ByStephen Hampton, writer at Creators.co
Lover of horror and 80's divas.
Stephen Hampton

I like to think that I’m quite hardened to gory scenes. But I wasn't always this way. When I first started getting into horror films, I must’ve been about twelve years old. I remember watching Final Destination 2 and having to close my eyes during most of the death scenes. However, now (seven years later) I can happily open my eyes at all the gory Final Destination death scenes, although all the ones involving eyes still make me squirm! Not many gory scenes affect me, but that doesn’t mean that I’m some sort of hard-nosed bastard with nerves made of stone. Below you will find a collection of gory movie moments that make me cringe and stick my tongue out in disgust. Why do we put ourselves through these moments?

Films will be spoiled! So please read the description at your peril!

10) Frontier(s)- Table saw

Me decorationg
Me decorationg

Xavier Gens’ Frontiers is one of the world’s most underrated slashers. It has an intensity that most slashers don’t have. This isn’t your usual fun cabin in the woods horror fare, this is a grueling and haunting experience that might leave you feeling a little deflated and sick. Frontiers also happens to include my favorite movie death scene, which is also one of the most cringe worthy. I don’t want to spoil too much, but to give you a little background, our heroine has escaped the evil clutches of the sadistic neo-nazis and is hiding in the body bag room. One of the most evil characters comes in, finds her, beats her, and calls her some disgusting names. Whilst his back is turned, Yasmin finds an axe and chops off half his foot, axes him again in the chest and pushes his head onto a ferocious table saw! It’s a revolting, yet incredibly satisfying death scene, which also gets our hero covered in an unholy amount of blood!

Cringe rating- 8/10

Movie rating- 10/10

9) Audition- How not to use piano wire

Me in the bedroom
Me in the bedroom

I’m not going to choose a particular moment from Audition, because pretty much the entire infamous torture scene towards the end is enough to make anyone flinch and possibly bring up a little bit of yesterday’s dinner. It’s a wonderful slow-burner type film which really hits hard. The most disgusting moment is when crazy Asami’s prisoner is forced to eat Asami’s vomit like a dog. It’s a revolting thing to picture in your head, and what’s shown on screen is even worse. The most cringe-worthy part though is when Asami attacks our loveless hero. Needles are grotesquely pushed under the eyelids, going deeper and deeper, or should I saw, kiri kiri kiri! She then takes piano wire to his foot and slices it off merrily. It’s the sound in this scene which really makes you wince though. The sound of the wire rubbing against the bone makes you scrunch your face up and want to shut your eyes. But of course we’re all far too perversely fascinated to do this. Apparently Takashi Miike’s later film, Imprint, features an even sicker torture sequence, but I’ve yet to see that one. You know that I will though ;)

Cringe rating- 9/10

Movie rating- 9/10

8) Irreversible- Reversible face

Me in the club
Me in the club

Irreversible is one of those notoriously nasty films. If you look at any list for the most disturbing films then you’re bound to find Irreversible somewhere on there. While it is an extraordinarily tough and intense watch, I admire it greatly. Bizarrely, some critics condemn the film for glamorizing violence. I say "bizarrely," because there’s nothing glamorous about the violence in this film. Just take a look at this repulsive scene which takes place in the opening 10 minutes. If you didn’t already know, Irreversible is a rape-revenge tale told backward, like Memento. This means that it begins in the depths of hell and ends with some sort of euphoric creation of the universe. Therefore, we open to the film’s goriest moment involving a man’s face being bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher. It’s horrifyingly portrayed in one brutal take and in a startling close-up so that we’re forced to take in all the grisly detail. It’s incredibly realistic and lets you know that this film means business. The scary thing is that the most disturbing scene of the film is yet to come…

Cringe rating- 9/10

Movie rating- 10/10

7) Martyrs- Bath time

Me blocking out the haters
Me blocking out the haters

If you haven’t seen Martyrs. Stop reading and watch it now because it’s the best horror film ever and you don’t want anything being spoiled before you watch it! For everyone else, read on. Martyrs is full of repulsive scenes. Most would choose the titular scene where our martyred hero gets skinned alive (or "flayed," as it’s technically known). However, as we don’t see her actually get flayed, I don’t find it particularly cringe-worthy. I do, however, find the whole bath scene immensely disturbing and hard to watch. Anna finds a failed experiment, a woman with a metal helmet bolted to her head, covering her eyes and ears. She’s got scars all over her body so Anna sticks her in the bath while she kicks like a wild animal. It’s such a disturbing sight. It’s even more disturbing when Anna unbolts the helmet and removes it, removing half of her scalp with it. The make-up effects just seem far too realistic, which makes it all the more repulsive to watch. The next part when the woman violently slashes her wrists is even harder for me to watch because I find self-harm so cringe-worthy it’s unreal!

Cringe rating- 9/10

Movie rating- 10/10

6) A Clockwork Orange- Eye eye sailor

Me being forced to watch this movie scene
Me being forced to watch this movie scene

Eyes! I can’t deal with eyes! A Clockwork Orange features one of the most famous eye scenes in movie history. Stanley Kubrick’s iconic cult classic garnered much attention when it came out back in 1971, at a time when audiences were unprepared for brutal violence and explicit rape scenes. It’s still quite horrifying to watch now, but for me the most horrifying scene is during Alex’s reformation program, where he’s forced to watch a series of violent films over the music of his dear old Ludwig Van Beethoven. This involves forcing his eyes open with a strange device, while liquid is dropped on his eyes to keep them hydrated. It’s an unbearable sequence for people with eye phobias (like me) and everything is obviously done for real! You can see Malcolm Mcdowell’s eyes turn red and sore. Apparently, it was too much for Malcolm and he tried to break free and ended up scratching the surface of his eye! The camera didn’t catch that moment though, thank God!

