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NSFW: 10 of History’s Most Controversial Horror Films

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10 of History's Most Controversial Horror FilmsIt seems the darker, more depraved a film is, the more we genre fanatics love to discuss it. How often do we juggle dialogue about average horror films? It happens plenty, and it’s not exactly atypical, but there’re pictures that are far darker works that call our names on a much more frequent basis.

What really floats around the water cooler is debate about pics like Human Centipede, Night of the Living Dead and Oldboy.

The pictures that leave us perplexed and disgusted are the pictures that command heated debate, not necessarily the safe bets. So, today it’s away with safety, open arms to the cinematically taboo.

10 of History's Most Controversial Horror Films

Cannibal Holocaust: In a world as savage as this, where tourists are kidnapped, tortured and beheaded; where extremists deem it necessary to enter highly trafficked public establishments with loads of explosives strapped to their chests; where murderers can exit imprisonment inside of a half-decade, it’s tough to swallow, but the cold-blooded killing of animals still forces a figurative dagger right into the human heart. Cannibal Holocaust features a whole hell of a lot of controversial content, but nothing resonates with genre followers like the true-to-life onscreen animal slayings. Disturbing stuff here that’s damn near impossible to shake, long after initial viewings.

The Exorcist: The Exorcist did things that just weren’t done in 1973, and those cinematic maneuvers elicited some stunning responses from audiences. Viewers were have said to faint, vomit, and – believe it or not – go into cardiac arrest and eventually keel over dead after screening this monster. A handful of Canadians reportedly earned tickets to the psych ward after an Exorcist screening. That’s powerful, powerful stuff. If (that’s a big if, and given the decades now behind us, it’s tough to track down reliable reports) viewers truly did die as a direct result of The Exorcist… well, that’s just unheard of and completely baffling. When a film is killing crowds, literally, you know it’s inevitable that controversy will follow in close pursuit.


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Matt Molgaard