ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Looking back on a year in film is always satisfying: remembering the good, the bad and the balls-to-the-wall disturbing of a year in cinema. It's usually — but NOT always! — horror movies that create the most disturbing moments in any given year and 2016 was a good year for horror. Check out the 5 most disturbing scenes of 2016, ranked. May contain spoilers.

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5. Even Lambs Have Teeth

'Even Lambs Have Teeth' - Credit: WTFilms
'Even Lambs Have Teeth' - Credit: WTFilms

Released: 20 June 2016

Storyline: Sloane (Kirsten Prout) and Katie (Tiera Skovbye) traipse off to the countryside where they're somehow sold into sex slavery by a gaggle of drooling hillbilly morons. This being the movies, they remain in relatively good spirits while exacting their gruesome revenge.

The disturbing bit: If you enjoyed the campy, ultra-violent reboots of I Spit On Your Grave you'll adore Even Lambs, which gleefully and gorily kills off every backwoods rapist. The high point (or the most disturbing, depending on how you look at it) sees the girls happily jam a spiked post up a rapist’s butthole.

4. The Survivalist

'The Survivalist' - Credit: Bulldog Film Distribution
'The Survivalist' - Credit: Bulldog Film Distribution

Released: 12 February 2016

Storyline: Kathrine (Olwen Fouéré) and her daughter Mia (Mia Goth) reluctantly allow the titular Survivalist (Martin McCann) to stay in their shack. Some unnamed catastrophe has driven people into the wilderness, where food is scarce and life is brutal.

The disturbing bit: Slow-moving but uncompromisingly vicious, The Survivalist is disturbing largely because it pits family against each other. Everyone does extreme things to save themselves, including murdering those they love, but the most wince-inducing moment was certainly Mia Goth attempting to give herself a coat-hanger abortion (especially as she looks about 12 years old).

If you fancy watching an artsy, even-more-miserable version of The Walking Dead, this movie is for you.

3. The Eyes of My Mother

'The Eyes of My Mother' - Credit: Magnet Releasing
'The Eyes of My Mother' - Credit: Magnet Releasing

Released: December 2, 2016

Storyline: Francisca (Kika Magalhaes) is a bit messed up. It was probably her unconventional childhood, during which her Mother (Diana Agostini) is killed by a salesman, Charlie (Will Brill).

The disturbing bit: Francisca learned surgical skills from her mother, and cuts out Charlie's eyes and vocal chords, keeping him chained up in a barn. When he escapes, Francisca needs a new friend... It's your average twisted country-dweller movie, only in black-and-white. Enjoy!

2. Into the Forest

'Into the Forest' - Credit: A24
'Into the Forest' - Credit: A24

Released: 29 July 2016

Storyline: Two sisters (Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood) fight for survival in a brutal post-apocalyptic world.

The disturbing bit: A vile, protracted rape scene in which Evan Rachel Wood screams and spits blood a lot. If you were hoping for lovely Delores from Westworld to have a nice woodland retreat, don't watch this movie. There's also a horrendous moment where Ellen Page amateurishly butchers a wild boar.

1. The Autopsy of Jane Doe

'The Autopsy of Jane Doe' - IFC Midnight
'The Autopsy of Jane Doe' - IFC Midnight

Released: December 21, 2016

Storyline: Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and his son Austin (Emile Hirsch) perform a late-night autopsy on an unidentified Jane Doe (Olwen Kelly) and are horrified at what they discover.

The disturbing bit: A late entry into 2016 horror but possibly the best of them all, Jane Doe is as clever as it is disturbing. In much the same way as the banned Hostel 2 poster used our revulsion at flesh against us, Jane Doe shocks by literally peeling the skull from the skin, delighting in every stretched fibre. It's really good but so graphic I had to clap my hand over my mouth for half of it. Go for it if you find yourself in a mood to be perversely, utterly terrified.

Honorable mentions: Ratter, Antibirth, Blood Feast, The Girl in the Photographs, Carnage Park, Don't Breathe, The Greasy Strangler, The Neon Demon, and many more!


Did any 2016 movie moment disturb you or make you feel physically revolted?


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