Cringe rating- 10/10

Movie rating- 10/10

5) Only God Forgives- Eyes 'N' Ears

Only God Forgives gets a bad rap but I love it. Some critics damned it due to its sadistic violence, but that’s not a problem for gore hounds like us, is it? I remember when I sat watching this in my tiny local theater and a funky-looking granny sat next to me. I was a little concerned for her before it started because Only God Forgives wasn’t part of the Silver Screen selection. The poor dear started flinching at the smallest acts of violence such as when Ryan Gosling smashes someone over the head with a glass bottle. So when this notorious scene came on I started fearing for her health because it even had me squirming like madman! It basically involves our mad, Thai God-like villain torturing a man in a nightclub. He starts by slamming two spikes into his hands so that he’s glued to the chair and then slowly slices his eyeballs like in Un Chien Andalou. He then pulls out two more spikes and at this point we’re all thinking, “oh please no! Not the ears!” But Chang goes there… He slowly bursts the blind man’s ear drums in the most graphic manner. Perhaps the scene does go a little OTT, but it’s atmospherically executed and sufficiently shows Chang as someone who’s not to be messed with.

Cringe rating- 10/10

Movie rating- 9/10

4) Antichrist- More effective than contraception

Me with wood
Me with wood

Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist is an intense and powerful film. Most condemn it for being slow and pretentious, and maybe it is, but it’s also beautifully made and features two powerhouse performances from Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg. It also features one of the most horrifying scenes in Lars’ career. Charlotte goes bananas and smashes Willem Dafoe’s groin. If this isn’t painful enough to watch, while he’s unconscious, she then pulls his knob out and gives him a quick tug. And if THIS isn’t painful enough to watch, we then see him ejaculate blood. It’s making me feel sick, just thinking about it! Admittedly, this is one for the boys, as girls aren’t as likely to find this as painful to watch as us fellas. That’s why Lars then shows us a horrifying scene where Charlotte snips off her clit with a pair of scissors. No one likes seeing sexual organs getting mutilated in films. Especially not Willem Dafoe’s.

Cringe rating- 10/10

Movie rating- 9/10

3) Zombie Flesh Eaters- Eye eye captain part II

Me pushing someone into a bit of the wood
Me pushing someone into a bit of the wood

I thought that Zombie Flesh Eaters (or Zombi 2 as it’s called abroad) was an absolutely crap film! I was really looking forward to seeing it after hearing all the rave reviews, but it ended up being a complete bore with one good scene involving the bizarre showdown between a zombie and a shark. Other than that, Zombie Flesh Eaters isn’t worth your time! This one scene however did make me flinch quite badly. As you know by now, I’m not good with eyes. I don’t like scenes which involve eyes being poked or prodded because it just makes me go eurgghee! Unfortunately for me, Zombie Flesh Eaters features probably the most graphic eye scene in cinematic history. It involves a zombie breaking in and forcing a woman’s eye onto a splintered piece of wood. There’s zero cutting here folks, you see EVERYTHING! And it’s revolting. Kudos to the special effects team though as it does look scarily realistic for 1979!

Cringe rating- 10/10

Movie rating- 2/10

2) Salo- Circle of s**t

Me eating a Premier Inn breakfast
Me eating a Premier Inn breakfast

Notorious nasty, Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom features some of the most disturbing footage in cinema history. It’s seriously uncomfortable viewing because everything you see on screen is real! I don’t mean all the rape and eye-gouging of course, but the fact that underage actors appear naked in every scene with old men molesting them is real and happening before our very eyes. I might be cheating by putting this scene on the list as, contrary to popular belief, Salo is not an overly gory film. It has a couple of stomach-churning moments of violence at the end, but it’s nothing we haven't seen before. No, the moment I’m choosing as the most cringe-inducing is the chapter entitled ‘Circle of S**t’. It involves one of the old fascists having a poo and then forcing a poor distraught little girl to eat it. “How dare you act so hysterical over such a fine delicacy,” one of the old women says to her. It’s a scene that almost made me gag! To make it worse, later on, the fascists make all the kids poo in a pot and have it served to everyone. The fascists totally love it, which makes it all the more disturbing and gag-worthy to watch. It has to be the most disgusting scene I’ve ever seen! Just thinking about it turns me green.

Cringe rating- 10/10

Movie rating- 3/10

1) In My Skin- All of it!

Me after chopping onions blind-folded
Me after chopping onions blind-folded

I can’t think of a film that has made me squirm more than the disturbing French body-horror, Dans Ma Peau. I find self-harming extremely difficult to watch and unfortunately In My Skin is a film all about it! It follows a seemingly ordinary French lady who ends up gashing her leg at a party. However, instead of screaming for an ambulance in agony, she quietly examines the wound with an inquisitive fascination. From then on she begins to poke and prod around with her body and ends up becoming obsessed with trying to preserve pieces of her own skin which end up looking like dog chews. It’s a seriously uncomfortable film, but quite masterfully done. There isn’t much to the narrative, but it is a strangely compelling character study which ends on a very haunting note. The acting is also fantastic with star, Marina De Van, being the director and writer also. One of the best scenes is when Esther starts mutilating herself at a restaurant during a business luncheon in a surrealistic manner. It’s an incredibly cringe-worthy film thanks to the scenes of self-mutilation being shown in long takes and with hideously realistic special effects. For me, In my Skin takes the biscuit in being the most toe-curling.

Cringe rating- 10/10

Movie rating- 7/10

Okie dokie, you can remove that sick bucket from under your feet now. It’s over! Or perhaps you don’t agree with my list? Perhaps you think that there are far worse scenes that make you cringe? Well, I’d like to hear them! Please tell me below my cherubs.

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