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Most Uncomfortable Horror Movie Scenes Ever Filmed

Horror movie fans are an odd bunch (ahem). We don't mind gore, and we don't mind disturbing themes and really wickedly awful characters. Why would we? We're horror fans. However, there are some scenes so disquieting, so ... uncomfortable, they're hard for even the most diehard horror fan to stomach. And no, we don't mean A Serbian Film. It's not our bag and we won't do it. But we do mean films like:

Saw II — hypodermic horror

The Saw franchise is full of chilling and horrible moments, but the needle pit in Saw II is perhaps one of the worst. This particularly disturbing trap of Jigsaw's was in the Nerve Gas House, the test for the second movie in the franchise's victims. The pit was a hole in the floor of one of the upper rooms, and was filled with what looked like used, dirty hypodermic needles. The victims of the game are informed that they have all inhaled a deadly gas, and they have to find the antidote before they all die. Eric Matthews, a detective who had framed several people during his career, was the epicenter of the "game," and Jigsaw's puzzle for him was to go into the needle pit and find the key to the door — otherwise they'd be stuck, and would die of the poison.

Jigsaw's plan was for drug dealer Xavier Chavez to search for the key. Nice guy that he is, Chavez shoves Amanda Young, ex-heroin addict, into the needle pit. Even though (*spoiler alert*) we find out later that Young is a devotee of Jigsaw, her screams of terror and the myriad of needles sticking all over her create a scene that is not at all comfortable to watch, but it sure is memorable. The sound of the glass syringes clinking together as she claws through the needles is horrifying, as is the idea that she's been pricked all over by dirty needles. This is the worst possible scene for all the germophobes out there.

Hannibal — the cannibal cooks a brain

While Silence of the Lambs fully establishes Hannibal Lecter as a cannibal, it doesn't make the dinner table scene in Hannibal any easier to watch. Clarice Starling watches in horror as Hannibal removes the top of another FBI agent's head, cuts out small pieces of his brain, sautes them, and then feeds them to him. It's deeply messed-up and disgusting. Starling, played by Julianne Moore in this installment, is drugged and has a bag over her head, and when she wakes up, she's dressed in a fancy, cleavage-bearing evening gown and seated at an elegant dinner table. Ray Liotta's character, Krendler, is also drugged and, well, we already told you what happens.

Lecter is so calm while he explains the part of the brain he's cutting out of his victim, and as he puts the first slice of the prefrontal cortex into the saute pan, Krendler exclaims about how good it smells. Yes, he's drugged. Yes, Hannibal is a cannibal. But there is something so profoundly disturbing about a guy who can smell some of his own brain cooking, say it smells delicious, and proceed to eat it eagerly. Masks made out of human faces, a suit made out of girl skin — none of that is as bad as this scene.

The Last House on the Left — depravity in the woods

Admittedly, this entire movie is difficult to watch. But the woods scene is almost certainly the worst part of all. Mari and Phyllis were just trying to go see a rock show, when they decide it might be a good idea to find some weed first. What happens once they're abducted by escaped criminals is awful — but the hardest scene to watch is the torture in the woods, Phyllis's disembowelment, and the subsequent rape and mutilation of Mari. It's pure cover-your-eyes-until-its-over material.

The villains are sick, and force the girls to do totally degrading things before the actual murdering and regular horror stuff starts. The fact that there's a female character egging on the depravity is especially disturbing, and you don't get the feeling she's doing it to impress the guys. Granted, the remake was also horrible, because of the subject matter, but the terror and desperation expressed by Mari and Phyllis in the 1972 version is horrible. Uncomfortable doesn't even start to describe it.

Trouble Every Day — the hotel maid

Leave it to director Claire Denis to tackle horror in a totally disturbing, yet confusingly beautiful way. In Trouble Every Day, Shane Brown (Vincent Gallo) is a broody vampire who's gone to Paris under false pretenses. He is supposed to be on his honeymoon, but he's instead interested in tracking down old friends Leo and Core, whom he used to be involved with. While Core's murder of an intruder is pretty tough to watch, it's Shane's murder of the hotel maid at the end of the film that sticks with you in a really unsettling way. He approaches the maid, and she's definitely into him. They start getting physical, and she's still into it, as is he. She's not so into it, however, when he starts biting her and sucking on her blood, and her screams of pain are both intense and distressing.

Because of the way the scene is filmed, the erotic sounds of pleasure coming from the maid give over to screams, but Shane's own sounds of pleasure are intermingled, creating a seriously uncomfortable scene to watch. Add to that the quiet awkwardness of the rest of the film, and you realize that you just watched a beautifully-shot, wonderfully conceived movie that you're deeply sorry you ever heard of. It stays with you.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre — Sally at dinner

Young horror upstarts who cut their teeth on the likes of the Saw franchise and Rob Zombie's indelicate creations would probably find nothing scary about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There's no actual chainsaw massacre, after all, and Leatherface is pretty dumb looking. The film does, however, contain one scene that's more uncomfortable and shocking than most.

Sally, the sole survivor of Leatherface's rampage, finds herself tied to a chair at the Sawyer family dinner table. She's at the end of the table facing Grandpa, who appears to be dead. As the other characters — Leatherface, his dad, and his brother — mock Sally's fear, they then put a hammer in dead Grandpa's hand, and make it try to bash poor Sally's head in. Her horror, unlike the rest of the film, is so authentic in this scene, the farcical setting does nothing to offset her screams of terror. The close-ups on her wide, terrified eyes as the family mocks her are super-disturbing and, as the rest of the characters start to really enjoy her screams and terror, we start to cringe with discomfort.

Finally, they cut off Sally's fingers and stick them in Dead Grandpa's mouth ... and he suckles them. So nope, Grandpa's not dead, and Sally is officially at the worst dinner party ever.

Antichrist — She's brutality against He

Willem Dafoe is a therapist named He and Charlotte Gainsbourg is She, a creatively named couple trying to cope with the death of their baby. Rather than keeping "She" in the mental hospital, "He" decides that a trip to the remotest of remote cabins is the best thing to shake her crippling depression, because it's the place she's most afraid of. She spent time there the summer before their son's death, working on her thesis on human genocide, and there is something to that, even though it's not apparent at first.

The unwatchable scene occurs when "She" mutilates He's (His's?) genitals with a block of wood, performs a sex act on him, drills a hole through his calf, and bolts a millstone to him. Or maybe the more uncomfortable scene is when She cuts her clitoris off with a pair of rusty scissors. You decide — they're both pretty rough.

The most disquieting thing about this film is He's love for She and how he wants so badly to help her. Unfotunately, she was too far gone, even before the death of her son, to be helped. She was genocide-obsessed, and that destroyed every part of her humanity. His love for her fell on an unreceptive half-soul, and what he learns about her ultimately leads to him destroying the one thing left in the world that he loves.

Misery — still not as bad as the book

Yes, in Stephen King's Misery novel, Annie Wilkes actually chops off limbs, rather than just smashing them with a sledgehammer. For some reason, filmmakers opted against that and went with the hammer instead, but the resulting "hobbling scene" was no less terrible.

Annie Wilkes can't stand Paul daring to think of escape. So, she tells him about the early days of the Kimberley Diamond Mines. She tells him about the mutilation procedure (and in the book, it's amputation) and puts a wood block between his ankles. She breaks the everloving crap out of both of his legs/ankles and utters, "God, I love you" while Paul is left writhing in pain.

The dramatic music, Annie's conviction that she's doing the right thing for her favorite character and author — it makes the scene so completely uncomfortable. Kudos, Kathy Bates. Kudos.