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Added by Xanadon't on 14 May 2011 11:27
231423 Views 36 Comments
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Feed Your Dark Side

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Worthwhile

Movies that disturbed, shocked, challenged, or terrified me. And I'm glad I watched them. You may want to give them a look too!
People who added this item 775 Average listal rating (412 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
Romanian art-film that's extremely compelling while emotionally devastating at times.

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People who added this item 1219 Average listal rating (730 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
A cheerfully dark and absurd collection of images and events that will leave you wanting more.

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People who added this item 1296 Average listal rating (735 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Audition (1999)
Takashi Miike introduces the ultimate Mistress of Pain.

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People who added this item 350 Average listal rating (141 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.4
Bad Boy Bubby (1994)
This Aussie gem manages to knock over taboos like bowling pins while still delivering a compelling story with all kinds of psycho-social insights. Give it a look!

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People who added this item 2179 Average listal rating (1392 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
Kill or be killed. On a mass scale. And they're kids.

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People who added this item 353 Average listal rating (163 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 5.8
One wicked little exercise in grotesque and unsettling surrealism. This is not your grandmother's movie.

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People who added this item 387 Average listal rating (207 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Benny's Video (1992)
Unsettling in the deepest sense of the word.

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People who added this item 2354 Average listal rating (1462 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Blue Velvet (1986)
De-romanticizing idyllic suburban life with unflinching relentlessness.

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A superbly crafted, sad, haunting, and at times visceral capturing journey into the mind and struggle of a schizophrenic man

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People who added this item 1105 Average listal rating (604 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.4
Darkly erotic and haunting, this is a portrait of addiction and obsession like you've never seen.

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People who added this item 1749 Average listal rating (978 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
A thoroughly depressing movie, but also a deeply human one with moments of spiritual levity. Von Trier's most multidimensional film with Bjork leading us through the dark.

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People who added this item 743 Average listal rating (402 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.2
The godfather of the 'Midnight Movie' this sprawling epic of Western meets bizarre mystical journey has a bit of something for everyone. Kind of amazing, really.

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People who added this item 657 Average listal rating (424 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.8
Eden Lake (2008)
An especially vicious and harrowing take on the "vacation gone horribly fucking wrong" sub-genre of horror. This will make you cringe. And it'll make you fearful of the world we live in.

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People who added this item 1818 Average listal rating (1025 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
Eraserhead (1977)
Lynch gives us a bizarre glimpse at his lonely, fearful soul.

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People who added this item 925 Average listal rating (515 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
Black comedy doesn't come any blacker, social critique doesn't come any grimmer.

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People who added this item 1165 Average listal rating (644 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
Vicious and splendid little movie by Peter Jackson that takes us deep into the psychology of two inseparable adolescent girls.

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Brutally stone-cold depiction of a mad man, made all the more unnerving by its cinematic aptitude.

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People who added this item 549 Average listal rating (286 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.6
A deranged tale from master Swede Ingmar Bergman. This one's a surreal nightmare reluctant to remove its claws from your mind.

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People who added this item 1105 Average listal rating (543 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Inland Empire (2007)
David Lynch's transition to digital is a wild success, in its own eccentric way. 3 full hours and I was completely absorbed every second. Phenomenal sound editing too!

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People who added this item 535 Average listal rating (312 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.8
Inside (2007)
Indecently bloody, uncannily realistic looking. The French outdid themselves!

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People who added this item 1505 Average listal rating (903 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
The only time I can remember hitting fast-forward during a committed first-time watch. I'll never see a red corridor/tunnel/hallway without recalling this goddamn movie.

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People who added this item 1308 Average listal rating (744 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
About the worst fever-dream one can imagine.

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People who added this item 1659 Average listal rating (966 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6
Lost Highway (1997)
Lynch has a knack for capturing things the human subconscious would rather forget.

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People who added this item 916 Average listal rating (564 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7
You'll be shaking too hard to pick your jaw up off the floor!

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People who added this item 116 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4
Moebius (2013)
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People who added this item 1331 Average listal rating (725 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.6
Told with devastating power this film introduces us to two boys at age 8 and 18, and how their traumatic experiences have shaped them in unique ways, while steadily bringing them together to face a shared and tragic past.

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People who added this item 1175 Average listal rating (638 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
Naked Lunch (1992)
If the second half was a great as the first half, this would be a true masterpiece. Instead it's a noteworthy oddity from the marvelous David Cronenberg.

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People who added this item 3241 Average listal rating (2103 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.4
A stylish powerhouse of a film, superb in every way. Squeamish need not apply.

