10 Messed Up Movies People Love For Arousing Intense Emotions

The magic of cinema has the incredible power to captivate, entertain, and transport us to different worlds. While many films offer uplifting stories or thrilling adventures, a subset of movies delve into the darker recesses of the human psyche, presenting narratives that challenge societal norms and push the boundaries of our comfort zones. People love these “messed up or harrowing movies”—films that disturb, unsettle, and provoke intense emotions.

1. “Fight Club” (1999)

fight club 20th Century Fox
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

“Fight Club” is a captivating exploration of masculinity, consumerism, and the human psyche. Directed by David Fincher and based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, this cult classic delivers a mind-bending experience. The film follows an insomniac office worker who forms an underground fight club with a charismatic soap salesman, leading to a chaotic downward spiral of violence and self-destruction. With its shocking plot twists and philosophical undertones, “Fight Club” challenges societal norms and leaves viewers questioning their own reality.

2. “A Clockwork Orange” (1971)

A Clockwork Orange warner bros
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Stanley Kubrick’s controversial masterpiece, “A Clockwork Orange,” takes us on a disturbing journey through a dystopian future. The film follows the sadistic and charismatic Alex DeLarge, a young man whose love for ultra-violence and classical music clashes in a dark, twisted narrative. Kubrick’s vivid visuals and the thought-provoking exploration of free will, morality, and the dangers of societal control make this film an unforgettable and profoundly unsettling experience.

3. “Requiem for a Dream” (2000)

Requiem for a Dream Artisan Entertainmen
Image Credit: Artisan Entertainment.

Prepare for an emotionally draining and harrowing experience with Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream.” The film follows the lives of four characters as they descend into the depths of addiction and despair. Through its relentless portrayal of drug abuse, mental illness, and shattered dreams, “Requiem for a Dream” is a haunting exploration of the human condition. Aronofsky’s innovative cinematography and haunting soundtrack intensify the film’s impact, leaving viewers shaken and contemplating the dark realities of addiction.

4. “Oldboy” (2003)

oldboy tartan films
Image Credit: Tartan Films.

“Oldboy,” directed by Park Chan-wook, is a Korean thriller that pushes the boundaries of revenge stories. The film centers around Oh Dae-su, a man who is inexplicably imprisoned for fifteen years and then abruptly released. With revenge on his mind, Oh Dae-su embarks on a twisted quest to uncover the truth behind his confinement. “Oldboy” is a dark and visceral tale that weaves elements of mystery, violence, and psychological torment, culminating in a shocking and unforgettable climax.

5. “Donnie Darko” (2001)

Donnie Darko Flower Films
Image Credit: Flower Films.

“Donnie Darko” is a mind-bending cult classic that combines elements of science fiction, psychological drama, and coming-of-age themes. Directed by Richard Kelly, the film follows Donnie Darko, a troubled teenager plagued by visions of a giant rabbit named Frank. As Donnie delves deeper into the mysteries of time travel and destiny, the film explores themes of existentialism, mental illness, and the blurred lines between reality and delusion. With its complex narrative and thought-provoking symbolism, “Donnie Darko” continues to captivate audiences with its enigmatic charm.

6. “The Lobster” (2015)

The Lobster Element Pictures
Image Credit: Element Pictures.

In Yorgos Lanthimos’ darkly comedic dystopian film, “The Lobster,” society imposes strict rules on relationships, where single individuals must find a partner within 45 days or be transformed into an animal of their choice. This satirical exploration of societal pressure, conformity, and the nature of love creates a thought-provoking and often absurd narrative. Lanthimos’ distinct visual style and deadpan humor elevate “The Lobster” into a unique, offbeat cinematic experience.

7. “Mulholland Drive” (2001)

Mulholland Drive Universal Pictures
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” is a surreal and mind-bending exploration of dreams, identity, and the dark underbelly of Hollywood. The film follows an aspiring actress, Betty Elms, who befriends an amnesiac woman, leading them down a twisted and nonlinear narrative. Lynch’s enigmatic storytelling and atmospheric visuals create an unsettling and unforgettable cinematic experience that leaves audiences questioning the nature of reality.

8. “American Psycho” (2000)

american psycho Universal Studios
Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Based on Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, “American Psycho” delves into the twisted mind of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy investment banker who indulges in sadistic acts of violence. Directed by Mary Harron, the film offers a disturbing portrayal of the excesses and shallowness of 1980s yuppie culture. Christian Bale’s chilling performance as Bateman and the film’s dark humor and graphic violence make “American Psycho” a disturbing yet compelling examination of the human capacity for depravity.

9. “Antichrist” (2009)

Antichrist Zentropa Entertainment
Image Credit: Zentropa Entertainment.

Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist” is a courageous and controversial exploration of grief, sexuality, and the primal instincts within us. The film follows a grieving couple who retreat to a remote cabin in the woods, where their psychological and emotional anguish takes a nightmarish turn. “Antichrist” is notorious for its explicit and disturbing scenes, but it also offers a profound examination of human nature and the depths of despair within the human psyche.

10. “Midsommar” (2019)

Midsommar A24
Image Credit: A24.

From the twisted mind of Ari Aster, “Midsommar” takes audiences on a horrifying journey into a pagan cult’s disturbing rituals. The film follows a group of friends attending a remote Swedish village’s midsummer festival, only to discover a dark, twisted world beneath its seemingly idyllic surface. Aster’s masterful direction, unsettling visuals, and haunting score create an atmospheric and disturbing experience long after the credits roll.

11. Seven (1995)

Seven movie New Line Cinema
Image Credit: New Line Cinema

David Fincher’s masterful classic is a harrowing, suspenseful walk to the dark side. From the moment we encounter retiring Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt), newly transferred to tackle this twisted thriller, we sit on the edge of our seats. The crime scenes represent the seven deadly sins and are grisly. We don’t want to look away from the film for fear of missing a clue.

12. One Hour Photo (2002)

One Hour Photo Robin Williams Fox Searchlight Pictures
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Once upon a time, you would drop off a black container holding film to process into pictures at the local store, like in this film. Sy Parrish (Robin Williams) oversees the one-hour photo lab, developing customer photos and recognizing the families as the kids grow up. He knows the people more than they notice him. Viewers see Parrish’s mental state deteriorate as he obsesses over one of his regular customers when he sees evidence of his unfaithfulness through the photos he’s working on. This psychological thriller is supported by Robin Williams’s superb acting range, from perfectionist at his job to descending into the sickest, creepiest man ever.


10 of the Worst Movies in the History of Cinema

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Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

What is the worst movie that you have ever seen? According to an internet poll, there are thousands of doozies, but these are the top ten worst.

10 Best Movie Trilogies Ever Made According to the Internet

The Dark Knight

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

What is the best movie trilogy ever made? Unfortunately, Indiana Jones and Toy Story have added a fourth film disaster following their perfect trilogy success. Otherwise, I’d nominate both of those. After asking the internet for their top contenders, these were the top ten. 

10 Greatest Single Movie Scenes Ever Filmed

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

What is the most remarkable single movie scene ever filmed? There are so many cinematic gems that this is a difficult question. However, after someone polled the internet, these were the top-voted responses.

Top 10 Heist Films That Are Morally Good

Indiana Jones

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Ever feel like rooting for the characters you know are doing something naughty, like a victimless crime? Someone asked for morally good heist movies where the crew isn’t reformed, criminals, like Ocean’s 11. Here are the top-voted heist films from the discussion. 

Top 10 Black and White Movies Absolutely Worth the Watch

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Image Credit: Mirisch Company

Are you a black-and-white movie fan or interested in the classics? Watching black and white films is an entirely different experience than movies in vibrant colors. Our kids thought of these classic movies as archaic, but as they got older, they became more open and less judgmental as they found some of the greatest stories, like Schindler’s List, best displayed in black and white. 

This article was produced and syndicated by The Cents of Money.

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