Dark Side Cinema

These are the films that I classify as "Dark Side Cinema", detailed here.
The extent of disturbing content in each film will be listed, along with info on which kinds of viewers will enjoy it!

  • A Serbian Film

    A Serbian Film

    ½

    Freaky Fandoms Podcast on this movie

    TRIGGER WARNING: Pretty much this entire movie is a trigger warning. Don't watch if you're sensitive to... well.. anything.

    Language: Serbian

    Entertainment Value: : 1/10 There's one scene that made me laugh but otherwise this movie is just an awful grind to get through.
    Sex: 11/10. The main character is a former porn star who does one final "porn" film and my god the sex in this movie is not for ANYONE.
    Violence: 11/10. So gory. Much violence.
    Disturbing Content: 11/10. Disturbing as hell, in a try-hard kind of way.
    Recommended for: No one.

  • Aftermath

    Aftermath

    ★★½

    The best necrophilia this side of Jena Malone!

    Entertainment Value: : 3/10 It's a half-hour film of autopsy and necrophilia. Points only for the neat diagetic music and the final scene because it's sort of humorous.
    Sex: .../10. Necrophilia.
    Violence: 10/10. This fake autopsy looks very, very real.
    Disturbing Content: 9/10. Again, autopsy and necrophilia. Necrophilia that makes that scene in NEON DEMON look like a Disney flick.
    Recommended for: People interested in the concept/special effects.

  • Akira

    Akira

    ★★★½

    Language: Japanese

    Entertainment Value: : 6/10
    Sex: ??/10
    Violence: 7/10
    Disturbing Content: 6/10
    Recommended for:

  • American Mary

    American Mary

    ★★★½

    Language: English

    Entertainment Value: : 8/10

    Sex: 4/10

    Violence: 6/10

    Disturbing Content: 4/10. TW: rape.

    Recommended for: This one should be watched by just about all horror fans. It's a fresh perspective on the rape-revenge genre and Katherine Isabelle is incredible. 

  • Antibodies

    Antibodies

    ★★

    Language: German

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  • Antichrist

    Antichrist

    ★★★

    Entertainment Value: 3/10 The movie is really pretty and the acting is good, which helps a lot. Unfortunately, the movie drags in a lot of places and there’s nothing entertaining once things pick up and get moving in the final third. You don’t watch Antichrist to be entertained, you watch it to squirm or to think.

    Sex: 10/10 Loads and loads of sex. Some of it un-simulated, with on-screen penetration. Don't watch this with grandma.
    Violence: 6/10 Once the movie gets to the violence, it's intense.
    Disturbing Content: 8/10 Dead babies and genital mutilation!
    Recommended for: Arthouse fans and arthouse fans only. Gorehounds might enjoy the climax, but that’s about it.

  • Antiviral

    Antiviral

    ★★★½

    Language: English

    Entertainment Value: :
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  • Audition

    Audition

    ★★★★

    DANI'S PICK for introducing folks to extreme cinema!!!

    Entertainment Value: 5/10 Audition is very slow. For a first-time watcher it works because there’s a kind of tension that needs to be built up, the characters more thoroughly established, but it doesn’t lend itself to repeat viewings. The final act is worth any and all pacing issues someone might have with the movie, however.

    Sex: 4/10 One steamy scene.
    Violence: 3/10. The ending is horrific, but otherwise the film is pretty tame.
    Disturbing Content: 4/10 The ending is brutal and there are some weird flashback sequences, but the majority of the movie is pretty tame.
    Recommended for: People who want to get into extreme cinema but don't know where to start. Horror fans looking for something different.

  • Baise-moi

    Baise-moi

    ★½

    Language: French

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  • Big Bad Wolves

    Big Bad Wolves

    ★★★½

    Full review here.

    Entertainment Value: : 8/10 Whether you’re questioning the pedophile’s guilt, cringing over the torture scenes, or laughing, the movie is rarely dull.
    Sex: 0/10. There’s some pedophilia stuff, but if that’s your idea of sexy then you’re darker than this column wants.
    Violence: 6/10. Not horrifically violent but the torture scenes are suitably graphic.
    Disturbing Content: 5/10. Half funny, half disturbing.
    Recommended for: Anyone with a warped sense of humor and a desire for something different.

  • Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever

    ★★

    Language: English

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  • City of God

    City of God

    ★★★★½

    Language: Portuguese

    Entertainment Value: : 8/10
    Sex: 4/10
    Violence: 8/10
    Disturbing Content: 10/10. Kids murder kids. This movie is absolutely brutal and the realism makes it that much more difficult to stomach.
    Recommended for:

  • Cutting Moments

    Cutting Moments

    Language: English

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  • Deadgirl

    Deadgirl

    ★★★

    Language: English

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  • Don't Breathe

    Don't Breathe

    ★★★

    Language: English

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  • Enter the Void

    Enter the Void

    ★★★★

    Language: Japanese/English

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  • Event Horizon

    Event Horizon

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Evil Dead

    Evil Dead

    ★★★★½

    Language: English

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  • Evil Dead II

    Evil Dead II

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Excision

    Excision

    ★★★½

    Full review here.

    Entertainment Value: 5/10 The first half is actually a lot of fun as a dark comedy, but once it spirals into something else the entertainment value is lost.
    Sex: 8/10 Quite a bit of sex, although most of it is uncomfortable to watch. The fantasy sequences are chock-full of female nudity and fetishism.
    Violence: 7/10 There’s a good bit of blood and gore here, especially in the fantasy sequences.
    Disturbing Content: 8/10 This movie ruined my entire day when I watched it, but the fact that it made me feel that repulsed means it did something right. This isn’t something you watch because you want to have a good time, but it is well-shot, well-acted, and well-written.
    Recommended for: Arthouse fans, gorehounds with a sick sense of humor, anyone who’s ever been an angsty teen and can stomach this kind of thing.

  • Felidae

    Felidae

    ★★★

    Germany’s most-expensive animated film to-date, Felidae, is the story of a cat named Francis who moves into a new neighborhood in France only to discover that someone or something is murdering all of the neighborhood cats around him. The strange thing is that all of the male cats killed smell like sex and all of the females are pregnant. In this tribute to noir films, Francis investigates the murders and discovers a religious cult that requires its followers to electrocute themselves, the horrors of animal testing through feline folk stories, and a cat hell-bent on creating the ultimate race of felines. (Yeah, basically Cat Hitler.)

    Felidae deals with the subject of eugenics by having its villain be a cat that was extensively tested on by humans only to realize that specific genes in cats allow them to be better than others. Francis discovers the history of this particular animal testing facility when he finds a video tape that documents the experiments done on the cats. The video is extremely graphic, detailing all kinds of vivisection as well as brutal experiments. This is not the most graphic part of Felidae, however, as the murdered cat victims are shown in real CSI…

  • Filth

    Filth

    ★★★★½

    Full review here.

    Entertainment Value: : 8/10 It starts out a lot more fun than where it ends up, but it’s still enthralling from beginning to end.
    Sex: 9/10 Boobies. Boobies everywhere. Also lots of sex, some of it unfortunate.
    Violence: 3/10 Really not that violent. Only one actually violent scene and it’s pretty cop-movie typical.
    Disturbing Content: 5/10. Pretty disturbing for a comedy, but it works within the context of the film.
    Recommended for: Dark comedy fans, fans of Welsh’s work in general, anyone who watches the trailer and enjoys it.

  • Freaks

    Freaks

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Frontier(s)

    Frontier(s)

    ★★★

    Language: French

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  • Funny Games

    Funny Games

    ★★★½

    Language: English

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  • Green Room

    Green Room

    ★★★★½

    Language: English

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  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
  • Herbert White

    Herbert White

    ★½

    Language: English

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  • High Tension

    High Tension

    ★★★

    Language: French

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  • Hostel: Part II

    Hostel: Part II

    ★★½

    Language: English

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  • House of 1000 Corpses
  • Häxan

    Häxan

    ★★★★

    More here.

    Entertainment Value: 5/10 Quite informative for those with an interest in the topic, but it is a documentary and a silent film. This isn’t something you put on for funsies.
    Sex: 0/10
    Violence: 2/10
    Disturbing Content: 3/10
    Recommended for: Historians, witchcraft aficionados

  • I Saw the Devil

    I Saw the Devil

    ★★★★

    Language: Japanese

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  • Day of the Woman

    Day of the Woman

    ★★½

    TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE/SEXUAL ASSAULT

    Full review here.

