I don’t find a whole lot of genuine fear in horror films. After decades of tuning in to the bleakest cinema one could imagine, I’ve become quite desentized, as I would imagine many of you have. You only see so many heads explode, limbs severed, and heads bashed in by numerous blunt objects before it loses its shock value. I suppose that’s just a factor in which the true horror buff must deal with. Don’t get me wrong, I miss the sensation of cinema induced fear, but I don’t anticipate recapturing that unmistakable feeling any time soon.
That said, there are a few films that do indeed lead to disrupted sleep. Many a nights I’ve woken in throes of sweat and anxiety, amazed at the nightmare that just transpired within the realms of deep sleep. Perhaps that’s my subconscious alerting me that, somewhere deep, deep down that film truly did frighten me. Whatever the case, there’s nothing quite like an exhilarating nightmare; here are a few flicks that crawled under my skin, once under the sheets.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy has a tendency to invade my dreams, which is profoundly creepy condering his modus operandi. Few features have summoned some of the hellish nightmares I’ve endured after viewing this one. Lord save me from those hideous blades.
The Exorcist: This is an interesting flick due to the fact that pacing is a gnificant roadblock in the film. However, Regan’s outbursts are shocking on so many levels that it does dig into the psyche. The final act of the film is a nail biter that echoes a sentiment of sadness as well. This one definitely has influenced my sleep in the past. Interestingly enough, I wrote a short story based on a nightmare I had after watching this film.
Ils (Them): This feature was not only frightening realistic, it forced viewers to feel completely helpless and acknowledge that you just never know what can happen on any given day. This flick launched many a nightmare upon me; just knowing that being in the wrong place at the wrong time can result in horrific acts of torment is enough to birth a multitude of chilling nightmares for me.
Inde: This film is so unbelievably harrowing and deeply depresng that I’m actually amazed it earned a US release. As a father, I’m sentive to acts of violence against mothers or children, and this flick took that idea to astonishing heights. The film is actually tough to stomach, and so are the nightmares that follow it.
A Serbian Film: I couldn’t sleep well for a week after screening this picture. The concept of the film is so miserable and stomach turning that it actually makes you loathe humanity. It’s a well told story, and it’s as disturbing as any film you’ll see today. The final act however will quite literally induce nausea. A Serbian Film terrified me in ways I cannot even express.Don't be afraid to share your nightmare inducing films with usFollow Matt Molgaard on Twitter