10 Great Horror Movies That Are Ugly On Purpose

Gosh, that sure is tough to look at!

The ABCs of Death
Magnet Releasing

You would think that horror and ugliness would be paired together as often as ice cream and waffles, and to some extent, they are. The genre is full of grotesque, gory and disgusting imagery, but at the same time, most horror movies don't make a deliberate effort to be ugly.

Sure, there's plenty of ugly stuff on the screen, but the cinematography, editing, and sound design are often put together to make a film look good, even if it's subject matter is something as grotesque as serial killers, ghosts or monsters. This is because immersion into the world of horror is one of the best ways to get scares out of your audience. If you lure them in with stylish visuals and typical cinema tropes, you'll be able to catch them off guard with the shocking stuff.

But, on the other end of the spectrum, some fascinating movies go in the opposite direction. They throw ugly visuals right in your face, giving you a horror experience unlike anything you're used to. The following ten films are excellent examples of this and prove how genuinely hideous horror can be.

Before starting, it should be stated that The Blair Witch Project deserves a spot on this list but was already covered in this article. So be sure to give that one a read.

10. Eraserhead 

The ABCs of Death

Well, if you're going to talk about ugly horror movies, then surely it makes sense to start with an absolute classic. It's hard to think of any better options than David Lynch's iconic and sickening debut feature, Eraserhead, as this film's ugly visuals and surrealist qualities are its key selling point. It's no surprise it's still so disturbing even today.

As a big passion project for David Lynch, you can see his unique mind at work in this movie. The essence of Eraserhead is that it explores concepts rather than narrative, with the prevailing theme being the fear of fatherhood. But, it's the expressionistic aesthetic that has maintained the movie's legacy.

In typical David Lynch fashion, there's a whole host of gross, disturbing imagery in the movie, with bleeding cooked chickens, the lead's head being turned into an eraser and a strange woman with puffy cheeks living inside a radiator. That's not even mentioning the deformed child the protagonist cares for, which is the height of this movie's ugliness.

This gross and, unfortunately, hideous little creature is brought to life with some stunning practical effects. Even by today's standards, it looks shockingly real, making the movie look and feel like a legitimate nightmare.


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