DEMONIC FILM VOTED MOST DISTURBING OF ALL TIME
It had cinemagoers reaching for sick bags and fainting in the aisles and now the 1973 horror film The Exorcist, which had critics and viewers up in arms upon its release, has been voted as The Most Disturbing Film of all time by film fans.
To mark the release of Dutch horror film The Human Centipede, rumoured to contain some of the most disturbing scenes to ever hit cinema screens LOVEFiLM, Europe’s largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the internet and sending DVDs by post, asked over 2,500 film fans to vote for the most disturbing of all films.
William Friedkin’s 1973 tale of demonic possession topped the list of films -with 15 per cent of votes – beating off frightening competition from some truly dark releases in the process.
Stanley Kubrick’s ultra-violent yet satirical book adaptation A Clockwork Orange, a film that was censored by the controversial director himself, just missed out on the top spot in the poll and claimed second place (13 per cent).
Bringing the list more up to date is psychological thriller Saw, which takes third place in the LOVEFiLM list. Cinemagoers required nerves of steel for this grizzly film, denounced by some critics as nothing more than a ‘sadistic gore fest’ – however, its gruesome scenes made it disturbing enough to draw in 11 per cent of votes.
Murder, cannibalism and masks made of human skin? It must be the next in LOVEFiLM’s most disturbing list – this time taken by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which hacked its way into fourth place (10 per cent). The 1974 slasher movie introduced audiences to ‘Leatherface’ – a villain who wore most of his victims’ skin on his face. Nice.
2000’s Requiem for a Dream which dealt with issues of addiction and the descent into madness comes in at fifth place in the poll with seven per cent, whilst 2002’s French thriller Irreversible, a film that truly pushed the boundaries of what cinema audiences could endure, came in at sixth place with six per cent of the vote.
We’ve all learnt that the seven deadly sins are best kept well away from, and no one learnt this more than Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in Se7en. The duo uncover a series of gruesome murders relating to each of the deadly sins in the 1995 horror flick, which drew in five per cent of votes and placed this film, rather spookily, in seventh place.
Plucked from the deepest reaches of space and coming in at eighth place (four per cent) is 1997 sci-fi horror Event Horizon, which terrified audiences with its tag line ‘Infinite Space, Infinite Terror’ and proved that, in space, people definitely can hear you scream.
Following just behind, with two per cent of votes is 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, which scared and baffled audiences in equal measure upon its release, due to the amateur camera work and apparent ‘reality’ documentary footage. In tenth and final place, with just one per cent of votes, is Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist which saw guests fainting at its premiere due to the graphic on-screen violence.
The Top Ten Most Disturbing Films of all Time are:
- The Exorcist (1973) – 15%
- Clockwork Orange (1971) – 13%
- Saw (2004) – 11%
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – 10%
- Requiem for a Dream (2000) – 7%
- Irreversible (2002) – 6%
- Se7en (1995) – 5%
- Event Horizon (1997) – 4%
- The Blair Witch Project (1999) – 2%
- 10. Antichrist (2009) – 1%
Other – 26%
Helen Cowley, Editor at LOVEFiLM commented:
“As much as we wince and turn away from what’s on screen, every film lover secretly loves a good horror flick. This list of disturbing films truly showcases the extreme lengths that filmmakers will go to in order to continually shock audiences, but it’s great to also see some classics in there – which arguably changed the way horror films are crafted for today’s audiences.”
“With LOVEFiLM’s choice of over 67,000 titles to watch either streamed to your PC or sent by post you can afford to indulge in those films that you’d kill to see again and again.”