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Nightmare Fuel / Horror And Thriller Films

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  • Angst: The murder scenes in this 1983 Austrian film are very ugly and brutal. And then there's Erwin Leder's incredibly unsettling portrayal of the unnamed serial killer who narrates the film. All in all, it more than earns its reputation as one of the most disturbing films of the 1980s.
  • August Underground's Mordum: Like A Serbian Film, it's an almost nonstop assault of one unimaginably depraved act after another, up to and including rape with a severed penis, cannibalization of a headless and maggot-infested infant, a young child's rotten corpse being sexually abused, and a woman who is covered in blood and vomit being cut open and "gut fucked".
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  • Begotten: God disemboweling himself at the beginning, Man writhing helpless in the mud like a child in agony and as if it were badly disabled, the faceless robed figures, the lack of sound save for birdsong or the throaty gurgling of Man and the stark black and white coupled with the grainy footage all comes together to make one of the most uncomfortable and disturbing things once can ever experience. It's like every black metal album cover ever made into a movie directed by David Lynch.
  • Caltiki The Immortal Monster:
    • This 1959 Italian rip-off of The Blob (1958) had a couple good ones. A memorable one involves Max, who has become more deranged throughout the film, as he holds a gun on his girlfriend. Cue monster, which comes up behind him and does what Blob rip-offs do best. Now imagine his agonized face, blood oozing from his mouth as he's crushed, then his face disappears for a second, enveloped by monsta. Then his face, a freaking skull by now, reappears while his arm is still flailing wildly.
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    • An earlier one involves a diver who comes face to face with Caltiki and ends up in a face-off. Specifically, the skin of his face is gone, including eyelids, but leaves the eyes and you can still see him breathing.
  • Dead End: Thoughout the movie various phenomena happening to the family are pretty disturbing, mostly because they're just abnormal enough that things seem very wrong.
  • Death on Demand: Sean slices open Tammy's leg, then starts pulling her back using muscle tissue he rips out of the wound.
  • Devil Doll: Demonic Dummy Hugo is sitting motionless in his cage. After a long lingering shot in dead silence, his eyes make a slight movement, reminding us that he is indeed, alive, and the camera pans across the room.
  • The Devil's Rejects. The woman escaping the motel room wearing her husband's face.
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  • Dying Breed. A group of cannibals grab a few hiker girls and rape them to get more children or else die from inbreeding, and eat the men.
  • Eli: The scene where Eli gets the files of the previous patients, Perry, Agnes, and Lucius. With their final pictures becoming increasingly more and more disturbing, Perry and Agnes look very realistic but Eli gets to Lucius' final photo, which is the most disturbing and sickening to look at.
  • Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals:
    • At the start of the film, we see a nurse who had her nipple ripped off, eaten by one of the patients at a psychiatric ward - a girl who was found in The Amazon, raised by a cannibal tribe. Although, it turns out the nurse has been raping the girl, so what happened to her was Laser-Guided Karma.
    • Sister Angela, a nun who was part of expedition to rejoin her covent, was captured by the cannibals. They ripped off her dress, tie her up to a tree and dance around her, leaving her absolutely terrified as she screams and begging for God. One of the natives cut off her right nipple and eats it, making her scream louder, and then they pierce her heart and opens her belly to eat her innards. When the group searches for her, they found her severed head on a pike. It looked almost mutilated, and covered with what looks like semen. She does rejoin her covent, since it turns out they were killed by the same cannibals.
    • Later two more people from the expedition have also been captured, Donald and Maggie Mackenzie. Maggie was tied between two poles and is killed when one of the savages repeatedly jams his knife at her vagina, and pull out her intestines from it. All while Donald is Forced to Watch. He too gets killed when the savages tie a string around his belly and pulls until his lower half is cut. It doesn't help as we see the agony on his face, and zoom-ins of skull trophies signifying his death.
  • The Entity: The idea of being repeatedly violated sexually is terrifying in itself, but it becomes especially terrifying when it's being carried out by an invisible entity. It's no surprise therefore that Martin Scorsese considers this film one of the scariest ever made.
  • Evilspeak. Pigs being possessed and eating people, including a scene where said pigs break into a woman's bathroom and eat her while she's in her bath, messy decapitations aplenty, and blood and gore all over the place with ominous chanting in the background. And as if that wasn't nightmarish enough already, the movie ends with the possessed computer flashing a message saying "I will return."
