darkest-movies

Mainstream movies usually attract a larger audience due to easy-to-understand storylines and light-hearted characters. However, amidst these full movies there lie some of the darkest movies that are often overlooked and ignored.

These dark movies usually have obscure yet interesting storylines or they’re character studies of some broken and dark protagonists. Furthermore, these dark and disturbing movies usually stay in your head for a long time.

However, it can be quite hard to find what films fall into that category because not many people talk about them. So if you’re looking for such films then here is a list of our top 15 darkest movies.

Here’s Our List Of The Darkest Movies To Watch

Most of the darkest movies come from foreign cinema, however, these are usually hard to find. So we have created a list of the darkest movies that you can easily find and experience them yourself.

So let’s jump right into it.

15. Lilya 4-ever (2002)

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Some decisions in life can lead to an inescapable hell. These dark moments in a person’s life can break them and they might have no choice left but to end their miserable life.

The first darkest movie on our list is Lilya 4-ever. It revolves around Lilja, sixteen, and her lone friend, Volodja, a little boy, living in Russia, fantasizing about a better life. Andrej, who is moving to Sweden, falls in love with Lilja and encourages her to join him. However, she is unaware of what lies ahead.

This is probably one of the darkest movies, coming out of Sweden. It is so grounded that it feels almost scary. Even though it is not actually based on real-life you do realize that deep down these events are happening somewhere around the world.

Overall, Lilya 4-ever provides a haunting experience and will definitely keep you awake at night. I wouldn’t recommend this film if you have a faint heart.


14. Natural Born Killers (1994)

Source:  Movieclips Classic Trailers

This entry on our list of darkest movies portrays the negative side of media and journalism. It showcases how the glorification of criminals can lead to disastrous outcomes.

Natural Born Killers is a crime film. It revolves around two devastated children who grow up to be lovers and psychopathic serial killers. They murder everyone around them wherever they stop, however, they leave one person alive to tell the story.

Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis give a crazy performance in the film. Natural Born Killers is a brutal and disturbing film. This film is directed by Oliver Stone who came under fire for making such a bold film.  Overall, the film is visually stunning, yet it presents a fairly unpleasant subject.


13. The Last House on The Left (1972)

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Sometimes filmmakers go out of their way to create a disturbing premise and execute it.

However, these films usually end up getting canned or banned by censor boards despite being good. This was usually the case in the old days.

The Last House on The Left is a horror-thriller film. This film is about Mari and her friend who are kidnapped by ruthless criminals. They take them into the woods and subject them to physical, mental, and sexual torment, completely oblivious of Mari’s parents’ imminent vengeance.

The British censor board actually restricted the release of this film due to its violent scenes. The film may not be a perfect one, however, when it comes to darkest films it holds its grounds. The acting is reasonable and the “Wes Craven element” is present throughout the film.

In short, the film should only be watched by people with strong stomachs due to its extensive and gruesome portrayal of violence.


12. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Source: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Speaking of banned films, A Clockwork Orange is probably the only film that was pulled from theaters upon the request of the film’s director himself. The reason? People started copying the crimes portrayed in the film.

A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian crime film. It is directed by Stanley Kubrik. The story of the film revolves around a vicious gang boss who is imprisoned and volunteers for a behavior-correction experiment, but things don’t go as planned.

This is probably Stanley Kubrick’s darkest movie. In addition to the disturbing sequences, the film is famous for its beautiful set designs. It’s the type of film that you’ll want to see multiple times to fully appreciate it.

In the end, A Clockwork Orange is a haunting film that depicts the future in a very disturbing light. It is definitely one of the darkest movies in the sci-fi genre.


11. Eraserhead (1977)

Source:  Movieclips Classic Trailers

It’ll be hard to compile a list of darkest movies without mentioning one of the surreal works of David Lynch. He is definitely an expert when it comes to crafting a twisted character with a collapsing sense of reality.

Eraserhead is a fantasy-horror film. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story revolves around Henry Spacer, a factory worker whose girlfriend, Mary, gives birth to a demonic baby. Eventually, she gets fed up with it and leaves Henry as the caretaker but Henry just becomes more and more paranoid as time progresses.

