Being often asked whether there have been any movies that really scared yours truly, I thought I would commit to an official answer...and here it is.
Way back when, Chiller Theater made me a horror addict and since then the thrill of being frightened has chronically enveloped my life. Beginning with the classics (Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula, etc…), progressing to the more modern (Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, etc…) and incorporating everything in between since, I have always been open minded enough to harbor respect and appreciation for all horror in general. Not all were exceptional, but still commanded reverence and were given their due opportunity to impose fear.
Throughout all these subtle, slasher, ghastly and morbid flicks, to date there has only been two films (The Exorcist & Night of the Living Dead) that were able to send cascading jolts of fear, probably due to my young age at the time of viewing. Since then, while those jolts were evasive, I must admit there have been many shrills (usually involving something jumping out that you knew was going to do so in the first place). However, with such a high tolerance, finding a film that offers fearful satisfaction has grown increasingly rare. Recently though, there are two that have immediately come to mind, not for fear per se, but for subject matter driven so deep into my psyche that lasting effects have lingered.
The first, A Serbian Film, was recommended, or should I say dis-recommended, by my brother and came with a stern warning that this movie will scar you. Of course, like a moth to a flame, temptation set in, seduced by the opportunity to be frightened again, and the film was sought out. Well, he wasn’t lying and it did scar. While the overall concept, acting, direction and filming are at or above par, implied to be filled with suspense by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock meshed with the gore of Brian De Palma, the innocent enough premise quickly changes into something far more sinister and unsettling and for the filmmakers to simply attempt at passing it off as an art film is a huge lying misnomer. Neither Alfred Hitchcock nor Brian De Palma would touch this with a ten foot pole.
Of all the films viewed over the years, this is the one that I can honestly say has truly traumatized to the point where I wish I had never seen it. Blemished is far too weak a word to describe this film’s effect and even being mentally mutilated doesn’t come all that close. Trust me, unless you are some fully numb, mentally unstable or just plan crazy person with perverted tendencies, the trauma will be that real.
Without going to go into specific details, let’s just say A Serbian Film begins right off the bat with a shocking mind invasion that is most assuredly felt and never loses grip. By the time the end rolls around, the viewer is certain to feel violated and maybe even embarrassed for watching something so taboo. As always, I must give credit where credit is due and this film has tremendous effect coming out every reel, but take heed horror fans for the impact is genuine and therefore, seriously contemplate whether or not to watch. Don’t be like yours truly and take any potential warning with a grain of salt. As mentioned earlier, to date this is one film I wish I had never seen. God forbid a part 2 is ever made, if so, I will avoid it like the plague. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! This film is graphic, demented, cruel and most of all…highly disturbing!
Unlike and not having anywhere near the effect of the film described above, the second film, The Human Centipede, makes the list out of pure disgust. Please allow me to elaborate.
Again, not the standard or typical horror movie per se, the film does have horror influence, surrounding a mad scientist experimenting on helpless victims. Thus said, it is a film that pushes to foul and vile extremes.
Some folks cringe at the sight of blood while others view spilling guts with a certain amount of nausea. Point being, everyone has that one single thing they find repulsive and, coincidentally, my personal opinion of Hell is an eternity that preys on this one abhorrent fear.
With yours truly, it is excrement, specifically the eating of it, that is repelling. Pardon me, but anything that deals with ingesting something created by a body’s bile system is, right after the gag, one of those times where I draw the line.
The film’s gore, being stitched from orifice to orifice, is unusual and different and not that all traumatic. After all, as previously mentioned, being fairly numb to these depictions has dulled senses. But with the idea of excrement having to flow from front, through a center all the way to the rear (excuse the pun), in essence the forcing of eating shit, it is more than a little tough to handle.
There is a part 2 and just maybe I’ll partake since, from what I’ve heard and read, the film is considerably worse. Call me a glutton (another pun) for punishment, but if I do, I’ll be sure to do so with an empty stomach.
And so Ghouls, there you have it, an insight on a couple of things that affect this horror guy / evil clown, Maybe next time I’ll tell you another.