10 Most Controversial Horror Movie Moments

Controversial horror movie moments from A Serbian Film, Cannibal Holocaust & more!

A Serbian Film
Contra Film

Although horror films are meant to be terrifying, it's easy to get desensitised to all the blood and guts. Nowadays, viewers can watch a serial killer in a horror flick hacking their victims to bits without batting an eyelid. Since the genre is overstuffed with shlock like this, films need to really push the envelope to stand out.

But there are horror scenes that have become famous, even infamous, for being truly terrifying. We're not talking about jump scares or generic gore. We're looking at the moments that are so unsettling, they can stay with you forever. Even when we know we're watching fictional entertainment, we might be tempted to sleep with the lights on for a while.

But there are some films that aren't just petrifying; they're controversial. Viewers can become so disgusted by a film's graphic violence or provocative imagery, they will get their torches and pitchforks out, trying to get it banned.

Even though some of the movies on this list came out decades ago, they're still banned in some countries to this day for their controversial content.

But which horror movie scene caused the most controversy?

Content warning: due to the nature of the article, there are descriptions and discussion

10. The Eye - Hostel

A Serbian Film

Eli Roth's Hostel begins with Paxton and his friends travelling around Europe to hook up with girls and get wasted. When they hear Slovakia is filled with stunning women eager to please men, they head there and stay at a hostel. When Paxton's friends go missing after spending time with several sex workers, he discovers they've been taken to a facility where deranged elites have tortured them to death.

Hostel's violence is so infamous, it received a lot of flack before it was released. Considering it has scenes of people crushed under trains, fingers chopped off with a chainsaw, and kneecaps impaled with a drill, you can see why. (Also, that scene where Paxton tries to walk after getting the achilles tendons sliced open is impossible to watch without wincing.)

But the moment that makes everyone queasy is when Paxton rescues (if you can call it that) a girl from a surgeon blowtorching her face. Despite saving her life, her eye is left dangling out of its socket, forcing Paxton to snip it off with scissors. Just when you thought this scene couldn't get more gross, her open socket begins gushing fluid, compelling all viewers to gag.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Supervillains Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85