    Entertainment Value: 3/10 This is an uncomfortable film to watch and only the revenge bits are really entertaining at all.
    Sex: 9/10 Lots and lots of male and female full-frontal nudity, but you really don’t want to watch any of the sex in this film unless you have some kind of sick fetish.
    Violence: 6/10 While the film graphically depicts rape, murder, and castration, it’s also really not that gory.
    Disturbing Content: 6/10
    Recommended for: Arthouse fans, psychoanalysts, feminist theory majors

  • Imprint

    Imprint

    ★★½

    Language: Japanese

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  • Inside

    Inside

    ★★★★

    Language: French

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  • Irreversible

    Irreversible

    ★★★½

    TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE/SEXUAL ASSAULT

    Entertainment Value: 4/10
    Sex: 4/10 There's some tender scenes between the main couple, but there's also a 9 minute rape scene that's nearly impossible to sit through.
    Violence: 7/10 Fire extinguishers and brains!
    Disturbing Content: 8/10 This is a very, very difficult watch.
    Recommended for: Fans of revenge cinema or extreme cinema. That's it.

  • Jenifer

    Jenifer

    ★★½

    Language: Italian?

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  • Killers

    Killers

    ★★★½

    Full review here.

    Entertainment Value: 8/10 The movie is either engrossing, funny, or disturbing at any one point, so it’s definitely entertaining.
    Sex: 3/10 Nomura has sexytimes with a victim, Bayu makes out with his wife. That’s about it.
    Violence: 9/10. Pretty much every kind of violence you can think of is here in some form or another.
    Disturbing Content: 8/10. Pedophiles on fire!
    Recommended for: Anyone who reads the description and thinks it might be interesting. It’s a very different kind of film and it’s not for everyone, but those who like ultraviolent buddy stories should enjoy it.

  • Man Bites Dog

    Man Bites Dog

    ★★★½

    Language: French

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  • Maniac

    Maniac

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Maniac

    Maniac

    ★★½

    Language: English

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  • Martyrs

    Martyrs

    ★★★★

    Entertainment Value: 6/10. Never dull, but not exactly a popcorn flick.
    Sex: 1/10 Some nudity but no sex/sexual assault/etc.
    Violence: 9/10 Extreme. Nearly an hour of onscreen torture. Not for the squeamish.
    Disturbing Content: 9/10 MARTYRS is soul-crushing. It features adult themes including the torture of children and suicide.

    Recommended for: Fans of truly extreme cinema, horror fans who want to try something different.

  • May

    May

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Melancholia

    Melancholia

    ★★★½

    Language: English

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  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Nymphomaniac: Vol. I

    Nymphomaniac: Vol. I

    ★★½

    Entertainment Value: 4/10 It’s slow in places, terribly pretentious, and sometimes it’s just plain boring, but there are moments that make the film worth it. When it’s good, it’s fantastic. Otherwise, it’s dull.
    Sex: 11/10. Oh come on, it’s called Nymphomaniac. What do you think it’s about? Bunnies?
    Violence: 3/10. Not particularly violent. There are moments of sexual violence and one particularly nasty bit near the end, but this is the kind of movie that doesn’t need gore to ruin your lunch.
    Disturbing Content: Less than ANTICHRIST, more than MELANCHOLIA.
    Recommended for: Arthouse fans. That’s it. You’ve gotta really love artsy films to enjoy this one.

  • Oldboy

    Oldboy

    ★★★★★

    Language: Korean

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  • Pontypool

    Pontypool

    ★★★★½

    Language: English

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  • Red State

    Red State

    ★★★

    Language: English

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  • Requiem for a Dream

    Requiem for a Dream

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Satan

    Satan

    ★★

    Language: French

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  • Se7en

    Se7en

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Shame

    Shame

    ★★★½

    Language: English

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  • Slither

    Slither

    ★★★★½

    DANI'S FAVE movie of all time. Because she's Bill Pardy.

