The 8 Most Disturbing Movie Scenes That Will Keep You Up At Night

The 8 Most Disturbing Movie Scenes That Will Keep You Up At Night

Avatar of Rodrigo Ayala

By: Rodrigo Ayala

May 4, 2017

Movies The 8 Most Disturbing Movie Scenes That Will Keep You Up At Night
Avatar of Rodrigo Ayala

By: Rodrigo Ayala

May 4, 2017

I was seven when I saw a woman killing herself.
It happened at a child's birthday party. The birthday boy's nanny threw herself from the highest part of the family mansion with a rope tightened around her neck. All the guests, parents and children, yelled and ran, looking for their respective family members.

When The Omen ended, my father took the videotape out of the VCR. I thought there wasn't anything scarier in the world than that scene, since I had never felt as disturbed as I did when I saw it. Even now that I'm older, movies still affect me in the same way as when I was a kid with a bowl haircut, shorts, and cartoon t-shirts. 


The next movie selection contains scenes from movies of different periods that impacted me and produced a sense of confusion and horror on me when I first saw them (yes, on my VCR). 

Freaks (1932)
Tod Browning
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Without a doubt, this is one of the most fascinating, yet terrifying horror films of all times. The story takes place in a carnival sideshow that exhibits people with physical abnormalities. Its historical value lies in the fact that they used non-professional actors who actually worked in these kinds of shows in order to portray the story in a more realistic way. The creepiest scene is when one of the antagonists is cornered by these freaks, who are seeking revenge for all the injustices they have endured.

The Tenant (1976)
Roman Polanski

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This movie portrays the horrors of paranoia. Polanski's movies are often disturbing and this one isn't the exception. A young architect moves into an apartment where he starts experience strange events. One of them is when he finds a hole in the wall with a real tooth inside it. The movie never explains where this object came from and the purpose of it being there, so this is an intriguing and frightening scene.

Terror at the Opera (1987)
Dario Argento
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Dario Argento is by far one of the most sadistic directors of the Italian film industry. His movies are well-known due to the cruel, gory, and surreal way in which murder scenes are presented. In Terror at the Opera, he resorts to his characteristic style to produce anxiety and revulsion in the spectator. In this story, a poor woman is tortured by a murderer who sticks a pile of needles under her eyes. So, whenever she blinks, these sharp objects cause her small but painful wounds. It's a sadistic, anguishing, extremely frightening, and also a very original film.

RoboCop (1987)
Paul Verhoeven
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This classic cult film is constantly revisited due to its dark, almost apocalyptic message. Paul Verhoeven creates a dystopia where crime, violence, hideous TV shows, and technological advances dominate the world (not unlike our current situation). Murphy, a young police officer, is brutally shot by a gang of drug dealers while his patrol partner, Anne Lewis, witnesses the merciless crime. This movie is a disquieting premonition of where are we heading as a society.

Dancing in the Dark (2000)
Lars von Trier
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In this contemporary drama film, the Icelander singer Björk plays a woman who's progressively losing her sight. Being a victim of injustice, her life is a downward spiral of misfortunes. The story progresses in a very anguishing way until we reach the last scene where cruelty, sadness, and shock make us question if there's some kindness left in the world.

The Others (2001)
Alejandro Amenábar
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Directed by Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar and starring Australian actress Nicole Kidman, this movie has become a classic contemporary horror film due to its connections with Victorian horror stories. Kidman lives in an isolated, grim old mansion with her two children. We accompany this family and live the fear they feel when some dark supernatural beings start appearing in that dark house. One of the scariest scenes is the mother's first encounter with one of these peculiar intruders.

Irreversible (2002)
Gaspar Noé

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This independent film caused great controversy when it was released due to a very disturbing rape scene. However, this was not the only scene attempting to traumatize its viewers. There's a moment at a decadent and dangerous gay bar where a group of men have a very violent and graphic fight scene. The altercation ends when one of them is brutally killed. You'll probably look away during this gory scene and, to be honest, I wouldn't judge you.

Rabbits (2002)
David Lynch

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Lynch's films are, most of the time, disturbing, odd, and surreal. Each movie is a journey to the unconscious as well as an intimate approach to the darkest side of reality. However, Rabbits is perhaps the most unsettling film from this American director. Originally conceived as a mini-series, the story shows us three humanoid rabbits cohabiting in a living room. From time to time, we listen to some recorded laughs as if we were watching a sitcom. These sounds disrupt the moment, since the rabbits are always inexpressive and their strange dialogues are far from logical. Any attempt to explain the film is futile, since only Lynch  knows what's going on, but you can try. This movie won't make you feel disgusted nor scared, but its creepy plot and visual tools will definitely test your patience.

If you're here, you must be a huge fan of strange films. How much you know about weird and absurd movies? If you love extreme supernatural films, take a look at this: 10 Horror Movies That You Will Never Want to Watch Alone.
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Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards