If there’s one genre of film that can be counted on to consistently shock audiences, test their mettle and challenge the integrity of their stomach, it’s surely horror, right?
Given the genre’s endless exploration of death and the vulnerability of the human body, horror films are often designed to both shock and disgust as well as entertain, and many fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
However, as horror veterans we’re also so desensitized that it’s hard for a movie to really surprise us these days – we’ve seen it all, or so we think.
But clever and creative filmmakers are still able to counter our resilience by pushing boundaries and doing the unexpected.
That’s certainly the case with these 10 movie moments, all of which subverted our expectations, turned our stomachs, and maybe even broke our hearts a little.
From disturbingly brutal death scenes of beloved franchise characters to sonically offbeat musical interludes, a genuinely sickening bout of body horror sex and arguably the most traumatic birth scene ever filmed, these moments will leave even the most seasoned horror fan shaken up. ..
It took five full movies, but the Scream franchise finally pulled the trigger — or rather, flicked the knife — and killed one of its three flagship heroes in its latest installment.
Although Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gail (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette) are a rare trio of OG horror film protagonists who have managed to survive each successive installment, the fifth film brought some unpredictability back into the formula by killing Off-fan favorite Dewey.
While Dewey has narrowly survived every previous film, his role as a de facto comic relief seemed to give him plot armor throughout the franchise. In the most recent Scream, however, the character received a corresponding reinvention.
Now divorced from Gail and living off a trailer, Dewey is called in to help the new band of heroes take down the latest Ghostface killer.
This culminates in Dewey being disemboweled by one of the two killers at the end of Act Two – a deeply shocking and disturbing moment for fans who have been ingrained with the character for over 25 years.
It was admittedly frustrating to see Dewey effectively killed by his own stupidity — he doesn’t confirm the murder when he has Ghostface out for the count, then goes back to correct the mistake, only to be distracted by a phone call which gives Ghostface a window to hit.
Nonetheless, Dewey’s death landed with a heaviness and emotional impact rare for the genre, undermining expectations that Scream’s three leads were essentially “safe” characters.