    Entertainment Value: 9/10 I have personally watched Slither so many times that my DVD stopped playing and I had to go buy another one. It’s genuinely, laugh-out-loud funny, it’s kind of scary and tense in places, and it’s just overall a good time.
    Sex: 2/10. Elizabeth Banks looks great in a nightie, but that's about it.
    Violence: 6/10 More gross than truly violent.
    Disturbing Content: 2/10 It’s gross, but it’s all just gag stuff. There’s nothing here that crushes your soul.
    Recommended for: Anyone who can stomach it.

  • Starry Eyes

    Starry Eyes

    ★★★½

    Full review here.

    Entertainment Value: 4/10 The last 20 minutes are a 9/10, but the rest is very slow.
    Sex: 2/10. Creepy old man satanic blowjob. Yay.
    Violence: 8/10. Blood and guts galore once you get to it!
    Disturbing Content: 6/10 There's a bathtub body horror scene that actually made me gag.
    Recommended for: Patient gorehounds, arthouse fans, anyone who wants to be super grossed out.

  • Stigmata

    Stigmata

    ★★★

    Language: English

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  • Strange Circus

    Strange Circus

    ★★★

    Language: Japanese

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  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★★★

    Entertainment Value: 9/10 This film is scary, suspenseful, funny at times, stunning to look at, spooky to listen to, and best of all? It’s fun.
    Sex: 5/10
    Violence: 7/10
    Disturbing Content: 6/10 It’s really more scary than disturbing but there are moments that put this above and beyond your typical slash-fest.
    Recommended for: Anyone who likes horror. Get back to your roots, kids.

  • Terror Firmer

    Terror Firmer

    ★★★

    Language: English

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  • The Act of Killing

    The Act of Killing

    ★★★

    Language: Indonesian?

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  • The City of Lost Children

    The City of Lost Children

    ★★★★

    Language: French

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  • The Devil's Rejects

    The Devil's Rejects

    ★★★½

    Language: English

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  • The Devils

    The Devils

    ★★★★½

    More here.

    Entertainment Value: 8/10 There’s some gallows humor, lots of thrills and chills, and I was genuinely invested in the story.
    Sex: 8/10 Pasty white boobs everywhere. Also the Rape of Christ and some weird lovin' with a femur.
    Violence: 6/10
    Disturbing Content: 8/10 “The Rape of Christ” scene is pretty rough. Grandier’s execution is absolutely brutal (and super-realistic considering the effects at the time). It’s the little things that make it disturbing, however, like the nobleman who helped orchestrate everything because Grandier knocked up his daughter holding his newborn grandson at Grandier’s execution and telling him how lucky he is – ” Lucky little bastard! It’s not every day Baby sees Daddy burn to death.”
    Recommended for: Arthouse fans, anyone who likes their history a bit ridiculous, horny teenage boys.

  • The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead

    ★★★★½

    Language: English

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  • The Fly

    The Fly

    ★★★

    Language: English

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  • The House of the Devil

    The House of the Devil

    ★★★

    Language: English

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  • The Invitation

    The Invitation

    ★★★★½

    Language: English

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  • The Lords of Salem

    The Lords of Salem

    ★★★

    Entertainment Value: 5/10 If you broke this movie down into the entertaining parts and the boring parts, it’s about 50/50.
    Sex: 2/10
    Violence: 5/10
    Disturbing Content: 5/10 The most disturbing bits revolve around real-life traumas, like Heidi’s drug addiction and relapse. These parts are much more soul-rending than anything supernatural that happens.
    Recommended for: Fans of Zombies, stoners, people looking for something pretty to stare at.

  • The Loved Ones

    The Loved Ones

    ★★★★

    Entertainment Value: 7/10 There’s something bizarrely enjoyable about this movie. The little-girl glee that actress Robin McLeavy injects into Lola makes the whole thing seem like some really, really dark comedy with horror elements. It’s not for the squeamish, but it’s a lot more fun than most Dark Side movies.
    Sex: 3/10 Two teens have sex in a car.
    Violence: 7/10 Mostly with a power drill.
    Disturbing Content: 6/10. The torture’s pretty yucky, some of the father-daughter relationship stuff is skeevy, and things get really crazy in the second half, but there’s definitely worse out there.
    Recommended for: People with really sick senses of humor, gorehounds, anyone who ever thought someone in their school might secretly be a serial killer.

