The big payoff moment. The money shot. The OMG/WTF/NSFW scene in horror. These are the moments that define films. The moment that either grosses out and disgusts or shocks the audience in such a way that they have to come back for the sequel. Here are our Top 13 WTF Moments in Horror.
We’re going to try to keep this to relatively mainstream films. That’s not to say that some lesser known indies haven’t had some shocking moments, but things seem that much more disturbing when the movie in question reaches a wide audience.
Beginning with our honorable mentions, we’ve got to include I Spit on Your Grave, one of the most censored and banned films of all times. Camille Keaton played Jennifer Hills, who was raped for the better part of the first half of the film. Plenty of NSFW moments there. Also those infamous shit-eaters in Salo: 120 Days of Sodom were certainly shocking. Some outstandingly memorable and brutal moments appear in the indies too, like Father’s Day and Hanger. A clit being severed with rusty shears highlighted the extremely gruesome violence in Antichrist. Dead Alive had plenty of gross outs, but one of the most toe-curling moments ever was the hobbling of Paul Sheldon in Misery. Yikes!
Now, we can’t be so self-centered as to just appreciate WTF moments from more recent films although of course with new technology the realism of the F/X is increased tremendously. We saw a throat-slitting in the early scenes of The Seasoning House that looked like it was straight out of a terrorist video. It was absolutely stunning, but we have to remember that horror fans of years ago also had stunning moments of their own that may seem tame by today’s standards but blew their minds when the film was released. Let’s put ourselves in their shoes as we go through the list.
For a creature that has become an embraced part of our culture (hell, he even has his own children’s breakfast cereal…FrankenBerries anyone?), the Frankenstein monster certainly had a rough start, and much of it focused around one of the original WTF moments in horror. The famous scene where the monster throws the little girl into the water, subsequently drowning her, drew the ire of many, causing Frankenstein to be edited in several U.S. states upon its original release. It’s an incredible history lesson for us to consider that a scene that seems so tame (although certainly powerful and effective) could raise the rankles of so many. It is perhaps a testament to society’s ability to better understand art that we are able to embrace such work today.