10 Great Movies That Will Traumatize You For Life

6. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)

Takashi Mike’s Audition is one of the harshest dark horses in all of Cinema. Starting off as a quite innocent tale of a man looking for love, and convincing the audience perfectly that it is just that, a romance, before switching after the first act, morphing into a mystery, as we see our protagonist search for his love, until suddenly the film erupts into one of the most disturbing horror films ever, with a torture sequence that nobody will be able to forget, and multiple scenes that linger in the mind just as much.

The film is absolutely horrifying, and the fact that it so carefully maintains the wool over your eyes before ripping it away and delving deep into some of the most horrific sequences in all of cinema only makes the finale of sheer terror twice as impactful.

The film holds a power that few films do, and it remains an astonishingly bold move even twenty years after release. Some have tried to hold the same kind of power, but none of them have managed to even hold a candle to the ridiculously hard hit that the final act of Audition has, and the way that it morphs from genre to genre so seamlessly is ridiculous.


7. Dear Zachary (Kurt Kuenne, 2008)

Dear Zachary A Letter to a Son about His Father

Dear Zachary is the most upsetting documentary ever made, alongside Allan King’s Warrendale (released in 1967), and is also a film so incredibly upsetting that it is impossible to forget. It starts out sad enough, but by the end, it is simply gutting.

One of the few films out there that, when they finish, you can’t even move for a little while. The pain felt by the real people involved is so real and so clear to the audience that they can almost feel it too, even if not to the same extent, and it is genuinely harmful.

The editing also backs this up perfectly, with one moment of editing that strikes just as the reveal of the harshest moment of the documentary does, with one sudden sound and cut that is so jarring that it is unforgettable, and that is just a single cut. Needless to say, the rest of this film is just as striking, just as indelible.


8. Tetsuo The Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989)

Tetsuo the Iron Man

Most likely the weirdest film on this list, Tetsuo the Iron Man is one of the single wildest films ever made. The choppy editing, the insane special effects, the incredible performances and cinematography… it’s easy to say that this is also one of the best films ever made in general.

The film is blissfully unique, and seems to bask in that, gradually becoming stranger and stranger until the finale, which is one of the greatest ever. The film is wonderfully weird, a celebration of all things bizarre… and all things mechanic too.

Just seeing Tsukamoto work in this way, and do more that the majority of his films are almost as wildly inventive as this one is, is one of the purest joys of watching films, however, that doesn’t mean that the insane mechanical horror isn’t just as traumatising. This film is seriously frightening, despite the fact that it is so strange in style that it’s ridiculously enjoyable.


9. I Drink Your Blood (David E Durston, 1970)

Possibly the lightest film of this bunch, but one so bizarre and uncomfortable that it is still impossible to forget, David E Durston’s 1970 film, I Drink Your Blood, is about.. wait for it… a story of “rabid drug addicted hippies on a blood crazed killing rampage”, according to the cover of the 88 Films Blu-Ray release, and it definitely lives up to the title.

Whilst the film is ridiculously campy and over acted, there is this bizarrely dark undertone that really is impossible to put into words. You can just feel this darkness brewing underneath the silliness, and it’s that darkness that makes the film so memorable, creating this great contrast between the content of the film and the tone of it, to the point that it becomes one of the greatest enigmas of movies.

Durston’s film is quite hard to find, but if you can see, you definitely should. There are so few films like it.


10. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch, 1992)

David Lynch has been terrifying, or just confusing, his audiences since 1977, when he released Eraserhead, or even before that with some of his freakish short films, and Fire Walk With Me may just be the peak of this.

Given the context of Twin Peaks’ first two seasons, Fire Walk With Me is a film to be feared from the off set, with the audience knowing how things will end, and still, it delivers unexpected gut-punches left and right, becoming a full throttle horror film in a way that Lynch hadn’t done at that point. Of course, Inland Empire would release 14 years later and change that, but still, that doesn’t lessen the impact of Fire Walk With Me even slightly.

The film’s hazy pacing, dreamy style and ethereal setting perfectly pulls the audience into a false sense of security, until Lynch slowly lets loose and crafts one of the single most horrifying films ever made. Fire Walk With Me is simply one that you have to see to believe.