Ouch! Torture in the movies
The Raven fictionalises the last days of Edgar Allan Poe when he pursued a serial killer mimicking the murders seen in his stories. We look at the film’s theme of torture as seen in 8 other movies.
With James McTeigue’s The Raven receiving its UK DVD/Blu-ray release this week, Top 10 Films has got the sick bag at the ready and taken a look at torture as represented in the cinema.
Throughout the history of film, characters have had to endure horrendous torture and gruesome deaths, resulting often in the focus of a director’s vision. But why are we captivated by such horror?
Along with The Raven, here are the most memorable films that utilize the stomach-turning theme of torture.
This thriller portrays the horrible treatment of a torturous serial-killer. His twisted agenda involves choosing seven victims who represent appalling examples of wrongdoing of each of the Seven Deadly Sins. He hands out horrific punishments to these sinners; one being an obese man who is forced to eat until his stomach ruptures to represent gluttony.
Anthony Hopkins returns as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, one of the worlds most feared man-eating serial killer. One of the Hannibal’s victims is disfigured and confined to a life-support system because the frightening cannibal tortured him. After a decade of looking for the man-eater, the victim plans to draw Lecter out of his hiding place, using the one thing he truly cares for: Clarice Starling.
With a dead body lying between them, two men wake up in a trapped lair of a serial killer who’s been nicknamed “Jigsaw”. Both men have been given the option of rotting in the cell or cutting their foot off as a way of punishment for the corrupt lives they lived. In the end, one of the men was tortured enough and lost it as he cut off his foot and eventually left the room.
Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their high expectations- with no idea about the torture that awaits them. The torture is extremely gory as the final scene is of two fingers that are vengefully dismembered with a scalpel.
Dead Silence (2007)
A young couple, Jamie and Lisa, anonymously receive a mysterious package with a weird dummy inside. Jamie leaves the apartment to pick up dinner and when he returns, he finds Lisa dead, tortured and without a tongue.
Funny Games (2007)
Two preppy psychos brutalize a woman (Naomi Watts) and her family in their own home. These tormenters act as if it’s the victims who are being rude. They flaunt entitlement, provoking protest, and then rage. Smashing the husband’s knee with a golf club- and they are just getting started- they turn torture into a rite of privilege.
Diane Lane plays Jennifer Marsh, a secret service agent who is chasing a serial killer who conducts violent and painful murders on a website. The torturous videos recorded from the killer’s basement include horrific murders by injections of anticoagulant, burning by heat lamps and increasing the concentration of sulfuric acid.
The Human Centipede (2009)
In Germany, two American women and a Japanese man fall victim to a torturous surgeon who plans to recreate a horrific operation with humans that he performed on his three beloved dogs: reverse-engineering Siamese triplets by attaching their digestive systems.
The Raven (2012)
Taking place in the 19th century, a serial killer begins murdering victims using methods from Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. Poe himself teams up with a detective to stop more of his fictional stories from becoming a reality. His classic short story “The Pit and the Pendulum” comes to horrifying life as a man is captured by the killer, only to find himself tortured by a swinging blade.
© 2012 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
The Raven is released on Blu-ray & DVD 30th July 2012
Your turn – what are your favourite torture films?
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