This film is just purely creepy and bone-chilling at times. You can imagine how good the film is by the fact that Kubrick asked his cast to watch it before shooting The Shining. It is a solid debut by Lynch and the film has aged quite well.

Moreover, the music enhances the overall creepiness of the film. In addition to the music, the film is quite well-known for its surreal and unique visuals. It is highly recommended.


10. Irreversible (2002)

Source: STUDIOCANAL France

This next movie comes from French director Gasper Noe. It is probably one of the most distinctive darkest movies ever made.  It is full of some of the most graphic scenes alongside trippy camera work.

Irreversible is a French crime film. The story of this movie is told in reverse order. It follows the lovely Alex who is brutally assaulted and battered by a stranger in the underpass on one tragic night in Paris. Her boyfriend and ex-boyfriend are now hell-bent on taking revenge.

If you are easily triggered or disturbed by the depiction of sexual violence then I’d suggest you give this a pass. This film features the most gruesome scenes of that sort.

Apart from that, the director has maintained quite a disturbing and dark environment throughout the film. Whether it is the fight scene at the beginning or the infamous rape scene, each of them has a disturbing vibe to them. Irreversible is unlike anything you’ve seen before.


9. I Saw The Devil (2010)

Source: Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing

Korean movies hold their ground when it comes to delivering a unique, twisted, and dark storyline. The Korean industry has given us many darkest movies and I Saw The Devil is one of them.

I Saw The Devil is a crime thriller film. It revolves around a secret agent whose fiance is murdered by a twisted serial killer. However, once he gets a hold of him he beats him up but lets him go and a bizarre cat-and-mouse game ensues.

When it comes to revenge movies, I Saw The Devil is one-of-a-king. It has a unique storyline and is quite different from other movies in this genre. Choi Min-Sik portrays the role of the demented serial killer perfectly.

I Saw The Devil is definitely one of Korea’s darkest movies. I highly recommend this film for anyone who’s a fan of stories about serial killers and revenge-based storylines.


8. Requiem for A Dream (2000)

Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers

Darren Aronofsky is quite well-known when it comes to making dark movies. His movies embed themselves in the audience’s minds. However, this entry is undisputedly his darkest movie to date.

Requiem for A Dream revolves around the interlinked lives of four individuals. Each of them deals with addiction in one way or another. We follow them as their addiction leads them to the darkest places in their lives.

We have also talked about this film in our list of movies about obsession so give that a read as well. This film starts out like quite a happy story, however, it slowly takes a complete turn and becomes quite dark and disturbing. The ending of this film will leave you speechless.

In addition to the amazing storytelling, the film also has some top-notch cinematography. Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, and Jennifer Connelly have given great performances. This film holds a special place in the list of darkest movies.


7. The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011)

Source: Movieclips Trailers

There are a few movies that have a very vile and disturbing premise. They make you think “what the hell did I just watch.” These movies aren’t necessarily bad. They’re just a product of unhinged creativity.

The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence is one such movie. Its story revolves around Martin, a deranged recluse, who is inspired by the mythical Dr. Heiter to create a 12-person centipede and sets out to accomplish his terrible desire.

This is a sequel to the original The Human Centipede movie. In a wicked way, the sequel actually improves on the original. The black and white color palette enhances the grim tone of the film.

In conclusion, The Human Centipede 2 is purely shock cinema. It is gross, it is vile and it is quite creepy. This is a horror film like no other. It is one of the most disgusting and darkest movies ever produced.


6. Oldboy (2003)

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As mentioned earlier, some of the darkest movies come from Korean Cinema and this entry is also one of those movies. It is another revenge-based film on this list and quite frankly it is the best one.

Oldboy is a crime-thriller film based on a manga of the same name. The story of this film revolves around a man who gets imprisoned for 15 years without any reason. When he is released, he sets out on a path of vengeance against the people who ruined his life.

This film is very violent and disturbing. Oldboy is filmed in a very unique and eloquent manner. Furthermore, the acting in the film is fantastic and the storyline is very gripping.

