Six Non-Horror Films That Are Far More Disturbing Than Most Horror Films


Just because something is horrific, does not mean it’s horror.  Or does it? At times, it seems, I have some problems differentiating that. Let’s say there was a drama movie about a rape and murder. Both of those things are utterly horrifying, and both have been featured as key components in a horror film, so what sets it apart? Truthfully, in most cases, it is simply the director. If the director has done horror, or even dabbled, and there is a rape scene, or a brutal murder, it will often get tagged as a horror.

But if a director has made serious films, and is more respected than most horror directors are, they will call it a “drama” or a “thriller”, in an attempt to bring a more “mature” audience in. Which, I feel, is bullshit. You can tell me the movie Irreversible is a drama, but I will laugh in your face. That shit is pure horror, in the sense that it crawls inside you and takes something with it when it leaves.  If something is disturbing and horrifying, it is horror to me, no matter how acclaimed the director was who put it all together. Here are six movies that tricked me into thinking they were dramas, and were anything but. A few of them I love, and a few of them I actually shut off. That is just how extreme this list gets at times. Ah, feels good to be back with the disturbing stuff. This stuff is my boo.

Passion of the Christ

phil collins slave driver

Say what you want, but Phil Collins REALLY got into his role as torturer.

Very few things enrage me more than when people us religion as the buffer to make all unacceptable things okay. Rape is vile, right? But in the Bible, it’s cool to give your daughters to insane townsfolk to rape, so they don’t rape your male guests. And you can stab your kid in the heart, but only if God asks you to. Another great example of that was the releasing of The Passion of the Christ to the masses with an R rating. This is, without a doubt, the most violent mainstream film ever made, but because the violence was based on religious lore, it was all good and “needed” to be told. Let me explain something to you, even in a movie like Hostel, there are no, slow-motion, cropped,tight shots of extreme torture. No, but in this movie, each whip crack is accentuated. But it’s fine, right? And if ANY horror director, tried to show a crucifixion,  up close and in slow motion, their film would have landed an X or an NC-17, I can promise you that.

Your Mom OWNS this movie, but God forbid you ask her to watch The Grey, because then she will tell you it is a cruel film and she cannot tolerate that kind of suffering. Two hours of HD torture porn, all in the name of organized religion. I shut this film off twenty minutes in, realizing how sick and masturbatory it really was. Nah, Mel Gibson had no ulterior motives with this film, not at all. Focusing on this part of Jesus’ life to be the center of the story would be like me writing my autobiography around the time I had a kidney stone and pissed blood. Just gross and doesn’t make sense to focus on.

Ken Park


Google image this movie title and do your best not to vomit every organ you have onto your keyboard.

When I sat down and started watching the movie KIDS, I felt like it was not okay. I was super uncomfortable watching two kids fool around, and I was a fucking kid at the time, so I can’t even image what adults must feel like watching that movie. Yet, KIDS was somehow truly compelling (and thoroughly upsetting) but I got through it, barely. I won’t lie, though, it made me wonder about Larry Clark. Wanting to tell a story about kids, using kids, makes sense. But then filming them having sex is, real or not, is a might bit disgusting.

For that reason, Ken Park pretty much ensured I will never watch another Larry Clark film. Truth be told, I couldn’t even get all the way through it, and I have no shame in saying that. This movie plays out like porn using real kids. How is that okay, even in the context of art? And the person who wrote Ken Park (which is based off director Larry Clark’s life growing up), Harmony Korine, also wrote and directed the next film on the list…..



Mom, the inbred Easter Bunny brought us another dead cat.

I have spoken of Gummo before, and though it sickens me, I have an odd appreciation for this film, in the same way that some people appreciate the work of a serial killer. I actually own the Gummo accordion, which is a long and drawn out story I will probably save to tell at my own home some time down the road. But Gummo, well, what is Gummo?

Gummo is a peek into the lives of some severely messed up kids, living in a dead, dull Ohio town. We meet a great deal of them (including a young Chloe Sevigny) and see how they spend their time. What this equates to, for some of them, is killing cats to sell. Also, the pimping of a sister who has down syndrome. Yes, stuff like this litters the whole movie, and leaves a certain stink on y0ur clothes after seeing it. The kind of stink that just doesn’t wash out. I found myself attempting to turn it off many times while watching, but the car-wreck feel to the whole thing made it very difficult, beginning my odd fascination with a film I could only watch once. Regardless, it is horrifying in its very own way.

I Melt With You


Man, the movie adaptation of the game Journey was dull as all get out.

Confession time: unlike the other movies on the list, which mostly sickened me, I love this film. But make no mistakes when you sit down to watch it. This film WILL wreck you. As a viewer, you are not quite sure where it is going for half the film, but then when it gets there (a reveal I will spare all of you so you can see it for yourself) it is a truly exhausting film from that point forth, emotionally and otherwise, and never lets up until that haunting final shot.

I Melt With You is about four friends who grew up together and now try to get together regularly, though not as regularly as they would like, to talk about how their lives have been. Talk about the wives, talk about the kids, do a little drugs. I know a great deal of critics panned this movie, but I think most guys, who may be inching toward their forties slowly and still have no fucking idea who they are or what they are supposed to be, will be able to relate to these four all too well.  Again, just go at it knowing that the taste gets bitter, pretty quick, and make sure you don’t have any plans, because that last scene will leave you pretty broken. You don’t really want to go hang with friends after seeing this one.