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People who added this item 1392 Average listal rating (785 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
Darkly beautiful, moody, academic, and haunting. It's a mesmerizing and rich and delightfully hellish viewing experience.

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People who added this item 895 Average listal rating (529 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.9
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People who added this item 420 Average listal rating (199 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Taxidermia (2006)
Don't watch on a full stomach.

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People who added this item 376 Average listal rating (225 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
Thesis (1996)
A top notch Spanish mystery thriller revolving around a college student's disappearance and a snuff video.

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People who added this item 544 Average listal rating (296 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.9
The ultimate cyber-punk mayhem experience. Everything here is designed to shock, mesmerize, and blow your mind!


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People who added this item 1901 Average listal rating (1224 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Brazenly nihilistic and a true technical achievement in horror.



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People who added this item 1400 Average listal rating (867 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.2
Cronenberg serves up a darkly ingenious meditation on the human condition.

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People who added this item 457 Average listal rating (287 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Ingmar Bergman presents a dark fable/nightmare involving rape, murder, troublesome coincidence, and religious subtext. Inspired Wes Craven's Last House on the Left.

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People who added this item 157 Average listal rating (85 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.9
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People who added this item 256 Average listal rating (156 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6
The Woman (2011)
Exciting and disturbing achievement in contemporary horror that provides plenty to cringe at and chew on afterward.

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Difficulty Recommending

People who added this item 6195 Average listal rating (4201 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3
I'm supposed to love it but I don't. Something just doesn't feel right in the approach that maybe wouldn't give me such fits if it were a lesser work of cinema.
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People who added this item 130 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 4.4
Overly smug, self-satisfied and obtuse and never adds up to anything of import. Might even belong in the "Regretted" section.
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People who added this item 1596 Average listal rating (935 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.6
Antichrist (2009)
I really wanted to like this film, but not unlike other Lars Van Trier efforts, too much struck me as pretentious posturing. But fucked up, to be sure.
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People who added this item 845 Average listal rating (521 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3
Caché (2005)
Like most of Haneke's work, this didn't do much for me.
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People who added this item 209 Average listal rating (119 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.2
Belgium does TCM with mixed results.
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People who added this item 50 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.9
25 minutes of a terribly sad and painfully observant destruction of the human soul, set within a broken marriage. Oh, and one of the most shocking acts of self-inflicted harm I've ever seen on screen. It's now without its merits I guess, but I sure wish I hadn't watched it.
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People who added this item 883 Average listal rating (468 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Dogtooth (2009)
I haven't looked at a dumbbell the same way since.
Xanadon't's rating:
People who added this item 808 Average listal rating (454 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Too long for its own good and visually repetitive, though certain aspects of the film are quite impressive.
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People who added this item 308 Average listal rating (182 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.2
Frontier(s) (2008)
Has its moments, but in the end not as satisfying or as delightfully/wickedly haunting as its peers- Inside and Martyrs.
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People who added this item 934 Average listal rating (537 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7
Most people think rather highly of this movie, but it simply didn't hold my interest the way I imagined it would. Most of the violence is highly stylized and leans toward ridiculous rather than disturbing. Nothing against the movie, just didn't do it for me.
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People who added this item 691 Average listal rating (462 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.7
See above. Plus lame-ass twist ending.
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People who added this item 782 Average listal rating (471 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
After you've finished watching this technical marvel of a thoroughly dark and bloody film you'll be excited to find somebody to talk to that didn't just finish watching it. It's impressive in a number of ways, but quite sadistic.
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Rather than simply rattling off a bunch of "extreme" films (don't get me wrong-- those lists fascinate me too) I'm trying to provide a bit more context for some of the more notorious, or otherwise dark and troubling films out there.

This list reflects my reactions to these types of movies as I try to make sense of the entire film-watching experience. Things like artistic sensibility, technical achievement, sensationalistic appeal, emotional impact, etc. all influence our overall response to a film, regardless of genre. Basically what I mean to say is that ultra-violent, disturbing, or otherwise bizarre films get discussed quite a bit around the internet, but far too often I'm left with the basic, unanswered question: So is the movie any damn good, or not?? (Ha, but of course these kinds of assessments are highly subjective!)

So yeah, let's just think of this as an attempt to find a method to my madness.

*Note: I watch A LOT of horror films. For the most part, "traditional" horror films don't really have a place in this list. Exceptions are made for films that I felt truly pushed some limits or left unique emotional scars :)

For now at least, I've opted to exclude documentaries from this list.

Finally, this is an ongoing list that I plan on revisiting and updating from time to time. I'd love any feedback or suggestions anyone may have!




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