No one expected the zombie apocalypse to be a barrel of laughs, but among all of the undead films and shows out there, #TheWalkingDead is undoubtedly the most harrowing. However, amongst all of the beheadings and devoured entrails, the real reason why The Walking Dead is so disturbing has absolutely nothing to do with the walkers.
Check out some of the most shocking deaths from the show below:
By the end of Season 6, we thought we understood the brutal lengths that Negan would go to ensure he remains on top, and knew he'd take sadistic pleasure in the suffering of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors. However, what we saw in the Season 7 premiere was even more horrifying than even fans of the comic would have ever expected. In the words of Negan;
From that eye-popping scene when Glenn met his maker to the moment when Rick was forced to almost dismember his son, 'The Day Will Come When You Won't Be' felt more like a sequel to Hostel at times, overflowing with distressing moments of disturbing gore-nography.
This isn't the first time that TV has pushed the boundaries of what's acceptable though. Join us as we break down some other harrowing episodes from other shows and ask the question: Was the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead the most brutal hour of TV ever devised?
Game Of Thrones Season 5 — The Red Wedding
"My honored guests, be welcome within my walls and at my table. I extend to you my hospitality and protection in the light of the Seven."
Some people wouldn't be opposed to seeing their in-laws killed at their wedding. But was anyone prepared for the sheer carnage that ensued as a result of Lord Walder Frey's plan for revenge?
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American Horror Story Season 5 — Checking In
American Horror Story is no stranger to scenes of murder, torture and rape, but Hotel challenged viewers like no other episode before, opening the season with a man who unfortunately checked into the wrong room and was then sodomized with a drill-dildo in graphic detail. Now that's room service.
Breaking Bad Season 4 — Face Off
Just when you thought the villainous Gustavo Fring had somehow survived an actual explosion, the camera panned round to reveal that half of his face had been savagely removed in the blast. Makes that John Travolta movie look pretty tame in comparison, right?
Hannibal Season 2 — Su-Zakana
Birth is usually a wondrous thing, but when the birth involves a man pushing his way out of a dead horse carcass to survive, you'll never look at the miracle of childbirth in quite the same way again. Apologies to those of you who expected us to feature the human cello, flayed angels or the human mural, but it was too close a call. Hannibal really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Sons Of Anarchy Season 6 — A Mother's Work
Who needs a baseball bat to kill someone when you could just bludgeon them with an iron, drown them in the kitchen sink and then stab them in the head with a BBQ fork? That's the route Gemma took when she killed Tara in spectacularly grim fashion in Season 6.
Spartacus Season 2 — Sacramentum
If Spartacus is anything to go by, then it looks like face removal was par for the course back in the days of Roman gladiators. The moment when Spartacus himself cut off Sedullus’ face was more distressing than most though — especially when his brains began to fall out of his skull.
Broadchurch Season 1 — Episode 1.5
Sure, turning someone's skull into mush with a baseball bat is pretty brutal, but some of the most harrowing moments on TV don't include any gore at all. One of the biggest gut-punches on this list is taken from that tragic moment in Broadchurch when Jack Marshall committed suicide following false accusations of paedophilia. This scene was arguably more distressing than a thousand Lucille's.
Black Mirror Season 2 — White Bear
The dark and twisted genius of the British anthology series Black Mirror hit new heights of cruelty with this Season 2 highlight, which forced a child murderer to repeat the same torturous witch hunt every single day of her life.
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Daredevil Season 1 — Episode 4
Before Marvel began to produce shows for Netflix, the studio's output was an experience that families could enjoy together. But after the Kingpin decapitated a Russian mobster with a car door, it became abruptly clear that Daredevil was as far from playing it safe as it gets.
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Vikings Season 2 — Blood Eagle
Whether vikings really performed executions in this style or not, the blood eagle was undoubtedly one of the most gruesome ways to kill that's ever been devised by man. In the episode's most grotesque scene, Ragnar cut along Borg's spine, cracked his rib cage open and removed his lungs, so that he could then rest them on his back, as if they were wings.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 5 — The Body
It happens to us all eventually, but is there anything more terrifying than the death of your own parents? To this day, Joyce's fatal aneurysm remains the one demon that Buffy was truly powerless to fight, and we felt every soul-destroying second right along with her.
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Any one of these episodes will leave you a whimpering husk of a person, but are they as harrowing as the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead? We want to know what you think, so let us know in the poll and comments section below. Just don't blame us if you end up needing severe psychiatric help. Send the bill to the TV networks instead!