  • Fallen: The song "Time is On My Side" due to context.
  • Gnaw: Food of the Gods II. Although the movie is ostensibly about the giant rats, the deaths they cause are shown in quick cuts, whereas Elmond Delhurst's death by turning into a bubbling puddle of "super cancer" is drawn out to ludicrous lengths (almost a full two minutes) with many loving closeups of his swollen, pus-oozing, tumor-covered face. It's frankly a relief when he finally keels over and dies.
  • Frayed draws its nightmare fuel from several sources: slasher movies, birthday clowns, mental hospitals and child molestation. The worst is a prolonged and extremely graphic sequence near the beginning of the movie where a person gets their head beaten to a pulp. The sound effects alone ensure that the viewer will have a tough time getting to sleep that night.
  • Ghost Ship: A crowd of partygoers are sliced in one fell swoop by a snapped wire. The lack of reaction is especially eerie - there's a few moments of stunned silence, then everything begins to fall apart. See it here.
  • Heartless (2009): The scene where Papa B produces AJ's severed head. Then the head comes to life and starts screaming and begging for mercy as Papa B slowly bites the skin off one cheek. The worst thing is that Papa B isn't even eating the flesh, he's just doing it to be sadistic.
  • The Hitcher. The truck pull scene. It makes you look away from the screen before a cut to black.
  • Hostel: The scene where Paxton clips off Kana's eyeball. Between Kana's horrific screaming, the tense music, and the imagery, this is a very daunting scene to watch.
  • House on Haunted Hill (1959) has a fantastic Jump Scare. A woman is inspecting a wall for secrets? the camera close to her. Then she stands up and finds herself facing an old woman with a face twisted into an inhuman grin. It comes out of nowhere and can be terrifying if not expected.
  • The Innocents, based on the novella The Turn of the Screw. The ending, the full implications of which (necrophiliac pedophilia) are more than a little disturbing.
  • It's Alive: A horror trilogy about an experimental fertility drug causing babies to be born as monsters that would kill when scared. A commercial for it in the early afternoon, the one where the camera revolves around an innocent-looking bassinet, and then suddenly yosee the lizard arm hanging out of it and that awful whining scream sounds.
  • Kill Theory: You and your friends are stuck out in the middle of nowhere and have three hours to kill each other, or a madman will kill all of you. Add in Paranoia Fuel in the question of which of your friends can you trust and who will betray you to save themselves?
  • Lake Mungo. The cell phone footage and the autopsy photos.
  • L: change the WorLd: The Death Note spinoff pulls this off with the symptoms of the killer virus at the centre of the plot. The various sores with the severe bleeding and the tears of blood make its victims look disturbing, not to ignore their moans and screams of pain. The named character who uses a syringe of infected blood to commit suicide and deny the villains use of him continues screaming even when the camera isn't focused on him, and when he is "neutralised" the last shot the audience (and his preteen daughter) gets of him is his wholly bloodshot eyes along with his severely charred face. L describes his impending death by heart attack as peaceful.
  • Lucker the Necrophagous: Unlike the victims in most other slasher films, the ones in this don't die immediately, instead writhing in agony for up to a minute in some cases. It's incredibly disturbing, as is the villain murdering a prostitute and leaving her body to rot for four weeks before having sex with it.
  • Mad Love: Peter Lorre. It came out in 1935, but that neckbrace/metal glove costume remains freaky, and Lorre was never freakier. "Yes, they cut off my head. But that Gogol, he put it back... HERE!"
  • Maniac! (1980):
    • The ending... having your victims suddenly come to life before you and kill you right there? Creepy, to say the least.
      • As the Cinema Snob put it: "Hehehehe, I JUST SHIT MYSELF!"
      • Want to see an even more disturbing version of the above scene? Watch the remake where you see it from the perspective from Frank himself!
    • Not to mention, Joe Spinell's performance in this is genuinely chilling.
  • Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders: It's a terrible film and not scary during the day, but disturbing enough—in part because it's so badly made—to be rather spooky at the time of night/morning when everything is spooky.
    Crow: (as Merlin) Remember to believe in magic...or I'll kill you.
  • The Messengers: the scene with the little kid reaching for the corpse on the ceiling.
  • Necronomicon: The Book of the Dead puts H. P. Lovecraft in a Direct Line to the Author role. The third chapter of that movie is Body Horror Up to Eleven.
