Dejection of Morality and Sanityby Sabesarad | created - 01 Aug 2012 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
Sometimes a movie has morally objectionable themes and/or actual content that makes you gut-wrenched and completely startled. Many of this kind are quite shabby and just want to shock you, others are actually very good due to interesting take on the subject. E.g. Normalization, creating atmosphere etc. Here I list all movies I have seen that fit this bill. That is: Shocking but at the same time not shabby or trying too hard to be just shocking. PS They are not in any particular order, just a wild bunch!
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1. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
R | 102 min | Drama
The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.
Votes: 644,015 | Gross: $3.64M
This movie is almost the definition of "intense film" with its frank portrayal of drug addiction and depressing atmosphere throughout the whole film. The unusual camera work helps to create this mood. But let's not forget Clint Mansells powerful but emotional soundtrack which do a bunch as well.
2. Cracks (I) (2009)
R | 104 min | Drama, Thriller
A look at the lives and relationships among girls at an elite boarding school.
Votes: 17,012 | Gross: $0.02M
This may at first look like as a regular teen drama, albeit set in another time. Gradually it evolves into so much more. Some stuff that is truly unexpected and at least for me objectionable behaviour.
3. Lost Highway (1997)
R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller
After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.
Votes: 109,614 | Gross: $3.80M
All of Lynch movie's are by definition truly disturbing and this one is no exception to that rule. Despite being very sexual it does certainly not arouse you (not even guilty arousal), in fact you do rather want to vomit. Kudos to intense performances from Robert Loggia and Robert Blake (sincerely hope he returns to movie making again). Don't let Pullman in a leading role fool you, there is some crafty stuff!
4. Twin Peaks (1990–1991)
TV-14 | 47 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An idiosyncratic FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks.
This is a classic TV-series that has everything, truly everything! In this series David Lynch showed he could mix beauty, horror and humour and still have a coherent story. The reason I put it here is due to the disturbing nature of BOB and the aforementioned horror elements.
5. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
R | 135 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A young FBI agent disappears while investigating a murder miles from Twin Peaks that may be related to the future murder of Laura Palmer; the last week of the life of Laura Palmer is chronicled.
Votes: 69,291 | Gross: $4.16M
I know this is more or less a continuation of Twins Peaks and I put this here for the same reason as Twins Peaks, but as it is an individual title I place it here too.
6. Session 9 (2001)
R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery
Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.
Votes: 47,278 | Gross: $0.38M
This is one of the few movies that has actually scared me, most horror films are just silly in my humble viewpoint, but this one isn't. It has a truly unique atmosphere, much thanks to heavy use of what I call "staring camera", which means the camera appears to be eyes of some unseen creature. But it is not just the atmosphere that makes this a worthy component of this list, it is also the three interlinked stories (the main, background for Gordon's behaviour and background for the asylum respectively).
7. American Psycho (2000)
R | 102 min | Crime, Drama
A wealthy New York investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.
Votes: 398,124 | Gross: $15.07M
8. Chinatown (1974)
R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.
Votes: 242,129 | Gross: $29.20M
Mainly the finale reveal which I will not spoil.
9. Surveillance (I) (2008)
R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two FBI agents attempt to clarify the murders occurring in a desolate region. They approach the witnesses of the latest incident with the help of the local police. All of them hide something and all have wildly different stories to tell.
Votes: 15,608 | Gross: $0.03M
With Lynch as the father of the director it's really no surprise it''s disturbing as hell.
10. Gwai wik (2006)
R | 108 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
After writing three best-sellers about love story based on her own experiences, the successful writer Tsui Ting-Yin is without inspiration and having difficulties to write her new novel in ... See full summary »
I am not refering to that rather infamous alleged abortion stance, rather what you actually see. It can be really scary and intense.
11. Tideland (2005)
R | 120 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Because of the actions of her irresponsible parents, a young girl is left alone on a decrepit country estate and survives inside her fantastic imagination.
Votes: 28,652 | Gross: $0.07M
Love or hate it but asking your kid to help you shot herion is some *beep* up *beep* And that's just the start of this utterly bizarre film. PS I love this film as I do with all in Gilliam's filmography.
12. The Element of Crime (1984)
Not Rated | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A cop in a dystopian Europe investigates a serial killings suspect using controversial methods written by his now disgraced former mentor.
