Disturbing Movie Scenes Still Discussed Decades Later

By Sophia Maddox | December 9, 2023

Blue Velvet

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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(De Laurentiis Entertainment Group)

If you're the kind of person who likes an insane movies David Lynch's magnum opus, Blue Velvet, gets funnier with each rewatch, thanks in large part to the over-the-top performance from Dennis Hopper. But there's one scene in this picture that isn't amusing at all.

When Frank Booth (Hopper) makes his initial appearance it's like he's a monster that crawled out from a dark closet. He inhales nitrous oxide while ordering Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), the woman whose husband he's kidnapped, to pose for him. He leers at her body with a look that's equal parts lust and rage. He violates her. He talks to her incoherently like a baby. It's a difficult scene to endure, one that never gets any less grueling.

The Silence Of The Lambs

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The scene in The Silence of the Lambs that finds Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster) searching for Buffalo Bill in his dark, creepy lair is a masterful exercise in suspense and terror. As Clarice moves through the dark, dank basement, she is completely unaware that Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine) is stalking her with night vision goggles. We see things from his perspective, watching Clarice's every move as he prepares to strike. The tension builds slowly but steadily as Clarice gets closer and closer to Bill's hiding spot, and we're left on the edge of our seats as we wonder whether she'll be able to escape unharmed.

What makes this scene so scary even today is the expert use of pacing and atmosphere to create an overwhelming sense of dread. The use of silence and darkness is especially effective, as it leaves us feeling as disoriented and vulnerable as Clarice herself. Additionally, the fact that Bill is such a disturbed and unpredictable character only adds to the terror, as we know that anything could happen at any moment. Even though the film is more than 30 years old, this scene still holds up as a prime example of how to create fear and tension in a horror film.