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The Top Body Horror Movie According To Reddit Isn't A Cronenberg Film

You've got slashers, creature features, ghost-centric chillers, and mind-twisting thrillers, but do you recall the most gore-filled horror subgenre of all? You should, because there really is nothing quite as soul-shakingly unnerving (or as frequently stomach-churning) as the body horror realm. Likewise, no single genre in genre-land has ever been quite as adept at blending elements from literally every other subgenre into its own horrific arena.

That singular fact was not lost on Reddit-dwelling horror fans, as they set out to rank the best of the best body horror films in a recent Dreadit poll. And in assembling their list of the 20 scariest, and unflappably goriest, body horror flicks around, the Dreaditors of the world indeed assembled a motley crew of films from every corner of genre cinema.

That included a pair of supremely gory sci-fi horror flicks from the one and only David Cronenberg, whose twisted taste for vividly rendered, artistically ambitious body horror has essentially made him the king of the genre over the years. As it is, you could arguably fill out any best body horror movie list with films from David Cronenberg's gore-rific oeuvre (see: ShiversScannersThe FlyCrashExistenz, and more). 

Yet, somehow, Dreadit voters didn't slot a Cronenberg movie into the top spot — with a body-bursting classic from another true horror master instead earning top honors. 

Dreadit voters crowned John Carpenter's The Thing the best of the body horror bunch

The master in question is the horror master, in fact — John Carpenter. The film that kept David Cronenberg out of the top spot is Carpenter's 1982 masterpiece The Thing. And no matter how you feel about David Cronenberg's movies, it's hard to argue The Thing isn't worthy of the title, as Carpenter does things to the human body that even Cronenberg might balk at.

Set amid the frozen, isolated wilds of Antarctica, The Thing finds Kurt Russell's cowboy pilot MacReady, and a wily band of researchers, facing off against a dangerous alien creature bent on assimilating any being it comes in contact with, and flawlessly mimicking each person for the purpose of assimilating more. That becomes a problem when the creature takes hold of an unknown member of MacReady's lot and wreaks havoc on the compound. As fear runs rampant through the group, The Thing proves itself to be a twisty paranoid thriller with gore and jump scares to spare, as well as an ending that's still debated to this day. And what Carpenter and company unveil when that creature tries to break free from the fleshy shackles of the human body remains as shocking in the 2020s as it was in 1982.

Now, are those scenes more shocking than Jeff Goldblum's grisly transformation in Cronenberg's 1986 The Fly, a rare remake that's even better than the original? That's definite "eye of the beholder" territory. But don't feel too bad for Cronenberg, as The Fly slotted into the #2 spot on that Dreadit list, with his groundbreaking 1983 shocker Videodrome rounding out the top 5, and his son Brandon's Possessor breaking the top 10 at #6.