Artwork by Chloe Leeson
*WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN DISTURBING IMAGES*
If, like me, you’re very bored by the formulaic ways of mainstream horror’s jump scares and paranormal reboots and seek something utterly sickening and depraved, then you have come to the right place. Often they might not have the greatest plot, or the biggest budget, but they have gallons of the red stuff. So, as Halloween draws closer, delve into these bloody, mad and shocking gore-fests…
1. MARTYRS (2008)
Pascal Laugier’s terrifying 2008 vision Martyrs is undoubtedly one of the most shocking films I’ve ever seen and left me questioning my entire existence afterwards, it questions the very fabric of our lives, our attitudes to religion, revenge and martyrdom. The film follows Lucie, a girl who flees a violent and abusive life in a slaughterhouse, and Anna, the girl she meets in the orphanage after escaping. Lucy is on a journey of revenge and because of the traumatic events of Lucie’s childhood, she experiences visions of a scarred and trapped woman that makes her inflict pain on herself and is quite frankly, one of the most harrowing visions I’ve ever seen in a horror film. I don’t want to let you know anymore because it might soften the experience of what a tremendous horror vision this is.
2. INSIDE/A L’INTERIEUR (2007)
The premise of French film Inside is simple enough, one pregnant woman alone in her house, and another woman wanting to get inside and steal her unborn baby. What follows is a night of sheer terror and a tonne of the red stuff, one scene in particular (pictured above) where her hand gets stabbed with a pair of scissors, is particularly cringe-worthy, after all, there’s only so many places you can hide in your own house…
3. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010)
I Spit on Your Grave is a highly controversial choice for a feminist-led blog due to it’s rape/revenge central plot but as a gore lover- it sure delivers. Jennifer Hills- a writer, takes some time out in your standard horror movie log cabin in the woods in order to write her next book and the disgusting locals (including a red-neck Damien from Mean Girls) take a shine to her, trapping her in the cabin and subjecting her to an evening of absolutely horrific rape and degradation. The rape scenes are incredibly long and completely horrifying and not really that necessary if you just want some gore, but to truly understand and back Jennifer up on her revenge plot I can see the reasoning behind their duration- by the end of her ordeal you will be retching in disgust and wanting to jump through the screen. After begin presumed dead by her rapists, Jennifer returns and gets her just desserts against every. last. fucking. one. of. them, each in their own shocking segments and prolonged torture.
CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980)
Ruggero Deodato’s iconic cannibal flick has been banned countlessly in various countries around the world for his use of violence so graphic that inquests were made into whether or not it was a snuff film. To answer your question, none of the actors were harmed during the making of this film, but there are some horrible scenes depicting violence against animals that I certainly don’t condone, the human gore alone is realistic enough to satisfy gore-hounds in this found-footage flick of a film crew lost in the Amazon.
5. HOSTEL: PART II (2007)
Hostel 1 & 2 are ESSENTIAL Halloween and potential-backpacker viewing (let’s ignore the 3rd it’s fucking awful). Hostel 2 is my particular favourite purely because of it’s female-focused plot. After the events of the 1st film, we finally progress to see what goes on behind the scenes in the Slovakian torture chamber and how people come about picking their victims. One group of girls finds themselves stuck in the chamber on the receiving end of the gruesome goings on including an Elizabeth Bathory inspired blood bath scene.
6. AUGUST UNDERGROUND (2001)
Another controversial choice, but no one does realistic, throw-up-in-your-own-mouth-swallow-it-then-throw-it-up-again gore like the August Underground Trilogy. Just like Cannibal Holocaust, this film was investigated for it’s incredibly realistic verging on snuff-films. Again, they aren’t real, but Freg Vogel’s hand-held VHS style documentation of two serial killers’ murderous rampage is truly sickening and definitely the film that made me feel the most ill in this list, mainly due to one scene where a female victim is chained up in their basement, naked, cut, and covered in vomit and faeces. The contrast between the killers’ killing tactics and their everyday outings to the shop makes this a truly un-nerving watch.
7. ICHI THE KILLER (2001)
Takashi Miike is never one to stray away from the weird, wonderful and totally brutal (anyone else seen Gozu’s final scene, w h a t?) and Ichi the Killer is no exception. A totally crazy ride with clamps, hooks, needles and knives, Ichi is a psycho killer who wants to inflict pain on as many people as possible and has wicked scars all over his face, who joins a group of Yakuza enforcers on their mission to find their boss.
8. THE RUINS (2008)
The Ruins is a proper little hidden gem that I got a lot more from than I hoped for. It basically comes down to ‘white people stop touching shit that ain’t from your culture’. A group of tourists stumble along a Mayan ruin and obviously, being the typical white people they are, decide to check it out. The locals appear trying to warn about the ruins but the white people persist, and become infected when touched by the vines wrapped around the ruins. The gore is slow and painful and visceral as hell, and it’s actually kinda satisfying seeing peoples’ legs get torn off for messing with stuff that isn’t theirs.
9. EDEN LAKE (2008)
A lovely lil brutally violent English horror thriller here starring Fassy and a young Jack O’Connell and the fabulous Thomas Turgoose of This Is England fame. Couple Jenny and Steve are on a romantic weekend away when a group of youths, or ‘youuuvs’ as us common Brit’s would pronounce, decide to make their life hell and harass them. Things get taken to the next level when Fassy is tied to a post, wrapped with barbed wire and beaten and cut senseless. Then ensues a night of frights as Jenny has to run to save Steve and herself.
10. THE LOVED ONES (2009)
The Loved Ones is a twisted prom night delight following the violent indulgences of Lola Stone, a social outcast who asks in-a-relationship hot-boy Brent to prom, to which he politely declines. Lola and her father are so obsessed with the idea of Lola having the perfect prom, her dad kidnaps Brent and he’s set up in the house for a night of torture, dancing and glitter.
And if that isn’t enough for you, some more honourable mentions go to Dread (2009), Evil Dead (2013), You’re Next (2011) and Vile (2011)
By Chloe Leeson
Chloe Leeson is 19 and from the north of England (the proper north). She believes Harmony Korine is the future and is pretty sure she coined the term ‘selfie central’. She doesn’t like Pina Coladas or getting caught in the rain but she does like Ezra Miller & Dane DeHaan a whole lot. Her favourite films are The Beach, Lords of Dogtown and Into the Wild. But DON’T talk to her about Paranormal Activity. She rants @kawaiigoff.