Horror movies, by design, are meant to shock and disturb. Gore, traumatic experiences, and heavy topics are all on the table and are displayed with varying degrees of success. Take a disturbing tale like Possum for example and compare it to the trashy horror of Piranha 3DD; frightening topics are approached in a myriad of different ways.
But can horror go too far?
Obviously, you’ve got films like Oldboy, Martyrs and The Human Centipede 2 which are renowned for making viewers feel quite icky. Then there are films with horror bursting at the seams, so much so it oozes into real life.
Across the ten entries that feature in this list, we’ll investigate the investigations of various horror films that seemed to blur fiction and reality. Sensitive topics (such as sexual assault, torture and necrophilia) will be discussed in this list, so please proceed with caution if any of these topics affect you.
9. Traces Of Death (1993)
An obvious homage (and some may say copycat) to 1978’s bizarre and distressing Faces of Death, this exploitation film had as much controversy as the film that inspired it.
Unlike Faces of Death however, which has taken on a sort of mythical status since its’ release, Traces of Death is merely a disgusting myriad of haunting imagery and film.
Traces of Death has in fact broken the law in two countries: Australia and Britain.
In 2003, the film was confiscated by the Australian Border Control, as it broke one of the customs regulations. The regulation in question was Regulation 4A (subsection 1A) which deems that any published imports (including films) that feature “revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be imported” amongst other things.
Then in 2005, after Traces of Death wasn’t given an age rating by the BBFC, it was suggested the film broke UK laws known as the Obscene Publications Act – which can actually grant you a prison sentence if the court decides the publication in question is too obscene.
However with the rise of the internet, the film has become much easier to come by and can be found far more easily. In fact, it's said to be the first viral video.