While there are many horror flicks that are relatively tame or more fun than freaky, the genre generally tends to not be for the faint of heart. Horror filmmakers have always attempted to push the boundaries of taste, exploring some of the most macabre and maddening subject matter without pulling any punches.
With all that being said though, there is such a thing as too far. There are certain movies that have no interest in stopping at just simply scaring the viewer, and instead they seem to be more concerned with seeing how far they can push their audience before they break.
When it comes to conversations about these kind of movies, there are several names that always get tossed around. The Saw series, Martyrs, A Serbian film, and The Human Centipede trilogy are all recognizable to anyone familiar with extreme cinema. However, the well goes far deeper than these usual suspects.
Whether it be through grotesque displays of violence or nerve-wracking psychological distress, these are ten extreme horror movies that try to break their audience.
It should go without saying, but major trigger warnings for the entries ahead.
10. Exhibit A
We'll start this off with a not-so wholesome family film.
This found footage flick tracks the journey of a father who, due to his inability to reconcile with his own failings, puts his family through a nightmare they may never be able to escape .
Exhibit A takes full advantage of the found footage sub-genre. The movie is personal, with the violence, both physical and emotional, coming across as painfully intimate. Everything that happens in the story could have been avoided if, even just once, this man took a second to self-reflect rather than wallow in self-pity. But, he never does, and those he "loves" must pay dearly for it.
Take the moments where he verbally lashes out at his family. His expulsion of anger turns him from loving father to a rage monster devoid of any humanity. His character switch in these moments is naturalistic, allowing you to get a small sense of what it's like to be a fly on the wall of a violently dysfunctional household.
The most messed up thing about Exhibit A is that the way it treats domestic violence is genuine. This doesn't feel like a made up series of events, but rather a recording of a real life incident.