Have you ever watched a movie that made you physically sick? Perhaps a horror movie was too gory, or a film was shot in a way that caused motion sickness. If you've ever gotten ill watching a movie, whatever the reason for it, you're far from alone. Here are movies that made people sick.
Filmmakers have been making movies that made viewers sick since the beginning of cinema. Luis Buñuel, a surrealist who aimed to shock audiences, made Un Chien Andalou in 1929. The film includes a close up of a razor blade cutting into a woman's eye. It shocked and appalled audiences, but also created a ton of buzz. In film school circles, Un Chien Andalou is a staple, largely in part due to Buñuel's shocking razor scene.
Believe it or not, a few of these films may have led to death. A woman in Kansas suffered a fatal heart attack while screening a controversial film on this list. A man from Taiwan had to be rushed to the hospital after suffering a stroke while watching another movie on this list, one that's currently the highest grossing movie of all time. He died 11 days later, from what his doctor claimed was “over-excitement” from watching the movie.
Check out the stories behind all those films and all the movies that made people pass out and more in the list below.
Imagine a director purposefully trying to induce panic with the use of sound. It happens a lot more than you would think. In Gaspar Noé's graphically violent rape-revenge drama Irréversible (2002), the director used a 27 hertz bass frequency during the first 30 minutes of the film. The frequency cannot be heard by the human ear, but has the ability to induce panic, anxiety, extreme sorrow, and heart palpitations.
Some audience members left the theater after the first half hour of Irréversible, they felt so sick and disoriented. Interestingly, there are quite a few scenes in the film that could make a spectator feel sick without infrasound, such as an infamous, nine minute rape.
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Forget the fake blood and gore of horror films. Danny Boyle's 127 Hours (2010), based on the true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco), a mountain climber who got his arm trapped in a canyon in Utah, is about real life survival. Ralston has one way out of a deep canyon: he must amputate his right arm with a pocketknife if he wants to live.
Reports of audience members vomiting, passing out, having seizures, and panic attacks came flooding in from theaters around the world as the film premiered. Wrap contributor John Foote wrote of the amputation scene, "I cannot remember a reaction to a film like this in a very long time, perhaps not since The Exorcist sent audiences scurrying for the doors."
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Mel Gibson's controversial depiction of the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus, including an brutally graphic crucifixion, forced several movie-goers out of the theater. Roger Ebert said of the 2004 drama, "The movie is 126 minutes long, and I would guess that at least 100 of those minutes, maybe more, are concerned specifically and graphically with the details of the torture and death of Jesus. This is the most violent film I have ever seen."
The film may have even been responsible for the death of a Kansas woman. A female spectator reportedly had a fatal heart attack while watching the graphic crucifixion scene. "It was the highest emotional part of the movie," a spokeswoman for KAKE-TV in Wichita reported. The woman reportedly did not have any existing health problems.
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When William Friedkin's big screen adaptation of The Exorcist hit theaters in 1973, it instantly became a cultural phenomenon and must-see event. The story about a teenage girl who becomes possessed by the devil intrigued both American and international audiences. In New York, anxious spectators stood outside during a blizzard in a line that wrapped around the block.
However, many movie-goers were not prepared for the film's graphic horror. During a screening in New York, reports claimed several audience members ran from the theater in hysterics, while others fainted or vomited. In fact, word got all the way around the world that the film was having such devastating effect on audience members. By the time The Exorcist opened in the UK, theaters had ambulances waiting outside with stretchers, just in case they were needed.
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