Also worth noting that seminal nineties music video director, Mark Pellington (Pearl Jam, Jeremy) directed this film, and it is quite visually beautiful at times. But man, is it soul-wrecking.

  • Steve2

    I would mention “A Serbian Film” for this list (though I haven’t seen it), but I think it’s been mentioned on this site before.

  • joseph

    A Serbian Film isn’t very disturbing when you actually watch it, it’s so over the top that it’s just slapstick.

  • KJD

    Don’t be ridiculous. No where does it say that it’s OK to rape. Now Lot did choose to give up his daughters over his guests(guests in that day and age were treated like family and honored more so), but no one will ever condone that decision. Just read the rest of it.

    Abraham was being tested by God. He did not kill his son.

    This movie is about “The Moment.” When God’s plan of redemption for mankind was brought to fruition. Jesus is the only man to live a perfect and sinless life. Thereby making him qualified to redeem the entire world for all time. It is through this bloody and gruesome sacrifice that we are able to entire into a right relationship with God. The relationship that he intended from the beginning. Without it, we are separated from God. With no way to ever get to him.

    From a movie lovers perspective, and a Christian, I’ve seen this movie once. It is hard to watch. This isn’t something you pop in to pass the time on Saturday. And honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who isn’t a Christian.

  • Mutant Turd

    I had to leave the theater before everyone else when I went to go see Passion of the Christ (yup, saw it in the theater) but not for reasons you might think. After watching Jesus get the shit beat out of him for two hours I was feeling pretty drained and emotionally beat, then at the very end right before the credits and it shows the Resurrection the music hits these few notes that totally sounded like the music from The Terminator. “Ba bump, bump, ba bump”. It was so out of place and the similarity to The Terminator’s music at that particular scene just made me laugh out loud. As soon as the very loud guffaw left my mouth, just about the entire theaters audience swiveled around to look at me with hate in their eyes. When the screen went black I quickly told my friend I’d meet him at the car and ran outside before I could get beat down for apparently laughing at the graphic beating of our Lord and Savior, which I totally wasn’t. I was laughing at the way my mind made the insane connection at a moment of emotional exhaustion that Jesus was the Terminator.

  • I kinda like 8mm. It’s one of the few Nicolas Cage films where he doesn’t bore me to death. He actually CAN act; he just rarely does it.

    I’ll look for some of these. I like getting my mind blown now and then. 🙂

  • steve

    How the hell did you leave this one out? that’s the problem with film blogs; everyone thinks the movie camera was invented in 1994. smh

  • Michael O.

    I agree with you about Passion of the Christ – my mom is the exact type of the parent you mention, and I would argue the same thing when she’d get after me about loving zombie movies.

    As a Biblical interpreter, though, you leave something to be desired:

    “Rape is vile, right? But in the Bible, it’s cool to give your daughters to insane townsfolk to rape, so they don’t rape your male guests. And you can stab your kid in the heart, but only if God asks you to.”

    One easy way to tell the moral of a Biblical story is to see if religious people actually do what you think God is asking them to do. But Jews aren’t known, nor were known, for offering their children as rape victims or sacrifices. That’s because it’s clearly not the moral of the stories. I simply don’t understand how so many apparently intelligent people can’t understand the story of Abraham & Isaac particularly. It’s a story AGAINST human sacrifice, not for it. When that story was being passed around, there actually were religions all around Judaism which practiced human sacrifice. The point of the story is to show that God wants the Jews to replace human sacrifice with animal sacrifice (which itself gets eliminated with Christianity). I would think that story would be, like, a good thing, whether you’re Jewish, Christian or atheist. But apparently not.

  • MetFanMac

    Glad to see some other commenters here are calling you out on your Bible-bashing, Remy. In the story of Lot, f’rinstance, what he does is NOT CONDONED by the text. It just says that he DID it. To be fair it was a bad situation all around, but nowhere does it say that this was what he is (or we are) supposed to do.

  • Bryan


  • Sorry God abandoned me and I don’t like watching people get tortured. I read the book and find it silly, sorry if that doesn’t sit well with some of you, but for how much I talk about rape and cannibalism, you kind have should of suspected as much.
    Not bashing so much as giving my viewpoint, though, which is what an article is, ultimately. I apologize if some of you disagree, and I respect it. The only invisible person I talk to is my best friend, Dropdead Fred.
    @ Steve, click my name in blue above this article and you will be whisked away to a magical land full of lists, of which Man Bites Dog is on many. So while I do appreciate your knowledge of good films, spare the self righteousness if you haven’t researched the blog or writer you are talking down to.
    @Bryan, put that on my last “most disturbing non-horror list”.
    Anything by Gaspar Noe, actually. I totally agree on that. That movie is a soul-wrecker.

  • Mike

    Where is Requiem for a Dream on this list?

  • Bianca

    What, no shot-outs to Oldboy or 4 Months, 3 weeks, and 2 Days? Because those two movies scared me way the hell more than Saw ever did. Scarred me for life, they did.