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For horror fans with a high tolerance for shocking gore and violence, here are six of the best, most disturbing horror films streaming now.

For some horror fans, the thrill of the genre lies in its ability to continuously shock, surprise, and subvert expectations. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes another film to test your tolerance for extreme content. Some films offer such an onslaught of visceral and deeply disturbing imagery that only the strong can sustain. These films aren’t for your casual horror fan and may even be too punishing for many seasoned gorehounds.

But for those who dare to venture well beyond the boundaries of mainstream horror, the following six streaming titles deliver on all fronts — powerful stories with all the blood and brutality extreme horror fans crave.

TUBI 

Trauma (2017)

Written and directed by Lucio A. Rojas, Trauma is a spiritual sibling to A Serbian Film (2010) in many ways, including the high production value and intensely dramatic — and traumatic — scenes. Within the first five minutes, you are subjected to a scene of military corruption to the likes of which I have not seen much of on-screen before.

This is a very challenging movie to watch, and in my opinion, it’s “worse” than A Serbian Film.

It follows the journey of a group of young women — Andrea (Catalina Martin), Camila (Macarena Carrere), Julia (Ximena del Solar), and Magdelena (Dominga Bofill) — looking to relax at a family home for the weekend. Their quiet retreat is intruded upon and their subsequent harm is caused by Juan (Daniel Antivilo), who we were introduced to as a child at the beginning of the movie.

Trauma is absolutely not for the faint of heart as it delves into torture, incest, rape, violence, and depravities beyond your wildest imagination.

Despite its disturbing subject matter, it’s incredibly well acted, paced, with great cinematography in the film’s usage of color and music. Everything combined provokes some visceral, and complicated, feelings! Viewer discretion is extremely advised. 

The Untold Story (1993)

Falling into the Hong Kong rating of a CAT III film (forbidden to any viewer under the age of 18, which would be NC-17 in North American standards), The Untold Story is based on a true crime that occurred at the Eight Immortals restaurant in Macau, China in 1985.

A man named Huang Zhiheng murdered a family of 10 inside the building, with some body parts missing. The movie alludes to cannibalism as a reason for these missing body parts.

Written by Law Kam-fai and Sammy Lau, and directed by Herman Yau, The Untold Story stars Anthony Wong as our protagonist, Wong Chi Hang. Anthony Wong gives a fantastic performance which earned him the Best Actor award at the 13th Hong Kong Film Awards. Wong Chi Hang is an iconic character with a shaved head and big eyeglasses, and he is blissfully unhinged!

It’s gore heavy with lots of blood spurting, limb severing, and (human) meat processing. There’s also child-killing, sexual assault, urine drinking, and much more.

It’s delivered in a very entertaining, well-paced, comedic package, making it even more uncomfortable to witness. Watch out for the chopsticks! 

SHUDDER 

The Woman (2011)

The Woman, directed by Lucky McKee (All Cheerleaders Die, May),  premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 to outrage from viewers. It is an intense and visceral film as it is a rape-revenge fantasy.

The Woman, starring the absolutely incredible Pollyanna MacIntosh, is about a traditional nuclear family: a husband (Chris), wife (Belle), and three kids (two girls — Peggy, Darlin — and one boy, Brian), living in Small Town, USA. At the start of the film, Chris heads out on his usual hunting trip and stumbles across a woman bathing in the river. He comes to the conclusion/realization that she is a woman that lives in the forest, like an animal.

The next day he goes back to the woods, assaults the Woman (that of which we will call her), and shackles her in his cellar under the guise of requiring her to be “trained” to become “civilized.”

Of course, how one expects to conquer this savage beast of a woman is through means of torture, humiliation, and rape.

The Woman is ripe with misogyny, making that the most upsetting overarching theme. However, once The Woman escapes, hell hath the fury of a woman scorned! 

AMAZON PRIME

Hounds of Love (2016)

Hounds of Love

Hounds of Love is loosely based on the true real-life crimes of Australians David and Catherine Birnie, who kidnapped, raped, and tortured young women in 1986. Dubbed “the Moorhouse murders”, their reign of terror didn’t last long but was upsetting nonetheless.

There isn’t much on-screen violence, as most of it is implied, which may or may not be worse depending on your imagination. What you do end up seeing is the aftermath of what this deranged couple does with their captives: bloody towels and sex toys left on the carpet.

It’s fascinating to watch the dynamic between the couple as they prepare for each captive, murder, and inevitable disposal of their victims. The ending, though uplifting, has an incredible amount of anxiety-inducing, nail-biting, tension.

For dog lovers beware as there is (simulated) dog death. The fact that this is based on true crime events makes it that much more harrowing. 

NETFLIX

Incident in a Ghostland (2018)

After releasing the groundbreaking New French Extremity classic Martyrs in 2008, Pascal Laugier followed it up with Incident in a Ghostland, a movie with less existential dread, but just as emotionally devastating. 

After a traumatic home invasion as a teenager, Beth (Crystal Reed) returns to her family home to visit her mother Pauline (Mylène Farmer), and her sister, Vera (Anastasia Phillips), who has never fully recovered from the incident. They both still reside in the home where the crime occurred. The longer she spends with them, Beth is pulled back into a narrative that she longed to escape from. It’s a place of abuse and confinement.

That narrative is the twist that rips your heart out, and Laugier knows just how to hit you where it hurts, with enough brutality and upsetting images to last in your mind for days after viewing. 

MIDNIGHT PULP

Premutos: The Fallen Angel (1997)

Olaf Ittenbach is an infamous name in the extreme underground. With his dramatic usage of practical effects, gore, and displays of violence, it’s a rare treat to see any of his obscure titles available to stream for free!

Premutos is one of his best films. With an overarching religious story about the fallen angel Premutos, Matthias (played by Ittenbach himself), our film’s protagonist, is a descendent of Premutos. After a mysterious book is discovered in his backyard, Matthias brings Premutos to life and raises an undead army to kill everyone that gets in their way.

There are comedic elements which lighten the mood because the movie is wall-to-wall decapitations, blood spurting, and limb munching. Any Ittenbach work is a favorite among gorehounds, but those sensitive to such scenes are unlikely to fare very well with this one. 


WRITTEN BY Kelly Gredner

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