It is definitely one of the darkest movies to be produced by Korea. Don’t be scared off by its violent scenes because this movie has a lot to offer besides it. I highly recommend this film.


5. Precious (2009)

Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers

Lee Daniel depicts a story that is so powerful yet disturbing at the same time. This film explores all the darkest corners a human can possibly go to. However, the story doesn’t end without a satisfying redemption.

Precious is a drama film based on a book. It revolves around Precious Jones, a 16-year-old obese girl who is molested by her father on a regular basis and physically and mentally tormented by her mother. She is encouraged to join an alternative school while pregnant with her second kid in the hopes of changing her life.

Most of the darkest movies depict a harsh reality that actually exists. Precious also depicts events that might as well actually exist. It depicts the worst side of humanity in quite a grounded and realistic way. Overall, it is a very strong film and you need a strong heart to watch it.


4. Antichrist (2009)

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Danish director Lars von Trier is well-known when it comes to creating the darkest movies one can imagine. Since the director himself has suffered from depression among other things, his stories actually reflect that element.

Antichrist is a psychological horror and thriller film. It is hard to describe the plot of the film without spoiling so the gist of it is that; A mourning couple retreats to their cabin in the woods in the hopes of mending their shattered hearts and problematic marriage, but nature intervenes and things worsen.

This film is a unique experience. It is dark and gritty yet it has layers and layers of subtext. If you want to truly appreciate the meaning of this film, you need to watch it at least a couple of times.

However, if you are a cinephile, you’ll be rewatching scenes from the film multiple times to evaluate all the different meanings behind them. This film may easily be termed as a classic if you can get past all of the disturbing images and sequences.


3. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

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This entry on our list of darkest movies is quite disturbing and awful, to be honest. It features a series of unpleasant sequences. It was actually rejected by the British censor board, so technically the film is illegal…sort of.

The film in question is Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. It revolves around four fascist libertines who kidnap nine adolescent boys and girls in Italy during World War II and subject them to 120 days of physical, mental, and sexual torment.

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom is a film about the horrors of fascism. The entire film is a social commentary on how ridiculous the people in power became during the time of war.

In terms of movies based on the subject of WW2, Salo is probably the darkest. Moreover, the director doesn’t hold back and shows the bare face of the fascist government (for better or for worse).


2. Martyrs (2008)

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Blood and gore have become a staple of many horror movies. However, a very realistic portrayal of gore and torture can turn any movie into a nightmare.

Martyrs is a horror film. The story revolves around A young woman’s thirst for vengeance against those who abducted and mistreated her as a child. This takes her and a buddy, who is also a child abuse victim, on a horrific trip into a depraved hell.

The film becomes more and more disturbing as time progresses. Martyrs works so well as a horror film. All the brutal scenes are shot in quite an impactful way. You actually feel the impact of those scenes. Overall, it is a good film for any slasher movie fan.


1. A Serbian Film (2010)

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So far we have discussed various films that were banned in a few countries, however, this entry on our list breaks all their records. This film has been banned in a total of 46 countries, all thanks to its dark and twisted subject matter.

A Serbian Film is a mystery horror film. It revolves around an aging adult film actor who gets tricked into filming necrophilia and snuff films. However, once he realizes the truth it is too late to turn his back. He has no escape now.

Initially banned by a ton of countries, A Serbian Film still holds its grounds as one of the darkest films ever made. It is insane how disturbing the film can be. It is difficult to suggest this film to someone due to its shocking nature.

But there’s more to it than that. It’s not only a horrific movie. It’s an unsavory movie with a statement to make. There are many hidden meanings and subliminal messaging throughout the film. These messages can be explored upon multiple viewings (only if you dare).


Conclusion

So this was our list of the darkest movies ever made. Apart from a few of these, I can’t recommend anyone to watch them due to the disturbing elements in these films.

We hope you liked reading about these movies and maybe if you have a strong heart, you can watch them.

Abdur Razaq
I'm a big movie geek. Watching movies and writing are two of my favorite things to do and here I am merging the two together.

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