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Given the number of people who excitedly wait for a new chilling movie to come out every time, we have to admit that they are often mediocre at best. Perhaps it’s the result of a low budget, inexperienced writers, predictable twists, or repetitive plots that dampen the whole experience. 

But all is not lost, as people in this online thread were recently sharing films that still give hope to the terror connoisseurs at heart. Below, you’ll find a list of the most disturbing movies guaranteed to send some creepy crawlers down your spine.

While you're busy adding these films to your own must-watch list, don't forget to check out a conversation with screenwriter, actor, novelist, and story coach Neil Chase, who kindly agreed to tell us more about this genre and even shared his favorite chilling movie!

#1

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Human centipide.
 
YossiTheWizard:

For me, it’s just such an absolutely disturbing concept that I can’t believe the person who came up with it doesn’t have issues that need to be addressed.

Kechemerin , IMDb Report

#2

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Requiem for a Dream it's not a horror movie but definitely one of the most disturbing movies I've watched.

conn_r2112:

I remember watching it when I was younger, and at a certain point I legit had to pause the movie and go outside just to hear some birds chirp and see some sunshine.

kwabsala , IMDb Report

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Dr.Caffeine
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This movie was a masterpiece but I will never watch it again, it's traumatic. But I respect it as it saved a lot of lives by just telling the consequences of the d**g abuse

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#3

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Schindler’s List. I will never watch it again.

u/ToBeReadOutLoud:

It’s an extremely good movie and I’m glad I watched it, but once was definitely enough.

Unusual-Caregiver-30 , IMDb Report

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Rayne OfSalt
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why is this on a list of "could not be made today" movies? if it didn't already exist, someone would absolutely be making it.

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Naturally, the first thing Bored Panda was interested in learning about was the film expert's all-time favorite disturbing movie. Chase shares with us that it's Ghost Stories, a 2017 film starring an ensemble cast that includes Martin Freeman, Samuel Bottomley, Deborah Wastell, and Amy Doyle.

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For those who aren't familiar with the movie, he kindly summarized it. "The film centers around a paranormal debunker who tries to disprove three separate supernatural encounters. But he discovers they are connected in a chilling way. What stands out to me in this film are a number of moments that play upon the psyche of both the main character and the viewer."

#4

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized A Clockwork Orange was up there on the list.

VidelSatan13:

I can watch a lot of horror but I watched it once and never again

Outdoor-Snacker , IMDb Report

#5

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Grave of the Fireflies (1988).

Foolish_Flame:

That was just such a devastating movie. Must’ve seen it about 20 years ago and I still think about it often. It still gives me goosebumps.

Aggravating_Top7963 , IMDb Report

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Alec
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yups, that one is most definitely up there. A less familiar anime movie along the same lines is Barefoot Gen

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#6

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized A Serbian Film.

minish4w:

Came here for this. I wouldn’t watch the movie again but, in terms of accomplishing what they set out to accomplish, it was a good movie. I feel bad for even saying that, lol. But man, that’s one that just can’t be unseen. Almost feel terrible for having actually seen it. On that note, if anyone comments about a movie that’s more disturbing than this one… I don’t think I’d want to watch it. And I’ve of gone on horror movie binges that span the globe.

Ill-Organization-719 , IMDb Report

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Jrog
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The plot synopsis on Wikipedia is a wild ride enough for me.

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"A great example of this is found in the second story that he is trying to debunk - where he enters the home of a disturbed young man and sees the boy's parents standing in the kitchen," Chase continues telling us.

"They have their backs to him (and the camera) and appear to be standing at the sink, washing dishes. However, when the protagonist takes a second look, he sees that they are completely motionless. The camera lingers on this image, and the longer it does so, the more disturbing the effect gets.

Why aren't these people moving? Why aren't they speaking? Why do they have their backs to us? And, just as the investigator is about to take a step towards them, the boy gets his attention, and it pulls us away from those faceless characters. It's never revealed why they were behaving this way, which only adds to the mystery of that moment."

#7

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Hotel Rwanda.

u/becuzurugly:

I own it but have only watched it twice. I cry about it for days on end.

lnchkr , IMDb Report

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Alexandra
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I never watch films like that because I probably wouldn't be able to cope with everyday life after seeing the depravity of mankind.

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#8

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Threads... By far.

SV650rider:

I saw it years ago and still think about it regularly. Sometimes my friend and I need to talk about it to continue the processing.

Saintdavus:

This changed my idea of surviving nuclear war. I’m now glad I live in a high target city and I only hope I get vaporized instantly if or when the time comes.

