motel and meets the polite but highly-strung proprietor Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a young man with an interest in taxidermy and a difficult relationship with his mother.
Mari’s Rape in The Last House on the Left
Official Synopsis: Teenagers Mari (Sandra Cassel) and Phyllis (Lucy Grantham) head to the city for a concert, then afterward go looking for drugs. Instead, they find a gang of escaped convicts who subject them to a night of torture and rape. The gang then kills the girls in the woods, not realizing they’re near Mari’s house. When they pose as salesmen and are taken in by Mari’s mother (Cynthia Carr) and father (Gaylord St. James), it doesn’t take the parents long to figure out their identities and plot revenge.
Daughter Kills Mother in Night of the Living Dead
Official Synopsis: A disparate group of individuals takes refuge in an abandoned house when corpses begin to leave the graveyard in search of fresh human bodies to devour. The pragmatic Ben (Duane Jones) does his best to control the situation, but when the reanimated bodies surround the house, the other survivors begin to panic. As any semblance of order within the group begins to dissipate, the zombies start to find ways inside — and one by one, the living humans become the prey of the deceased ones.
Newborn Porn in A Serbian Film
Official Synopsis: An aging porn star (Srdjan Todorovic) who’s struggling to provide for his family agrees to make a film that, unbeknown to him, contains themes of pedophilia, necrophilia and may end with his death.
Spiked in Cannibal Holocaust
Official Synopsis: A professor (Francesca Ciardi) finds the remains of a film crew in the Amazon and brings the camera footage back to America.
Crucifix Masturbation in The Exorcist
Official Synopsis: One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.
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