How many of these horror films have you seen?
“Human Centipede” (2009)
Listen … any movie about a deranged doctor stitching three people together, mouth to anus, will cause outrage. The film’s general consensus on Rotten Tomatoes read, “Grotesque, visceral and hard to (ahem) swallow, this surgical horror doesn’t quite earn its stripes because the gross-outs overwhelm and devalue everything else.” It’s just gross.
“Human Centipede 2” (2011)
This sequel continues the grotesque experiment from the first, but also includes graphic rape and sadism. It was so horrifying, in fact, that the British Board of Film Classification deemed it as an infringement of the Obscene Publications Act and was liable to cause real harm to the public, according to The Guardian.
“Slender Man” (2016)
Screen Gems released a film in 2016 about the Slender Man, a fictional creature created in an online forum. It generated controversy as the movie was released just two years after the Waukesha stabbing, in which two 12-year-old girls stabbed a third, claiming the stabbing was part of the steps to becoming a proxy for the Slender Man. The film was accused of capitalizing off the incident, and the father of perpetrator Anissa Weier calling the film “absurd.”
“The Green Inferno” (2013)
The film follows a group of college activists who go to the Amazon Forest to help protect a tribe from deforestation. However, upon arriving they discover the tribe is cannibalistic. Not only was the film, directed by Eli Roth, criticized by Survival International for the film’s stigmas against indigenous people and reinforcing colonialism, but many reviews said the film was extremely gory and disturbing.
“Jeepers Creepers 3” (2017)
The film sparked outrage mainly because of its plot over child molestation and the fact that in 1988, director Victor Salva was incarcerated for sexual abuse of a 12-year-old child and possession of child pornography.
“A Serbian Film” (2010)
This film has been one of the most controversial films of the decade, given it deals with rape, incest, pedophilia, necrophilia and, um, “newborn porn.” According to IGN, the film was investigated for criminality in Serbia and other countries, and was also investigated for its violent and sexual content. According to Rolling Stone, Spain, Norway, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand have banned the film, and other countries have tried everything in their power to stop people from watching it.
“mother!” quickly became the most controversial movie of 2017 due to its brutal finale. No spoiler alert as the movie is now two years old; the Poet’s adoring fans accidentally kill — and then eat — Jennifer Lawrence’s character’s newborn. Paramount had to release a statement following the backlash, saying the film was “intended to be bold,” and that it’s “okay if some people don’t like it.”
“The Hunt” (2019)
This movie never even saw the light of day. It was scheduled to be released on Sept. 27, but following the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings in August, Universal shelved the film. Test screenings found that audiences were uncomfortable with the politics expressed in the film; reports said the film follows 12 people that wake up in a clearing, being hunted by the rich elite.
“The House That Jack Built” (2018)
Lars von Trier’s film was so divisive that it caused walkouts at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The film follows a serial killer (Matt Dillon), who mutilates and strangles his victims. Viewers were also outraged over a scene where a duckling is mutilated. Critics at the festival even said the director “had gone too far this time.”
According to IndieWire, the film also received sanctions from the MPAA because the film’s distributor, IFC, opened an unrated director’s cut of the film over 100 cities without getting permission.