13. Prometheus (I) (2012)
R | 124 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Following clues to the origin of mankind, a team finds a structure on a distant moon, but they soon realize they are not alone.
Votes: 510,776 | Gross: $126.48M
To a lesser extent only though.
14. Fight Club (1999)
R | 139 min | Drama
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soapmaker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.
Votes: 1,524,747 | Gross: $37.03M
15. Oldeuboi (2003)
R | 120 min | Mystery, Thriller
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.
Votes: 410,910 | Gross: $0.71M
If you have seen this you probably know what I am referring to.
16. One Hour Photo (2002)
R | 96 min | Drama, Thriller
A mentally unstable photo developer begins to attack a middle-class family after his obsession with them becomes more sick and disturbing than any of them could imagine.
Votes: 103,354 | Gross: $31.60M
17. The Mist (2007)
R | 126 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.
Votes: 243,983 | Gross: $25.59M
18. Alien (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Votes: 648,245 | Gross: $78.90M
19. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
R | 159 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.
Votes: 251,269 | Gross: $55.69M
Even by Kubrick's standard this is really disturbing.
20. Apocalypse Now (1979)
R | 147 min | Drama, War
During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.
Votes: 500,964 | Gross: $83.47M
21. The Godfather (1972)
R | 175 min | Crime, Drama
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
Votes: 1,300,055 | Gross: $134.97M
Mainly a family chronicle with criminal activities, sure, but this film has a disturbing normalization of criminality which makes it so brilliant.
22. City of God (2002)
R | 130 min | Crime, Drama
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.
Votes: 591,602 | Gross: $7.56M
This is like The Godfather turned up to eleven!
23. La Femme Nikita (1990)
R | 117 min | Action, Thriller
Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.
Votes: 59,377 | Gross: $5.02M
24. Schindler's List (1993)
R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.
Votes: 979,159 | Gross: $96.07M
All holocaust films are surely disturbing. What's even more disturbing is that the real life Amon Goeth is even worse than how is portrayed here.
25. Nankyoku monogatari (1983)
G | 112 min | Adventure, Drama
Two Japanese scientists, Ushioda and Ochi, develop a bond with their sled dogs while on an expedition in Antarctica. Ushioda and Ochi eventually leave Antarctica, only to return to search ... See full summary »
If you don't cry after seeing this you are insane!
26. Inland Empire (2006)
R | 180 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.
Votes: 46,384 | Gross: $0.75M
Even though I did not finally grasp this at first, it do truly fit here. I plan to rewatch it sometime and then I will hopefully understand it better.
27. The Machinist (2004)
R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller
An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.
Votes: 309,759 | Gross: $1.08M
This is a prime example of my maxim when it comes to begetting creative outputs: "It is not the methods, it is the EXECUTION"! With simple means this film creates a really paranoid strain all throught its running time.
28. Blue Velvet (1986)
R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
Votes: 149,783 | Gross: $8.55M
This was Lynch that created the recurring themes for most of his subsequent films, the naive protagonist, the thin shell of normality which hides simmering dark secrets and totally bizarre antagonists. As it is this it truly fits on this very list.
29. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
Votes: 269,001 | Gross: $7.22M
This is probably my favourite by Lynch I have seen thus far, it has everything you can find in his other films plus some almost unique spices.
30. Bitter Moon (1992)
R | 139 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
After hearing stories of her, a passenger on a cruise ship develops an irresistible infatuation with an eccentric paraplegic's wife.
Votes: 28,638 | Gross: $1.86M
31. Lord of Illusions (1995)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
During a routine case in L.A., NY private investigator Harry D'Amour stumbles over members of a fanatic cult, who are waiting for the resurrection of their leader Nix. 13 years ago, Nix was... See full summary »
Votes: 12,179 | Gross: $13.29M
32. Dead Man (1995)
R | 121 min | Drama, Fantasy, Western
On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.
Votes: 78,685 | Gross: $1.04M
33. Eastern Promises (2007)
R | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.
Votes: 203,925 | Gross: $17.11M
34. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)
NC-17 | 124 min | Crime, Drama
The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.
