Its not just horror films that utilise portrayals of torture and suffering in order to unsettle their audiences. From Tarantino to Scorsese, gruesome torture scenes have managed to permeate almost every area of the cinematic spectrum. While few torture scenes make for pleasant viewing, some directors know how to take an unnerving experience and turn it into a thoroughly harrowing one. Moreover, a talented director knows how to make a torture scene into something of greater worth than a mere display of butchery and anguish whether its for characterisation, plot or tone, these scenes can become very useful devices in the right hands. Fortunately for audiences torture comes in a wide range of flavours, from the subtle to the sadistic and everything in between. This ensures that while the end result might always be horrendous, the means of getting there rarely lacks originality. Perhaps its for all the wrong reasons, but these scenes are often memorable and come to dominate the films they appear in. Because of this, directors are forced to tread a careful line, being cautious not to schlock it up while simultaneously needing to make some sort of impression on their audience. Be warned: there are many spoilers ahead.