If there’s one thing that we know for sure about horror fans, it’s that some of us love to keep pushing the intensity of our viewing experiences one stage further. Like Spinal Tap turning it up to eleven just to go one louder, there’s a special kind of horror fan who always needs the next horrifying movie experience.
Weirder, darker, bloodier, more punishing and nihilistic. The impulse to get constantly grimmer might not say very nice things about us, if we think about it too much. But should we wish to indulge it, this list is a guide through the gruesome.
It's a simple question: what are the most intense and interesting films out there? Forget creature features, forget Stephen King, forget the Hostel and Saw franchises. This list has ten of the most controversial, shocking, and downright bizarre films out there, made by some of the most exciting filmmakers working today – and some old-school treats that were too taboo for general release for many years.
Start strong: start weird. David Lynch’s debut feature Eraserhead is a dark, atmospheric ordeal that feels like a suffocation dream. It took five years to make, and is best described as a hypnotic, surreal fable about the paranoia and fear of fatherhood.
Incredible central performance? Check. Creepy setting? Check. Bizarre imagery? Check. Unnerving soundtrack? Check. Deformed monster baby unravelling into a spiralling explosion of deranged light and sound? Check.
There’s not much anyone can say that will prepare you for Eraserhead. Part psychological drama, part art movie, part horror masterpiece, it’s so strange, so ethereal, so beautiful, so harrowing, that the only relevant thing I can say is: who's that singing in the radiator?