Disturbing Movie Scenes Still Discussed Decades Later

By Sophia Maddox | May 24, 2023

The Last House on the Left

Welcome to our gallery featuring some of the most disturbing scenes in film history. For many of us, movies have been a way to escape from reality and be transported into new and exciting worlds. However, there are some films that take us to places we never wanted to go, showing us the darkest corners of humanity and the human psyche.

Some viewers may have seen these movies when they were first released, or perhaps they were introduced to them later in life. But regardless of when they were viewed, these movies have left an indelible mark on their viewers. From the unforgettable head-spinning scene in The Exorcist, to the chilling moment in Gerald's Game, where the protagonist is left alone and handcuffed to a bed after her partner dies from a heart attack, these scenes are sure to leave a lasting impression. So, let's take a deep dive into some of the most disturbing scenes in movie history and explore what makes them so unforgettable. Continue reading to experience the horror.

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(American International Pictures)

Wes Craven's first horror movie, The Last House on the Left, has a mix of tones. It's a dark and gory exploitation film, but also has elements a dark comedy. It's weird. It's upsetting. It's wild. Despite its imperfections, the film is still considered an important part of horror history because of its extremely horrifying central scene.

Two young girls on their way to a rock concert are abducted by four heinous criminals, who force them to engage in sexual acts while they watch. As if that isn't disturbing enough, Craven decides to go even darker. One of the girls tries to escape but gets caught and is brutally murdered. The other girl, on the other hand, endures a longer and crueler fate. The ringleader, Krug (David A. Hess), carves his name into her chest, subjects her to torture, and then leaves her to walk into a lake where she's shot to death from afar. It's hard to watch and incredibly disturbing.

The Last House on the Left, the brainchild of horror maestro Wes Craven, is an exercise in darkness, punctuated by a score that sounds like it was composed by Satan himself, courtesy of David A. Hess. Among the many disturbing sequences in the film, one stands out as a raw, unflinching portrayal of true horror that leaves an indelible mark on its viewers.

Mulholland Drive

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(Universal Pictures)

David Lynch is the master of blending the mundane and spine-tingling elements in his films. Take Mulholland Drive for example. There's a scene set in a faux diner called Winkie's (which is designed to look like Bob's Big Boy) where a man recounts a dream he had. But, as fate would have it, he comes face to face with the very same character from his dream, which scares him to death. This surreal film exposes the seedy side of Tinseltown and this particular moment is its most terrifying. The man at the center of this horror show is a lone wolf, with no ties to any other character, making his fate all the more troubling. Just before he bites the dust, he expresses his anxiety about encountering the dream character in real life. It's a scene that leaves a haunting impression, one that won't be forgotten anytime soon.