It's considerably harder to make a controversial horror film today than it would have been say, forty years ago.
In the 60s and 70s, sexual violence, nudity and gore were all concepts that no film director in their right mind would have written into their scripts, let alone actually putting them on screen. After all, Hitchcock's Psycho - a film that (by today's standards) would be considered prude in its depiction of sexually suggestive scenes - was almost pulled from public viewing for what many studio executives deemed to be too 'smutty'.
In our 'golden age', where free speech and liberty also means freedom of artistic expression, horror cinema has exploded in popularity; with every new year trying to best the last in vying for the title of most controversial or affecting film ever.
Sure, there are a lot of disturbing films out there that have genuine stories to tell and violence is just a vehicle for that, but the opposite is also true. Torture porn, basement level shock films and consciously offensive material often seem to trump actual film merit, and still audiences respond, further emphasising the idea of the shock as currency.
But which films are deserving of their controversy and which ones were actually great movies; their reputations sullied by overly negative public reaction?
The cream of the crop, so to speak, as far as horror films are concerned, The Exorcist is the king of controversy in its genre.
Concerns over Linda Blair's well-being after being cast in the role of a possessed child, accusations of subliminal messages and ground-breaking (for its time) special effects all led to the reputation it has today.