Horror films have been one of the bright spots of 2021. Whether they were released by a major distributor or an indie company, they all include disturbing imagery that sticks with the audience long after the credits roll. The following horror movie moments are some of the most intense and gruesome scenes of the year, but that doesn't mean they're all blood and guts - far from it, in fact.
The moments collected here range from brutal beheadings to a deadly shower of acid rain. There's also plenty of existential dread included here that might leave you shivering just thinking about it. Keep in mind that this list is peppered with minor spoiler alerts, but if anything, they'll just make you want to watch these disturbing horror movies from 2021 even more. Good luck sleeping with the lights off tonight - now let's get disturbed.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures1125 VOTES
Malignant rocks. James Wan's throwback to '90s science fiction-infused horror brings campy thrills and scares along with some seriously disturbing visuals. The biggest freak-out moment in the film goes hand in hand with the movie's biggest twist - protagonist Madison is actually Gabriel, a serial killer who stays a few steps ahead of everyone.
In the scene, Madison is locked in a jail cell with a bunch of other unlucky folks, and the killer who lives inside her starts to literally squeeze out of the back of her skull. Madison grabs her scalp and rips it away as Gabriel's bloody face becomes visible. While running backwards through the cell, Madison/Gabriel rushes everyone in the cell to break bones, snap necks, and bite out chunks of their skin. This is easily one of the most fun scenes of the year.Upsetting moment?
- Photo: Universal Pictures
Folks, we have to stop calling on Candyman. This is a lesson that everyone should have learned a long time ago, but in Nia DaCosta's 2021 sequel to the original film, a group of teenage girls go ahead and shout out to the hook-handed villain in a high school bathroom.
After calling on Candyman, the girls face the immediate ramifications of their actions, but the audience doesn't see their fates firsthand. Instead, their bloody torment is shown through a compact mirror dropped on the floor in a bathroom stall. It's not just an intense and well-shot scene - watching the slaughter of four teenage girls is legitimately upsetting.Upsetting moment?
- Photo: Netflix
Is there anything worse than seeing someone get their Achilles tendon slashed? It's not just disturbing - this painful attack elicits an "oh, hell no" response that rises from the inside of every person in the audience, whether they're a horror fan or not.
The thing that makes this scene all the more disturbing is that it occurs at the beginning of the movie before the audience is really ready for the brutality that's about to occur. After pressing play, viewers see Jackson, a football player, come home to find that someone has been in his house. Before he can call 911, a hand reaches out from beneath a clothes rack and takes a swipe at the jock's ankle. Not only is it rough to watch, but it's a signal that things are only going to get rougher from here on out.Upsetting moment?
- Photo: Netflix496 VOTES
'Fear Street: 1994' - The Bread Slicer Kill
Sure, the Fear Street trilogy is marketed towards young adults, and yes, most of the blood and guts were created with CGI, but nothing can prepare an audience for watching a teenager's head get shoved through a bread slicer by a guy wearing a skull mask.
While trying to put an end to the curse placed on their hometown by a 17th-century witch, a group of friends rushes to a supermarket where they take a stand against serial killers from the town's rich and blood-soaked past. One of those killers wrestles a girl onto a bread slicer connected to a conveyer belt before shoving her head through the blades.
This isn't one of those scenes where the cameras cut away as soon as the victim's head makes contact with an implement of death - instead, the audience gets a good, long look at this girl's now-segmented noggin. It's an inspired (albeit gross) image.Upsetting moment?