Top 7: Disturbing Scenes

Big spoilers and extreme graphic content.

1. The Exorcist – Head Spin
2. Rosemary’s Baby – Dream Sequence
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Hook
4. Audition – The Thing In the Bag
5. Hellraiser – The Cenobites
6. The Cell – Intestine Music Box
7. Twin Peeks – Bob

1. The Exorcist – Head Spin

Did William Friedkin go too far with this scene? Probably. And that’s why it’s the number one most disturbing scene in the history of cinema. (Yes, I left out the first half. I have limits, you know.)

2. Rosemary’s Baby – Dream Sequence

It was a toss-up between the ending and the dream sequence… Ultimately, I went with the dream. On the first viewing, it’s unsettling, but not terrifying. On a second viewing however, you realize that Rosemary is actually being raped by the devil… and no black bassinet can top that.

3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Hook

Horror fans might attack me for including the hook scene instead of the infamous dinner-scene climaxYes, that scene is as sick as movies get, but here’s why this scene is better: it’s simple. Leatherface has such a casual demeanor as he hooks the girl and prepares his chainsaw. She’s truly just another slab of meat.

4. Audition – The Thing In the Bag

As you can see from these lists, I’m not a huge fan of Korean and Japanese horror films. Terror is birthed from story. Asian horror is such a labyrinth of surreal images and disconnected scenes that I often find myself scratching my head instead of reveling in the sickness. These films do, however, provide some disturbing set-pieces.

5. Hellraiser – The Cenobites

I saw Hellraiser for the first time while making this list. Although I was underwhelmed by the first two-thirds, the climax was utterly disgusting.

6. The Cell – Intestine Music Box

The Cell is one of my more eclectic picks… but after you watch this scene, you’ll know why it made the cut.

7. Twin Peaks – Bob

At first glance, this might be the most underwhelming scene on this list. In the context of Twin Peaks however, Bob is a terrifying presence that haunts the town. Combining a clean symmetrical frame with a monster, this brilliant shot exemplifies the surreal madness of David Lynch.


For more Top 7 lists, click here.

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