Guest Post by Christopher Houtz
Extreme, brutal, transgressive, exploitative films. These things mean something different to everyone. What may be brutal to one may be tame to another. It is all a matter of perspective. A religious Catholic may find The Exorcist to be an extreme movie, where an atheist may simply shrug their shoulder and say ‘meh’. So it is with not a little bit of trepidation that I submit my first assignment for Horror Freak News.
This list is not of the most extreme horror films, but rather, in myhumble opinion, the best extreme horror films. I have been watching and reviewing films for a long time and I have seen films form every subgenre, with every production value, writing/plot, acting. SFX, and score – both absolutely terrific and woefully horrible. Am I more uniquely qualified than any other critic to point fans in a certain direction, perhaps not. I am however, qualified to give an honest, educated, and fair opinion on some extreme films that will most definitely not be a waste of your movie watching time.
The only real criteria I had in coming up with this list was that I must have seen the film. So, widely known and respected titles such as
August Underground, Scrapbook, and Grotesque will not be here, Although I do encourage anyone with an interest to seek them out, give them a view, and let me know what you think.
So, it is without further ado that I give you my “TOP 10 EXTREME HORROR
10. The Girl Next Door (2007)
Official Synopsis: Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt…and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime.
This movie is pretty disturbing. The extreme torture and abuse suffered by this poor girl will make anyone cringe. Writing, acting, and
production values are all top notch. You will think about this one for a while.
9. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
Official Synopsis: An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts
down to seek revenge.
There are certainly some scenes that are a bit difficult to watch. While it may not be the most explicit movie on the list, it has a sense
of humanity gone wrong that other films just do not seem to capture. A classic in the rape/revenge genre for a reason. If you haven’t seen it do so.
8. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Official Synopsis: During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.
This little banned film has it all. Crass Americans doing crass things, gut munching, brutality, and some animal abuse. I do not support
killing animals for sport, so I certainly do not agree with killing them for a movie, but try to remember the times. Maybe turn away from
these scenes, because beyond that, this is a fine film that lives up to it’s hype.
7. Last House on the Left (1972)
Official Synopsis: Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one’s birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are
kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.
Ah yes…Last House on the Left. Low budget, suspect acting, some effects that my leave a little to be desired, but my goodness is this
thing extreme. There is such a sense of hopelessness and sickness going on throughout. Overlook the flaws, and watch this for what it was meant to do…..shock and outrage. Well done.
6. Inside (2007)
Official Synopsis: Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby.
Part of the French Extremity movement, Inside absolutely belongs on this list. Violence, blood, and a relentless, heartless desire for
something that another has leads this film. It is tense, uncomfortable, and extreme. The overall production is spotless. Highly recommended.
5. Irreversible (2002)
Official Synopsis: Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is
brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.
I am not sure where to begin with Irreversible. The plot runs backwards. Not the first time this has been done, but it’s done very
well. Monica Bellucci is absolutely brilliant in her portrayal of a woman who suffers very extreme abuse. It is cringe worthy and difficult
to watch. Irreversible is everything an extreme film should be.
4, Martyrs (2008)
Official Synopsis: A young woman’s quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living
hell of depravity.
The second on the list of the French Extremity, Martyrs ups the ante on complete nihilism. This film is dark hearted, brutal, with excellent
gore effects, a fantastic story, great acting, and a wonderful ending that just creeps you out. Buy it, rent it, stream it, whatever you have
to do but watch it. You’ll thank me, I promise.
3, Visceral: Entre las cuerdas de la locura (2012)
Official Synopsis: A washed-up boxer finally gets his big chance to prove that he is worthy of the champion’s gloves on his much-awaited title fight.
Hoo boy is Visceral extreme. There is so much to like about this movie. Oh, it’s not a perfect film. It can be a little confusing here and
there with some jumps in the timeline, and not everything is spoon fed to the viewer, but stick with it. The less said about Visceral the
better, but let me just quip on one thing….someone sure loves their bondage style knot work! Very disturbing. Excellent.
2, The Seasoning House (2012)
Official Synopsis: Sold at a brothel deep in the woods, forced to work as a caretaker, Angel, a hapless disabled girl must gather the courage to fight and stay alive.
Some may question why The Seasoning House is on the list, let alone being placed so high. After all, it is not by definition a horror film. But let me tell you buddy, it is absolutely HORRIFIC! The events depicted in this film will sicken anyone with an ounce of humanity in
their black souls. Does it belong here? You bet it does. You will remember this movie for a long time after viewing. The treatment of
these girls is the definition of extreme. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
1, A Serbian Film (2010)
Official Synopsis: An aging porn star agrees to participate in an “art film” in order to make a clean break from the business, only to
discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film.
Anyone who is reading this already knows about A Serbian Film, and if you don’t, there is a good chance it may not be for you. Hell, it may not be for anyone. The ending makes “extreme” look like a stroll in the park. You will not have any warm and fuzzy feelings for quite a while after viewing this little slice of man’s inhumanity to man. Impeccably filmed. scored, acted, and plotted A Serbian Film is the Grand Poobah of extreme horror. Just have a shower after and keep repeating…it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie…….
And there you have it, my first assignment for horrorfreaknews. There are more extreme movies out there, I own quite a few of them myself, but again I wanted this to be the best of the best. This was a toughie for me, as I had to leave some very fine examples of extreme horror off, but hey….no one ever said being a critic is easy.
by Christopher Houtz