Votes: 29,406 | Gross: $7.72M
36. No Country for Old Men (2007)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.
Votes: 694,987 | Gross: $74.28M
37. Riget (1994–1997)
TV-MA | 279 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Doctors at an ultramodern hospital in Denmark become convinced, by way of weird, inexplicable happenings, that the place is haunted.
Votes: 15,129 | Gross: $0.09M
38. Hour of the Wolf (1968)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Horror
While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has an emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.
39. Europa (1991)
R | 112 min | Drama, Thriller
Just after W.W.II, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him.
Votes: 17,122 | Gross: $1.01M
42. Werckmeister harmóniák (2000)
145 min | Drama, Mystery
An innocent young man witnesses violence breaks out after an isolated village is inflamed by the arrival of a circus and its peculiar attractions, a giant whale and a mysterious man named "The Prince".
Votes: 10,066 | Gross: $0.03M
43. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
R | 99 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.
Votes: 53,494 | Gross: $3.05M
46. Richard III (1995)
R | 110 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, War
The classic Shakespearean play about a murderously scheming king staged in an alternative fascist England setting.
Votes: 12,352 | Gross: $2.60M
48. Dracula (1992)
R | 128 min | Horror
The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.
Votes: 159,009 | Gross: $82.52M
50. The Thing (1982)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.
Votes: 296,184 | Gross: $13.78M
51. Akira (1988)
R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.
Votes: 121,882 | Gross: $0.55M
52. District 9 (2009)
R | 112 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.
Votes: 574,056 | Gross: $115.65M
53. Boxing Helena (1993)
R | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
A surgeon becomes obsessed with the seductive woman he once was in an affair with. Refusing to accept that she has moved on, he amputates her limbs and holds her captive in his mansion.
Votes: 10,220 | Gross: $1.80M
54. Top of the Lake (2013– )
TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Obsessed with the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl near a freezing lake in New Zealand, a brave detective will find herself up against small-town secrets and a side of herself that was meticulously kept at bay.
55. Prisoners (2013)
R | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.
Votes: 465,568 | Gross: $61.00M
56. Angel Heart (1987)
R | 113 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.
Votes: 68,502 | Gross: $17.19M
57. Antichrist (2009)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Horror
A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.
Votes: 98,189 | Gross: $0.40M
58. Event Horizon (1997)
R | 96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.
Votes: 132,871 | Gross: $26.67M
59. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
R | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.
Votes: 229,519 | Gross: $10.68M
60. The Returned (2012– )
TV-MA | 52 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
The Returned opens in a small mountain community which is rocked to its core when several local people who are presumed dead suddenly re-appear at their homes. Despite having passed away ... See full summary »
61. The Baby of Mâcon (1993)
Not Rated | 122 min | Drama, History
A movie about the corruption in all levels of society. A baby is born from a supposed-to-be virgin woman, so a chain of hysteria about divine intervention in the birth takes place.
62. Återträffen (2013)
90 min | Drama
A famous artist isn't invited to her class reunion. She makes a film about what could've happened if she had gone there and confronted her bullies, and later shows that film to her former classmates.
65. Donnie Darko (2001)
R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.
Votes: 648,071 | Gross: $0.19M
66. The City of Lost Children (1995)
R | 112 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi
A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.
Votes: 59,085 | Gross: $1.51M
67. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
14 min | Short
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
68. Paprika (2006)
R | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Crime
When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.
Votes: 53,568 | Gross: $0.88M
69. The Holy Mountain (1973)
R | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.
Votes: 27,556 | Gross: $0.06M
70. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)
R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.
Votes: 83,379 | Gross: $26.12M
72. Forbidden Zone (1980)
R | 74 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical
The bizarre and musical tale of a girl who travels to another dimension through the gateway found in her family's basement.
73. A Field in England (2013)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, History, Horror
Amid the Civil War in 17th-century England, a group of deserters flee from battle through an overgrown field. Captured by an alchemist, the men are forced to help him search to find a hidden treasure that he believes is buried in the field.
Votes: 8,403 | Gross: $0.03M
74. Battle Royale (2000)
Not Rated | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.
77. Goltzius and the Pelican Company (2012)
R | 128 min | Biography, Comedy, History
Hendrik Goltzius, a late sixteenth-century Dutch printer and engraver of erotic prints, seduces the Margrave of Alsace into paying for a printing press to make and publish illustrated books.