  • The 1982 Australian horror film Next Of Kin (not the be confused with the Patrick Swayze film of the same name) has often been compared to The Shining, and for good reason. It is terrifying. The entirety of the third act, in which the heroine is forced to defend herself from the Big Bad and her second-in-command, will haunt your dreams for days. The ominous score and lead actress' intense performance add greatly to the Nightmare Fuel.
    • Really, there's just something inherently frightening in the idea that not only is your family possibly cursed, but that some of them are actively trying to kill you.
  • The Night of the Hunter: The "Once there was a pretty fly" montage.
  • Night Skies: Some distubing scenes of alien abduction. Oh and victims can't trust what they see at all.
  • The Russian movie Nochnoy dozor (2004) (aka Nightwatch). The freaky doll with the spider's legs and the sequence in the beginning with the frying pan.
  • No Telling: A doctor is experimenting on lab mice, but then moves onto bigger things. The film remains relatively calm until the last 15 minutes or so. As it turns out, the doctor stole a little girl's dog, sewed it's legs off, then bought a calf, cut it's legs off, and put the calf legs on the dog. The worst part? It moves. However, the movie does end on a bittersweet note. While the dog dies, the doctor's wife leaves him, and he gets punched in the face by a farmer.
  • Pencil Face: A short film, where a girl finds magic pencil; the face is already scary on itself. But, the girl draws various things she wants and the girl gets sucked into black hole
    • The creepy background music and lack of dialogue contribute to the Nightmare Fuel
  • Phantoms, based on the book by Dean Koontz. all the people in the vaguely astronaut-like Hazmat suits appearing out of the shadows, their face-plates completely black; the single shot of the empty army command center with a few papers blowing in the wind; and the bit at the end where all the people who were the Phantom-creature's snack food are standing still assembled in the middle of town.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945): The titular painting is scary as balls. First of all, it's in color, when the rest of the movie's black-and-white. Second of all, they always cut to it very suddenly and startlingly, with a piercing music sting to accompany it. And thirdly, it's just freaky-looking.
  • Piranha 3D: Every death scene. Maybe it was how good the effects were, maybe it was just how painful it looked.
  • Pontypool:
    • A zombifying virus spread not through blood or air, but speech; you can be infected simply by listening to a term of endearment. The repeated madness mantras of the infected are some of the creepiest things ever committed to film, especially combined with their expressions. The movie taking place within a radio studio makes it sometimes almost unbearably claustrophobic. Then there's the Downer Ending....
    • "For your safety, please avoid contact with close family members and refrain from the following: all terms of endearment, such as "honey" or "sweetheart"; baby talk with young children; and rhetorical discourse. For greater safety, please avoid the English language... Do not translate this message."
  • Pulse (Kairo):
    • As the movie progresses, and mankind steadily dies off or vanishes, the ghosts become much more visible, more obvious, and more common.
    • The Lady In Red in the sealed room, with her dreamlike, stumbling gait, creeps up on a hapless protagonist slowly, ever so relentlessly slowly...
    • Death itself showing up in human form to claim the main male lead, coming closer and closer to the screen, slowly, naturally, until his eyes fill the audience's field of vision.
    • The fate of those touched by the ghosts' nihilism. They don't die, they don't even scream or writhe in pain. They just fade, becoming a dark stain on the wall. All they leave behind is a faint "Help me... help me..." barely on the edge of hearing. It doesn't help that, in the director's view, humanity is hopelessly isolated and every person is utterly alone, even in death.
  • Recorded Live, a student film by S.S. Wilson, the man behind the Tremors series. A man goes to a job interview, only to find there's nothing in the office but a film reel with "do not erase" written on it. Suddenly the film comes to life and advances on the man, who runs for his life. He discovers the film can be driven off with a magnet, but eventually it outsmarts him by moving under the carpet and springing up from beneath him, enveloping the poor bastard and leaving nothing behind when it moves away. Then it sends out another letter to a job applicant, and returns to its reel. And the film makes a "fast forwarding" noise every time it moves. You'll never hear that sound the same way again. And you can watch it here.
  • The Red Skulls: It's easy to forget it's supposed to be a "Gang War of the Quasi-Zombies" movie because even though the special effects are bottom-line cheesy, some of the actors actually seem to be demented in a way that's not fake...which either means they're better actors than this film deserved, or that they really are that messed-up in the mind.