  • The Neon Demon

    The Neon Demon

    ★★★★½

    Language: English

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  • The Ordeal

    The Ordeal

    ★★★

    Language: French

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  • The Plague Dogs

    The Plague Dogs

    ★★★

    The Plague Dogs, another animated film based on a Richard Adams’ novel, is easily one of the most difficult to watch animated features of all time. The film is the story of Snitter and Rowf, a Fox Terrier and a Lab mix who manage to escape the testing facility they are being held in only to discover the outside world is just as cruel.

    This film starts right off in animated hell, depicting the facility where Rowf and Snitter undergo various sorts of tests. The very first scene is Rowf drowning and then being resuscitated by scientists to test his brain activity once he’s revived. After he returns to his cage beside Snitter, the two of them manage to escape into the lab itself, seeing all of the other animals undergoing testing. There are monkeys hooked up to machines screeching, rabbits in metal boxes with only their heads exposed, and a little rat who keeps furiously mashing a red button when it spots the dogs. They find their way into a metal room where they believe they can escape, only to discover that it is the furnace when the corpse of one of their dog friends is dropped upon them…

  • The Poughkeepsie Tapes

    The Poughkeepsie Tapes

    ★★★½

    Language: English

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  • The Thing

    The Thing

    ★★★★½

    Language: English

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  • Thirst

    Thirst

    ★★★★

    Entertainment Value: 6/10 The film is slow in places but it manages to break the monotony with gallows humor and quick moments of intensity. It’s not the kind of movie you watch repeatedly, but you definitely won’t be bored.

    Sex: 8/10 Sexy vampire sex scenes. This movie gets steamy.
    Violence: 5/10 Not too gory.
    Disturbing Content: 5/10 There are some gross, gory parts, and there’s a lot of really emotionally raw stuff here. How disturbing someone finds it depends on their worldview, really.
    Recommended for: Vampire fans, arthouse fans, anyone who genuinely wants to see a vampire love story that’s better than TWILIGHT.

  • Three… Extremes

    Three… Extremes

    ★★★½

    Language: Mandarin, Korean, and Japanese

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  • Titus

    Titus

    ★★★

    Language: English

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  • Tokyo Gore Police

    Tokyo Gore Police

    ★★★

    Language: Japanese

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  • Un Chien Andalou

    Un Chien Andalou

    ★★★½

    Language: silent

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  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin

    ★½

    Language: English

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  • Videodrome

    Videodrome

    ★★★★

    Language: English

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  • Visitor Q

    Visitor Q

    ★★★★½

    Full review here.

    Trigger Warning: Sexual assault, incest.

    Entertainment Value: Totally up to the viewer. This one's only for experienced dark cinema fans.
    Sex: 9/10 but you don't want to watch any of it, trust me.
    Violence: 2/10 Not much violence or gore, really.
    Disturbing Content: 9.5/10 VISITOR Q is one of the only films that makes me uncomfortable on repeat watches, but it also makes me laugh. The weirdest dark comedy in cinema history.
    Recommended for: Fans of Japanese cinema, fans of disturbing cinema, anyone with a truly demented sense of humor.

  • Watership Down

    Watership Down

    ★★★★

    Bunnies are cute, right? They eat grass and carrots and have twitchy little noses and are fluffy and sweet. Not according to Watership Down, the British film based on the Richard Adams’ novel of the same name. The film tells the story of Fiver and his company of rabbits as they try to find a place to live after Fiver has a vision that they will all die if they stay in their current field. There’s bunny murder, implied bunny rape, and lots and lots of bunny hallucinations.

    Fiver and his comrades endure quite a difficult journey while trying to find Watership Down, a place where they will be safe from humans, predators, and other rabbits. They cross a road (with less than pleasant results), rescue pet rabbits from a farm and nearly get eaten by a cat, and they move into Efrafra, a rabbit warren run by the evil dictator rabbit General Woundwort. Eventually the protagonist rabbits decide to try and escape Efrafra, a bloody and tense experience. When they finally do reach Watership Down, Woundwort and his officers track the rabbits down and go to battle.

    Watership Down is interesting because the rabbits have their own language (Lapine),…

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