Extreme Horror is an acquired taste. Not everyone is into watching others suffer. Admittedly it’s not my thing, but I have seen far more of these movies than I want to admit. To make the cut for the Most Extreme Horror Movies ever, the film must bring something unique to the table. They either need to be stomach-turning, cutting edge, boundary-pushing, or all of the above. It isn’t enough to be gross. There are tons of films that are ultra-violent and yet would never find themselves on this list. There are some that in their day belonged on this list but have since been eclipsed by things so vile they may never be beaten. Those would include things like Cannibal Holocaust that are still extreme, just not as much as the others on this list.
All of these movies on this list are disgusting. There is no escaping the fact they are essentially fictional snuff films for a certain psychopathic element that is really into sadism. That being said, a few are wonderfully acted and thematically important in addition to being so squirm-worthy you likely will hate yourself for watching them. Whether you like things artful and horrific, or down and dirty, there is something for even the most hardened horror fan. Beware though, most of these films you can never unsee.
A Serbian Film
An aging porn star agrees to participate in an art film in order to make a clean break from the business, only to discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film.
There is nothing off-limits in this depraved film. Rape, including infant rape, necrophilia, torture, both mental and physical, and out-right madness are all featured. Writer/director Srdjan Spasojevic insists this film is about the chaotic regime of modern Serbia. Suppose this is what Spasojevic thinks about Serbia, I never want to go. It may be the sickest violence you will see in any movie. You can’t stream this legally anywhere.
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
A group of fascists round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to a 120 days of physical, mental and sexual torture.
This is the oldest film on the list dating back to 1977. The torturers are foul people. It’s basically if Kens and Karens got together and decided to torture people for no reason other than they could in the basements of their gated communities. It’s a scorching indictment of Capitalism, and the final scene will be burned into your memory. You can’t currently stream it legally anywhere but can buy the DVD or Blu Ray on Amazon.
Presented in a surreal, gory, and entirely visual manner, Begotten tells of the death of religion, the abuse of nature by Man, and a nihilistic outlook on what life ultimately is.
There is something about this bizarre movie that really gets under your skin. The filmmaking is like nothing you have ever seen before, and it is flat out chilling. It is the kind of movie you will remember forever. You can stream it on YouTube.
While a married couple (Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg) is having sex, their infant son in a nearby room falls out a window to his death. She becomes distraught and is hospitalized, but her husband, a psychiatrist, attempts to treat her. Deciding that she needs to face her fears, he takes her to a cabin in the woods where she spent a previous summer with the boy. Once they are there, she becomes more unhinged and starts perpetrating sexual violence on her husband and herself.
Hands down the weirdest and best-acted film on the Most Extreme Horror list. Antichrist is a horrific masterpiece. William Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are gut-wrenching, and the final explosive act is guaranteed to have you crossing your legs and avoiding sex for a while. Lars von Trier is one sick twist, so be forewarned. You can get it from Amazon Prime and Google Play
Human Centipede 2 Full Sequence
A depraved mama’s boy (Laurence R. Harvey) goes on a killing and collecting spree to recreate the experiment portrayed in “The Human Centipede (First Sequence).”
Did you think while watching the original Human Centipede, “Gee, what this movie needs are more people sewed to butts eating poop and even less medical expertise.” If you did, the sequel is for you. It is one of those rare examples of the sequel being more intense than the original. You can stream it almost everywhere, and Amazon Prime has it for free.
Two young women who were both victims of abuse as children embark on a bloody quest for revenge only to find themselves plunged into a living hell of depravity.
Make sure you watch the French 2008 version instead of the American 2016 one as the latter film lacks the same punch as the original. The finale is so sick it’s hard to see past the torture and realize our heroine may have turned the tables. Pascal Laugier is a favorite director of mine, and his far more mainstream Incident In A Ghostland is a must-see. This is another film you have to rent or buy from Google Play, Apple, or Amazon.
Atroz or Atrocious
After a car strikes a woman, police officers searching the suspect’s car find gruesome footage of the occupants torturing a prostitute to death. The officers decide to deal their own justice and discover there are more tapes and murders.
There are quite a few twists and turns and additional plot beats that aren’t needed. Atroz is intended to shock, and it certainly does that. It’s not the Most Extreme Horror movie on the list, but it’s worth your time if you are into that sort of thing. It’s available free on Tubi.
We Are The Flesh
After wandering a ruined city for years, two siblings enter a building and find a strange man who makes them a very dangerous offer: survival, but on his terms.
The soundtrack and cinematography are great, and the acting is surprisingly good. This Mexican art film pushes boundaries and is hard to watch. There are very few places it isn’t willing to go, and many think that is its charm. You can get it on Tubi for free.
This disturbing Japanese thriller follows Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), a widower who decides to start dating again. Aided by a film-producer friend (Jun Kunimura), Aoyama uses auditions for a fake production to function as a dating service. When Aoyama becomes intrigued by the withdrawn, gorgeous Asami (Eihi Shiina), they begin a relationship. However, he begins to realize that Asami isn’t as reserved as she appears to be, leading to gradually increased tension and a harrowing climax.
This is one of those films that is both repulsive and really well acted. Director Takashi Miike is a God in these circles, and you can see why in Audition. This isn’t just simple gore. This is next-level abuse meted out by the coldest ingenue you will ever see. DO NOT attempt eating during or really for the next several days after watching this.