Tomaszmagnum , IMDb Report

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Jrog
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Threads and The Day After are recognized as the media that most effectively swayed public opinion towards widespread support of nuclear weapon reduction programs. They happened to be published at a time when the media had a predominantly propaganda-driven nationalistic rhetoric.

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#9

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized One Hour Photo. Robin Williams as a psycho. Brilliant but disturbing.

FriendlyInspection68 , IMDb Report

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Jrog
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I only remember it as bland, pointless and boring psychological pastiche.

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To learn more about the film genre itself, we were curious to find out what elements make a movie truly chilling.

Chase explains, "Disturbing films typically come in two varieties - those that are meant to disturb on a visceral level (such as shock-horror films like Hostel or A Serbian Film) and a smaller class of disturbing films that are meant to affect the viewer on a psychological level (such as the aforementioned Ghost Stories, and even non-horror such as Thirteen). I find psychologically disturbing movies to be most effective, much more so than movies with just gore and shock value."

#10

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized American History X.

EgonsBrokenTie:

I can remember by buddy showing me the film. He had the video tape rewound and back in the case and I still had my jaw dropped while staring blankly into the turned off TV.

Jdtdtauto , IMDb Report

#11

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Come and See, written and directed by two men who were on the eastern front during Germany's genocide campaign in Belarus, the campaign that k*lled 27 million Russians. The movie depicts the writer's experience as a teenage soldier. It was made during the time of the Soviet Union and the actions of the Germans depicted in the movie were deemed so intense and disturbing that even the Soviet Union who basically controlled all media at the time asked then to tone it down. The movie uses a real child actor, real animals, and real live ammunition. It could never be made today. It is haunting, disturbing, and based 100% in reality. It shows there are no heroes in war and will destroy any notion one may have that war is ever a good idea. It makes Saving Private Ryan look like Over the Hedge. Edit: The movie is free in its native Russian on Youtube.

Tantra_Charbelcher , IMDb Report

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Alexandra
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A pity that this movie didn't prevent Russia from invading the Ukraine: apparently history will repeat itself.

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#12

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Johnny Got his Gun. It took me years to watch it all the way through. Being stuck in your body not being able to move or communicate all the while being conscious to everything around you. It's like being buried alive for years.

spytez , IMDb Report

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James016
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Metallica own the rights to this film. They bought it so they could use snippets in the video for One.

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According to Chase, the quality of unsettling cinema might be declining because studios aren't willing to take risks with storylines and are often playing it safe.

"To me, it all comes down to the quality of storytelling," he explains. "In recent years, the quality of storytelling in films has gotten worse. It's not that there aren't great storytellers or even great stories available - it's that, increasingly, studios are unwilling to take storytelling risks and are simply playing it safe. It's difficult to create disturbing content of any kind when the filmmakers are mandated to make content to please audiences rather than disturb them. "

Chase finds an interesting paradox in this. "Disturbing content, by its nature, is meant to throw viewers off and unsettle them, not to please them. And yet, most studios these days are trying to make films that will please as wide an audience as they can. These two viewpoints are in direct contradiction. How can you please a wide audience while also creating content that will disturb them? You just can't."

#13

The Machinist. Surprised I haven’t seen it mentioned!!

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#14

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Irreversible.

Only movie I tapped out on the first time then revisited just to get through it. Not only is it gruesome, the atmosphere and camera angles make it really unsettling.

rupa_rockstar:

This film stuck with me for so long, so awful, tragic and beautiful as well. Quite a feat.

aychedee , IMDb Report

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Rizzo
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A great movie. Reminded me of "Memento". I will never forget the twist. A must watch.

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#15

Jacob's ladder traumatized me.

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#16

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Midsommar.

u/woahwoahwoah28:

That was one of the first movies I saw where nausea set in while I was watching it.

pleasure-delayer , IMDb Report

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Elin Sandman
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a Swede this was a movie that just felt completely ridiculous. I saw it at the cinema with family and I have never experienced a whole theatre audience laugh so hard during a horror movie. I’ve tried to watch it again because I am a big fan of his other movies but no, I find it ridiculous.

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#17

I Spit On Your Grave. The Hills Have Eyes. Both originals and remakes.

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ElfVibratorGlitter
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love i spit on your grave! I've tried showing it to friends and they can't get to the point where the revenge starts, which is SO SATISFYING. very few movies have gotten me so invested in a character and wanting them to do terrible things to rapists. Such a good and disturbing movie!

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#18

Apocalypse Now.
It had an impact on me like no other. The movie feels so intensely real, and unfortunately it is a very accurate depiction of what happened in the Vietnam War. The way that the movie dehumanises Vietnamese people (which is what the Americans did) just kills me. It’s absolutely horrifying.