  • Red State: The execution scene. Guy tied to a pole, they wrap him in clingwrap, including his head, and all the while he's screaming for help, before they put a revolver on top of his head and shoot him. And you can see the blood in the plastic wrap. Even more disturbing were the serene faces of the other sect members.
  • A Serbian Film.
    • It features tons of snuff and rape and what can only be called "rape squared," by which we mean being drugged and forced to rape a woman who you then kill, then rape her some more, and then forced to rape your son as your brother rapes your wife. There's also mention, though not shown, thank God, of "newborn rape."... but only in the cut version. The UNCUT version, on the other hand, shows it in all its traumatizing glory.
    • Milos' rape face. It will haunt your nightmares.
  • Shivers is easily one of the most messed-up things ever put onto film. However, the part when one of the penis monsters comes out of the guy's mouth easily takes the cake as the squickiest part.
  • Spellbound: Dr. Murchison threatens to kill Dr. Peterson, but with a few choice words on Peterson's part her life is spared. The camera switches to Murchison's point of view as the aim of his gun follows her out of the room. She shuts the door, and the hand holding his gun turns, as though he's pondering his next action. Then, slowly, the hand turns some more: at himself you. That's right; you're experiencing a first-person suicide. It also doesn't help that the hand and the gun are highly detailed models, so their movement is highly unnatural.
  • The Testament Of Doctor Mabuse by Fritz Lang (1933). The Grand Theft Me scene, where the spectre of Mabuse enters the body of the man reading his will is extremely horrifying.
  • There's a suddenly terrifying moment in 13 Ghosts where Cyrus sees several of the ghosts suddenly bursting into flames screaming.
  • The Toolbox Murders:
    • The murders, especially due to the basic, almost nonchalant way they're filmed.
    • When Vance first dons his ski mask, it's slightly askew, giving this weird Uncanny Valley effect, plus there's Laurie's completely off the top of her head description of the afterlife, essentially an And I Must Scream scenario.
  • Turistas, a 2006 thriller about a group of American tourists in Brazil, after a mishap with a bus, decide to head to a local bar for some drinks. Only it goes downhill from there as they are drugged, have all their possessions stolen, and are lured into a house where a mad doctor guts them for organs to sell on the black market. Brazil wasn't too happy about this movie.
  • The Unborn. The opening scene, where out jogging, you run into a stray glove in the road. You turn around and see the owner of the matching one standing right behind you, just staring. An odd cut, and you're suddenly faced with a pit bull wearing a papier-mâché human mask. He waddles off into the woods, and for no real reason, you decide to follow him. You come across the mask lying on the ground, and dig down into the dirt to find the strings attached to a disturbing-looking fetus in a jar. Zoom in slowly on its little swollen face, and the eyes burst open.
  • When a Stranger Calls Back, (The made-for-TV sequel to the original When a Stranger Calls.), has an innocent schoolgirl stalked by William Landis, a psychopathic ventriloquist who, in the film's climax, paints himself to look like the wall behind him, so if the lights are off, he's practically invisible. It sounds cartoony, but when you see him do it, and realize that it could actually be done in real life, it's utterly creepy.
  • The White Ribbon. Imagine this: you live in a small German village in the months leading up to World War I. Strange events begin to happen to citizens. Someone strings a wire to trip the doctor as he rides his horse, a worker falls through a weak floor and dies, two children go missing at separate times and are found severely beaten, one of them nearly blinded. What can you do about this? Absolutely nothing. You can't find out who is behind these crimes, and if you pursue suspicions, your reputation is likely to be ruined. That is what happens to the protagonist and narrator of this film. The cinematography and atmosphere of the film are so cold, it's like you are watching a serious version of Village of the Damned (1960), where the children don't have psychic powers, but are still creepy and are clearly hiding something, but there isn't a single thing you can do about it, so you better just leave.
  • The World of Kanako: This movie is extremely cynical and presents a world absolutely ugly and frightening with people that are so evil that even the protagonist (a violent, dysfunctional, abusive and alcoholic ex-cop) seems not so evil in comparison. In this movie the world is exclusively populated by complete assholes and scumbags who all have only the very worst things in mind and the few good people out there are either mercilessly corrupted, betrayed, bullied, manipulated or forced into isolation and there is no way to break out of this cycle and anybody (no matter how strong) is destroyed and every dream is crushed. The movie gives the impression that you could live in this world too! The most terrifying part of the movie is when he truth about Kanako is revealed and we learn about the prostitution ring and the child molesters.
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