Guinea Pig Franchise
Two women are abducted by a group of snuff filmmakers and brought into a Hellish nightmare of unmistakable brutality, viciousness, and destruction that will leave every viewer shocked, amazed, and awestruck.
There is an entire franchise, and they are all disgusting. Either the Japanese film series or the American one is repulsive, so pick your poison. They are wall to wall violence, gore, abuse, and depraved sexual acts. Some of the movies are available on YouTube, and in some parts of the world, Amazon Prime carries them too.
An abstract, surreal horror film centering around six dead women waking up in the crawl space below their killer’s house only to discover that they are trapped in their own limbo and purgatory. The house itself contains many rooms revealing hints and clues to their past lives and how they’ve come to an end up where they are. Each girl is forced to accept their fate or remain in place between rotting house walls one by one and alone. A movie that tells its story in silence. Without any spoken dialog and surrounded by a cryptic and dark visual atmosphere, FLOWERS is a film that builds on the journey and not the destination.
Flowers is a bizarre experience, to be sure. It is easily the most inventive film on this list and is decidedly artful in its approach. In addition to the extreme gore, it is a mindbender that builds layer by suffocating layer. It’s not available streaming anywhere.
Thanatomorphose is a 2012 Canadian body horror film directed by Éric Falardeau. It was his directorial debut. It was first released on October 2, 2012, in Spain and has been shown at several film festivals since then, including the Fantasia Film Festival.
The effects are top-notch. The story not so much, but I’m guessing you aren’t watching for that anyway. This is a bizarre festival darling that can be found on Apple TV.
Men Behind The Sun
Japanese troops round up Chinese and Russian prisoners of war and take them to unit 731, where they’re horribly tortured and experimented on to test new biological weapons.
In one of the rare historical Extreme Horror movies on this list, everything depicted in the movie actually happened. Most of the gore is rumored to be shot using actual corpses, although there is a cat scene, which was just perfect special effects. You can’t stream it on YouTube, and you can buy the DVD on Amazon.
Another Takashi Miike special this one was so extreme it was cut from Showtimes Masters of Horror series. It’s so rough, Miike told Bloody Disgusting it was the scariest thing he has worked on. You can stream it on Tubi and Amazon Prime.
A doctor with extreme and depraved needs kidnaps a couple and forces them to compete in a game of torment that slowly erodes their hopes of survival.
It’s always the nutty doctors that do the most damage. Japanese horror has carved out a huge Extreme Horror nitch, and Grotesque is one of the most brutal. It’s basically Hostel only with zero backstory and you never look away from the torture. You can get it free on Tubi.
A street sweeper who cleans up after grisly accidents brings home a full corpse for him and his wife to enjoy sexually, but is dismayed to see that his wife prefers the corpse over him.
it’s in the name. You know where you are going and what you are going to get from this sick film. I definitely give this film 5 vomit bags.
A formidable descent into human decay. A man recently diagnosed with cancer decides to refuse treatment and live with his condition.
There is a lot of poop, festering wounds, and human decay in Carcinoma. It weirdly is a thoughtful rumination on the human condition. That is assuming you can stomach the aforementioned poop and pus. The description doesn’t even begin to describe what is going on here. There is a whopping dose of weird sex so watch out prudes.
Viewpoints of the sadistic producers and unfortunate stars reveal a snuff film.
This South Korean addition puts the viewer in the POV of both the killers and the victims which is……interesting in a psychopathic kind of way. Vudu and Amazon have this movie for rent.
Melancholie der Engel
Two friends meet again to share their last days in an old house where everything happened a long time ago. They gather a group of people, which results in a disastrous turn of events, during which reveals the deepest human depths.
The award for gross for the sake of gross goes to this film. Puking, sodomy, mutilation, masturbation, urination, and defecation are all shown in graphic detail. There isn’t any storyline to speak of, but if shocking is what you are looking for, this is your movie. You can stream it on Youtube.
August Underground Trilogy
August Underground is a 2001 American exploitation horror film written and directed by Fred Vogel and co-written by Allen Peters. The first release of Toe Tag Pictures shows the exploits of a serial killer named Peter, as filmed by his unnamed and unseen accomplice.
This is really a trio of movies, and each is grosser than the one before. Mordum and Penance are the others. It is explicitly shot in a VERY shaky style to mimic snuff films, so weak stomachs and those susceptible to motion sickness be wary. This is Extreme Horror for the sake of Extreme Horror and nothing more. This one is pretty impossible to find legally. Snuff said.
I could include a few other films on this list, like Gummo, a bleak look at a small town that has been decimated by natural disasters and a destroyed economy. It features one of the single grossest scenes that oddly contains zero gore. It just features a boy, a filthy bathtub, and a plate full of spaghetti. Requiem For A Dream is so mired in realism it becomes scary despite not being a horror movie and Funny Games is a groundbreaker with its propensity to break the fourth wall and drag the audience into the story. Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door is sad and haunting and way too plausible because the real murder of Silvia Likens inspired it. Finally, Irreversible, although not a horror movie in the most real sense, deserves mention because, especially for women, the extended rape scene is triggering.
The movies on the Most Extreme Horror movies list represent those that are both true horror movies and disgusting AF. Beware and be armed with a barf bag because these are the real deal. You have been warned.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.