15 Movies That Made Audiences Puke, Pass Out, Leave the Theater, or Pass Away
Have you ever watched a movie that made you physically sick? Perhaps a horror movie was too gory, or a film was made 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.
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 even led to viewers' demises.
- Photo: Netflix
The Perfection is a Netflix original about revered cellist Charlotte (Allison Williams) and musical prodigy Lizzie (Logan Browning) and their blossoming friendship. As the two travel through China, Lizzie gets sick. Things escalate from there.
Audiences took to Twitter to warn potential viewers about how disgusting the film is. Some even claimed to have gotten sick themselves after watching the horror. "I rarely get squeamish but holy f*ck the movie The Perfection is making me want to throw up," said one user.
- Photo: Mars Distribution
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 graphic 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.
- Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
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."
- Photo: Icon Productions
Mel Gibson's controversial depiction of the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus 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 demise of a Kansas woman. On opening day, a female moviegoer in Wichita 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.
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.
The Blair Witch Project (1999) raked-in an astounding $240 million at the box office on a $22,000 budget. Unfortunately, some of those paying spectators got sick from the movie, not from blood or gore, but the "found footage" mock documentary style. Three actors in the movie used a standard hand-held video camera to shoot the entire film. Most of the shots were shaky; often times, the actors were running with the camera pointed on the ground. Additionally, a lot of the shots were out of focus.
The look and feel of The Blair Witch Project left many in the audience dizzy from motion sickness. There were reports of people vomiting in the aisles. Things got so bad at an AMC Colonial the theater's managing director had to post a warning; at least one audience member vomited at every showing.
"This past weekend we put up a sign that said the hand-held camera can create motion sickness, and if you're susceptible to motion sickness you may want to rethink your viewing choice," she said.