9 Violent Mainstream Movie Scenes That Went Too Far

So... much... bloodshed.

Jessica Alba Killer Inside Me
IFC Films

We, as a mainstream moviegoing audience, like to believe there's a tacit agreement between us and the directors of the films we pay to enjoy. When we plop down in front of the screen for those couple of hours, we want to feel something - whether that be a tickled funny bone, a jolted heart, or a croak in our throat - but we don't want to feel too much.

Specifically, we don't want a heavy queasiness in our stomachs that lasts long after we've walked out of the theatre. You know, the kind that comes from witnessing something so vile and disgusting that our brains fight to exorcise the image immediately. Some filmmakers, it turns out, have not received that memo. Or they used it to give someone a paper cut on their eyeball before crumpling it up and eating it. Violence can be a nimble tool in crafting a story, but it can also be a gimmicky trick to fall back on, using it to induce a cheap, visceral reaction from an audience.

The key is deciding what level of brutality is needed to drive the point home, and when it crosses the threshold into excessive and exploitative. All of the scenes on this list are intense. But some of them only tiptoe past the boundary of good taste, while others relish in leapfrogging it by a mile.


Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor.