2016 has been a shocking year on more levels than we'd care to delve into here. So it comes as no surprise that cinema has also upped its game in the shock department.
From cannibalism and necrophilia to the inner workings of an elephant's vagina, movies worked in overtime to distract us from the horrors of the world this year by... well, by throwing even more controversy our way.
Whether you believe cinema should continue to push the boundaries of taste or the following films simply took things too far, there will always be audiences who enjoy confronting uncomfortable realities that lie just under the surface of many stories. Relive 10 of the most shocking cinematic moments from this year below, bearing in mind that the least surprising thing about this list is that there will be spoilers galore.
1. Don't Breathe — Thanksgiving Gone Wrong
While audiences initially root for the antagonist of #DontBreathe in the beginning, Stephen Lang's Blind Man takes things too far in the second act when he ties one of the invaders' up in a harness. As revenge for her meddling, the psycho proceeds to cut into Rocky's pants and tries to impregnate her with a turkey baster containing his semen, all while declaring that he's not a rapist.
Although the Blind Man eventually received a taste of his own medicine — quite literally — the attempted rape of Rocky is easily one of the most shocking moments to come out of mainstream Hollywood this year.
2. Swiss Army Man — Pointy Compass
Directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert immediately set the tone of Swiss Army Man with an opening scene where Paul Dano rode #DanielRadcliffe's farting corpse across the ocean... but surprisingly, that's not even the most shocking moment in this widely divisive film.
Instead, the strangest scene occurs when the corpse spots a porno magazine and grows an erection, which proceeds to vividly lead the way to salvation, wriggling in his pants like an epileptic snake on speed.
3. Suicide Squad — Batman 'Helps' Harley Out
#SuicideSquad's disappointing reception was arguably controversial enough, not to mention Jared Leto's portrayal of The Joker, but the most shocking scene occurred early on, when Ben Affleck's Batman gave an unconscious #HarleyQuinn CPR before punching her in the face.
Sure, Harley's a criminal, so it makes sense that Batman would need to knock her out, but it's rather disconcerting to see him take some sort of pleasure from giving her mouth-to-mouth, especially in combination with her overtly sexualised costume.
4. The Brothers Grimsby — Now That's A Trunk!
Sasha Baron Cohen is no stranger to controversy, deliberately shocking audiences with the likes of Borat and Brüno, so it's no surprise that his latest comedy pushed the boundaries of taste once again.
In this case, The Brothers Grimsby features a grotesque scene where two men hide out in an elephant's vagina to avoid capture. Pretty grim, right? Things get worse when a male elephant takes a liking to their little hidey-hole and starts to get busy with his mate while the two men are still trapped inside...
5. Raw — Vegan Cannibalism Is A Thing Now
Only a few people may have seen Julia Ducournau's Raw so far, but the director's coming of age #horror has already grabbed headlines after paramedics arrived at a festival screening when audiences began to vomit and faint.
While it hasn't been revealed which scene caused this reaction, it's likely that the vomiting occurred during one of the film's disturbing moments of cannibalism, because, ew.
6. Deadpool — Well, He Is A Mercenary, After All
Comic book fans were all set for Deadpool to tear up the rule book in his first solo venture. However, even diehard superhero fanatics were shocked when the mercenary suddenly interrupted the film's climactic mid-speech, mercilessly shooting his enemy Ajax in the head.
As if that wasn't surprising enough, watching the heroic Colossus then throw up his dinner at the sight of blood sealed the deal, reminding us exactly why #Deadpool is one of the most ambitious comic book movies every produced.
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7. The Neon Demon — Lesbian Necrophilia Is All The Rage In LA
Although she may not have been the central character, Jena Malone's Ruby absolutely stole the show in #TheNeonDemon by venting her sexual frustrations on a dead cadaver in the morgue.
Sure, the full-on lovemaking that took place was arguably quite sensationalist, but it's reassuring to know that however low you think you are, at least you've never had sex with a corpse. In that sense, The Neon Demon may very well turn out to be the most inspiring movie of 2016.
8. The Handmaiden — Idle Hands...
Oldboy director Park Chan-wook is no stranger to controversy, yet The Handmaiden still takes a rightful place among this year's most shocking films, despite being one of his least violent movies to date. Rather than drawing attention through blood and guts though — although these still feature of course — this adaptation of a British novel instead ruffled feathers through its provocative depiction of lesbian sex.
Whether you felt that the explicit lovemaking was liberatingly erotic or needlessly sensationalist, it's safe to say that the extended sex scene towards the end of the film will stay in your mind long after the credits have rolled. Those handmaidens sure like to use their hands, after all.
9. A Bigger Splash — A Fienne Death
As erotic thrillers go, A Bigger Splash is one of the most refined in years, but the title takes a far more sinister turn towards the final act, when Matthias Schoenaerts' character drowns Ralph Fiennes in a careless moment of rage.
While there's little gore on hand to freak audiences out in a traditional sense, the sudden turn of events brings all of the underlying tension to the fore in a deeply unsettling way that's impossible to predict so close to the end of the film.
10. The Witch – Black Phillip Reveals His True Colors
One might be surprised to learn that the most critically acclaimed horror of the year stars a goat called Black Philip as the main antagonist, but then again, The Witch isn't like most horrors.
For the majority of the film's running time, Black Philip waits patiently in the background, but when he finally begins to speak, everything you thought you knew about #TheWitch is tipped on its' head in a violent, farmyard assault from none other than Satan himself.
Did any of these films make you vomit like the poor souls from the clip below?:
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If the level of controversy in this list is anything to go by, then art mirrored reality more than ever before in 2016. However, with the likes of It and Saw: Legacy arriving next year, cinema could take an even darker turn over the next 12 months, a move that will be welcomed by aficionados of horror and 'bad taste' alike.