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Jrog
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2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's horrifying, but it is so on purpose and with a clear message behind. The approach to evil of the protagonist through its journey and its steps, is mirrored by the sacrificial ascension of the antagonist posing a lot of questions about what's good and what's bad in ethically challenging scenarios. It's another film that could not be made today but only because it takes a great director and a lot of artistic freedom to commit to a story without falling into the temptation of turning it into a rhetoric, generic war movie.

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#20

Lars von Trier's Antichrist. Specifically the scene involving scissors….

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#21

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Not the most disturbing, but the car scene in Hereditary shocked the absolute s**t out of me more than any other horror scene. I’ve watched a lot of horror movies.

bokin8:

It was so unexpected in that moment of the movie for some reason that's why it was so shocking too. That one is really burned into my brain.

SassafrassPudding:

Hereditary stayed with me. It's a long, slow burn until it hits you again, and again. I've watched a whole bunch of "deep dive" video essays to try and work through it, but the effects remain, like a spot on my soul

Dangerous_Mouse_1475 , IMDb Report

#22

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Eraserhead. You are welcome.

AreYouMeIAmYou:

I saw it for the first time last year and it left a very foul taste in my mouth. Oh, and I'm going to be a dad for the first time this year and the movie is even more unsettling now.

sweetsour9 , IMDb Report

#23

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Eden Lake.

SamRaimisOldsDelta88:
 
I had to scroll far too long for this one. Other movies might be more viscerally upsetting but this one just hurts deep down inside. I’ve seen pretty much all of them. Terrifier, TCM, Martyrs, Cannibal Holocaust…

It’s mean, realistic, and doesn’t give you a payoff or relief in the end.

Dependent-Stuff-8574 , IMDb Report

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Pittsburgh rare
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Glad to see this here. I watched it late at night thinking some brainless horror past time and then got sucked into actual violence with believable characters and unbearable tension with no relief. I've avoided it since.

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#24

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Funny games. I watch A LOT of horror movies/ thrillers etc. I consider it my favorite genre. That movie got me to my core for some reason. Something felt so real about it.

unoeyedwillie:

I watch a lot of horror and read a lot of true crime, I could not finish this movie. It did feel very real.

DrZoid1984 , IMDb Report

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Castles
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate home invasion films especially as horrible as this. This and a British film called Cherry Tree Lane are both of the films I will never watch again

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#25

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Probably Event Horizon.

doomonyou1999:

I still have nightmares related to this film.

ladderboy124 , IMDb Report

#26

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Mother….

u/TalkativeTree:

This is the only movie I actively wish I could un-watch.

u/Clom_Clompson:

The only movie I’ve ever seen that truly and I mean truly felt like an unfolding nightmare. I will never watch it again.

AttractiveLizard , IMDb Report

#27

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Ok, Bone Tomahawk.

Ricemandem:

Only film I've ever watched where I have to actively avoid thinking about it for my own peace of mind

not_your_google , IMDb Report

#28

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The 1974 original.

It just feels so grimy, unpleasant and most of all, REAL. It feels realistic and truly disturbing in a way a lot of horror movies don't, to the point where you almost feel like you shouldn't be watching, but you can't look away. The title makes you think you're in for a gorefest, but there's actually very little blood and gore to speak of (Tobe Hooper was shooting for A PG RATING, but the MPAA decided that the subject matter was just too macabre to be anything less than an R). It's all about the atmosphere, the tension, the extremely f****d up imagery in that house, and the erm... eccentric Sawyer family. And it's all made even scarier by Marilyn Burns' uncomfortably realistic terror at everything around her... and much of her fear was genuine.

Yeah, about that... the making of the film was no picnic. Just look up what a nightmare the dinner scene was for everyone involved. Edwin Neal (who played the hitchhiker) said it was the worst experience of his life.... and he'd served in Vietnam.

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Ken Beattie
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The hammer scene is incredibly brutal and realistic. It's one of the simplest, but most effective horror movie kills ever.

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#29

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized I found Tusk very disturbing. I love horrors and don’t mind body horror usually, but that one left me with a really uncomfortable feeling.

Brief-Leader-4015:

I'm glad I'm not the only one, everyone laughed at it but I found it very unsettling.

Lux-Raven , IMDb Report

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Dr.Caffeine
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don't watch it. It is not worth the trauma. It has no purpose and proper storyline except to disgust the viewer. Just a mess of a movie.

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#30

“If You Haven’t Seen It, Please... Just Don’t”: 30 Disturbing Movies That Left People Traumatized Pink Flamingos for sure.

unicornichopia , IMDb Report

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