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The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films 

Randolph Strauss
Originally by
Updated May 31, 2019 40.2k votes 3.6k voters 126k views 117 items

List Rules Must be good movies that are hard to stomach.

The most nausea-inducing great films manage to make moviegoers squirm with discomfort, but leave the theater feeling like they've seen a really solid movie. Some films on this list are, not surprisingly, straight-up horror movies, but others are more psychologically disturbing. Either way, every film on this list can be, to some, nausea-inducing and generally unsettling. Be sure to vote for the movies that you think were the most difficult to watch, and, if you know of a particularly nausea-inducing great film that isn't listed, add it.

Movies don't always need to have wall-to-wall, graphic violence to induce nausea, but it helps. Films like 'Drive,' 'Reservoir Dogs' and certainly 'Pulp Fiction' fall squarely in the gratuitous violence category, but they are all excellent movies. Some of the films on this list, including 'A Clockwork Orange,' 'Midnight Cowboy,' 'No Country for Old Men,' 'American History X,' 'Fargo,' 'Crash,' were nominated for, and won, Academy Awards. Many are considered among the best films of all-time ('Scarface' comes to mind immediately). But one thing they all have in common: Each movie listed here can be upsetting to watch.

In terms of outright horror movies, sure, most of them do have extremely graphic, hard-to-watch violence in them, but not all horror films can truly be called 'great.' Some, like Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' and John Carpenter's original 'The Thing' manage to scare us silly and nauseate us at the same time.

Nausea-inducing great films can stay with someone long after the last frame is shown. They are disturbing and they haunt you. That's what this list is all about, so be sure to vote for your favorites and add any movie that I've missed.
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1
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

Released: 1971

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

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2
The Fly is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

Released: 1986

Directed by: David Cronenberg

The Fly is a 1986 American science fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, ...more

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3
The Texas Chain Saw Mass... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal

Released: 1974

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

This movie is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar ...more

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4
Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
vinsonba added Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn

Released: 2000

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on ...more

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5
Saw is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith

Released: 2004

Directed by: James Wan

Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large ...more

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6
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
AggieMom15 added Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

Released: 1973

Directed by: William Friedkin

The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 ...more

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7
The Human Centipede (Fir... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
newgarbagetruck added Ashley C. Williams, Dieter Laser, Akihiro Kitamura

Released: 2009

Directed by: Tom Six

"Outside the more outré work of Takashi Miike and David Cronenberg, you won’t have seen anything quite like Dutch avant-garde artist Tom Six’s totally bizarre off-the-wall oddity. ...more

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8
American History X is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Kaye

American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and co-stars Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott ...more

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9
A Serbian Film is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
franciskusvanderheijden added Jelena Gavrilovic, Srđan Todorović, Sergej Trifunović

Released: 2010

Directed by: Srdjan Spasojevic

10
Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Lon Harris added Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence

Released: 1987

Directed by: Clive Barker

Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based upon his own novella The Hellbound Heart. The film spawned a series of sequels.

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11
Cannibal Holocaust is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
newgarbagetruck added Ruggero Deodato, Luca Barbareschi, Robert Kerman

Released: 1980

Directed by: Ruggero Deodato

Cannibal Holocaust is a 1980 Italian cannibal film directed by Ruggero Deodato from a screenplay by Gianfranco Clerici, starring Carl Gabriel Yorke, Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, and Luca ...more

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12
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

Released: 1982

Directed by: John Carpenter

The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

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#116 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #928 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

13
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

Released: 2000

Directed by: Mary Harron

American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more

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14
Salò, or the 120 ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

Released: 1975

Directed by: Pier Paolo Pasolini

15
Natural Born Killers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Robert Downey Jr., Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones

Released: 1994

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Natural Born Killers is a 1994 American film directed by Oliver Stone starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Jr., Tom Sizemore and Tommy Lee Jones. The film was released in the ...more

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16
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
vinsonba added Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller

Released: 1996

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Trainspotting is a 1996 British comedy drama film directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. Based on ...more

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17
The Last House on the Le... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Martin Kove, Steve Miner, Fred J. Lincoln

Released: 1972

Directed by: Wes Craven

The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish ...more

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#173 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #151 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

18
Dawn of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Tom Savini, Ken Foree, James A. Baffico

Released: 1978

Directed by: George A. Romero

This film is a 1978 Italian-American horror drama film written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero's series, but contains no characters or settings from them, ...more

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19
Antichrist is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
wirken added Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

Released: 2009

Directed by: Lars von Trier

Antichrist is a 2009 Danish experimental horror film written and directed by Lars von Trier. It tells the story of a couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who, after the death of their ...more

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20
I Spit on Your Grave is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
tool100 added I Spit on Your Grave Camille Keaton, Richard Pace, Gunter Kleeman

Released: 1978

Directed by: Meir Zarchi

Day of the Woman is a controversial 1978 cult classic rape and revenge film. The film received a limited release, with a wider release in 1980. Prominent film critics condemned the film for its ...more
21
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

Released: 1980

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

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22
Irréversible is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
wirken added Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Gaspar Noé

Released: 2002

Directed by: Gaspar Noé

Irréversible is a 2002 French mystery thriller film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel. The film employs a non-linear ...more

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23
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth

Released: 1992

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more

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24
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Hannibal is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is the sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence ...more

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25
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films
John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman

Released: 1994

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more

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