Most of us are okay with a bit of blood, a jump scare or two and the occasional existential theme. Being able to dabble in these moments without being plunged in at the deep end allow for that adrenaline rush that so many of us crave when watching a horror movie, without making us feel like we want to curl up into a ball and weep uncontrollably.
Horror films often have to balance delving into these more extreme modes of terror and being watchable – or at least the ones that do well at the box office do. Sometimes however, even the tamest of horror films can surprise us with something utterly vile.
In lists like these, the same films tend to crop up: A Serbian Film, Saló, Antichrist or The Girl Next Door. Don’t get me wrong, these are indeed very disturbing and deeply upsetting, but given that these films have had the spotlight for a while, I figured we should discuss some lesser known ones.
For this list, films that have come out in the last decade will be taken into consideration, with some well-known flicks and some indie gems being woven in too.
It goes without saying that this list may contain topics some readers may find disturbing.
10. Tongue Trap - Spiral
After the 2017 instalment of the Saw franchise disappointed fans of the saga (and casual viewers who went in for a good scare and didn’t receive anything of the sort), people were cautiously optimistic for the 2021 film.
The Chris Rock helmed film turned out to be another disappointment to many, but there was one stand-out moment – whether that moment was enjoyable or not however, is up for debate.
The first trap actually occurs in the opening scene, which set a tone for the film that unfortunately wasn’t followed up. It is a hell of a trap though, and quite possibly one of the goriest Saw traps in the whole series.
Detective Bozwick finds himself in a trap, after chasing what he thought was an ordinary thief at a funfair, where he is standing on a chair in a subway tunnel with his hands behind his back. Oh yeah, and his tongue is in a vice. Due to his corrupt nature and lying tongue, the designer of the trap saw (pun intended) it as only fitting that the offending organ be removed.
The wince inducing sequence that follows is hugely uncomfortable to watch, with incredible special effects that make this seem all too real. You can practically feel the tissue tearing. Yuck.