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10 Horror Movies That Were Banned, but Loved by the Audience – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

10 Horror Movies That Were Banned, but Loved by the Audience



Horror movies are notorious for pushing boundaries and testing the limits of what is deemed acceptable on screen. Some films, however, have been banned for their extreme content in certain countries or even pulled from release altogether. Despite this, these movies hold a special place in the hearts of horror fans, with some even achieving cult status. Here are ten such banned movies:

10. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Based on the novel of the same name, A Clockwork Orange is a disturbing movie that follows a group of teenage friends who engage in violent acts for fun. The film was quickly pulled from release due to copycat crimes inspired by the movie.

9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre set the standard for slasher films, but its gore-filled scenes led to its ban in several countries. Director Tobe Hooper even stated that it was suitable for children, but the violence may still shock some viewers.

8. The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist is an iconic horror movie that has been known to make audiences physically sick. The film was banned in several cities in the US and UK upon release due to its disturbing content.

7. The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

The Poughkeepsie Tapes is a found footage film that portrays a serial killer who records himself committing heinous acts. The movie was so disturbing that it was pulled from release and hidden away for seven years before being made available on demand.

6. The Evil Dead (1981)

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Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead is an instant classic that follows a group of friends who stumble upon an ancient book in a remote cabin and unleash evil forces. The film was banned in multiple countries due to its extreme gore.

5. Cannibal Holocaust (1985)

Cannibal Holocaust is a controversial movie that was suspected of being a snuff film upon release. While the human killings were fake, several animals were killed on screen, leading to its ban in some countries.

4. Hostel: Part II (2007)

Hostel: Part II is a graphic movie that revels in the art of torture porn. The film was banned in Germany and New Zealand due to its explicit content.

3. Slender Man (2018)

Slender Man is a horror movie that depicts a tall, shadowy monster that targets those who play its game. While not incredibly scary, the movie was banned in Wisconsin due to a real-life incident where a young girl was stabbed by her friend, who claimed Slender Man made her do it.

2. I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

I Spit on Your Grave is an intense and graphic film that follows a woman seeking revenge after being raped by four men. The film was banned in several countries due to its lengthy and disturbing rape scene.

1. Saw 3D (2010)

The Saw franchise is known for its torture scenes, and Saw 3D is no exception. The movie was banned in Germany for its violent content, and even caused a mix-up at a children’s birthday party when it was accidentally played instead of a kids’ movie.

Even though these movies were banned or pulled from release, they remain beloved by horror fans for their extreme content and ability to scare and shock audiences.

As horror fans know, the genre doesn’t really have any bounds. There are several movies that push the boundaries and the seemingly nonexistent envelope to create incredible, intense scenes. There are certain movies that take a scene too far in a bad way, so it’s forever burned into your brain as that movie.


Sometimes, horror movies are censored and banned in certain countries, and sometimes, after the initial release, the film is pulled altogether. That being said, this list will highlight ten movies that were banned for one reason or another. However, they do in fact hold a special place in lovers of horror’s hearts, and they’re still cherished by audiences. For the right reasons? It’s hard to say. Let’s get into it.

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10 A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange
Warner Bros. Pictures.

A Clockwork Orange was adapted from the novel of the same nameand if you’ve read the book, you know how much of a headache it was to decipher what exactly these characters were saying. In the movie, it’s much more apparent and far more disturbing to actually watch what this group of friends do to helpless victims, all in the name of being young and causing trouble.

In present times, it has gained cult movie status, with several people rediscovering this incredibly violent film. When it was released, it was quickly pulled because copycat criminals were starting to arise in the nations, essentially gaining inspiration from the movie and committing heinous crimes in the name of art.

9 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Bryanston Distributing Company

The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre changed the game for horror and slasher films as a whole. Since its initial release, this franchise has been full of sequels and odd remakes, such as the fourth installment featuring a wild Matthew McConaughey. Despite the positive reception the original gained, the gorey movie was banned in several countries due to the violent nature it portrayed.

You might look back on the movie and be a bit shocked at that, since the violence isn’t that bad, and even Tobe Hooper stated this film would be suitable for children. We’re not too sure about that statement, but it certainly isn’t scary enough to warrant a ban.

Related: Every Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie, Ranked

8 The Exorcist (1973)

Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist
Warner Bros.

Whenever a horror movie has a reputation for making audiences physically sick in theaters, you wonder if it actually happened, especially in 1973. This supposedly happened at screenings of The Exorcistand someone even had a heart attack! The Exorcist is such an iconic movie in the horror genre, full of memorable scenes such as Regan’s head doing a complete 180 and, of course, the scene in which she vomits up her pea soup.

The movie was banned upon release in different cities in the United States as well as the United Kingdom.

7 The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

The Poughkeepsie Tapes
MGM Distribution Co.

Okay, when horror movies take the route of found footage films and make them incredibly realistic, they have an advantage in really scaring audiences. The Poughkeepsie Tapes aren’t based on a true story, but it was shocking how real they appeared to be and how long they were banned for. It was supposed to be released in 2007, but it was pulled from theaters and essentially hidden away for seven years.

This movie depicts a serial killer who has over 800 videos of himself doing gnarly and terrible things to his victims. In 2014, the movie was released on demand for people to see what kind of messed-up content filled this film.

6 The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead 1200 x 630
New Line Cinema

The 1970s really set up the 1980s to have a wide range of horror movies, and in 1981, Sam Raimi released The Evil Deadwhich became an instant classic. A group of friends heads to a remote cabin in the woods where they find an ancient book entitled Book of the Deadwhich, of course, isn’t a great idea.

Things start to spiral out of control for the friends, and even though this movie gets high praise, it was extremely gory and disturbing and was banned in multiple countries. There have been several movies after the original and even a television series that aired from 2015 to 2018.

Related: The Evil Dead: What Makes the Horror Franchise so Special

5 Cannibal Holocaust (1985)

Cannibal Holocaust sick movie
United Artists

With a name like Cannibal Holocaustyou can expect this to be a controversial movie, and wow, is it ever. The horror film was originally pulled because people in the film industry began to suspect that the movie was essentially a snuff film and that the terrible situations on screen had actually happened.

While the human killings were reported to be fake, several animals did in fact die on screen and were used as props, which is incredibly sad and disturbing. Despite that, Cannibal Holocaust was met with a fine reception from horror fans, and in 2020, a video game inspired by the film was released.

4 Hostel: Part II (2007)

Matarazo - Hostel Part II
Lionsgate

Hostel: Part II is an incredibly graphic movie that revels in the art of torture porn, and Eli Roth certainly wanted to kick it up a notch from the first installment of this bloody franchise. If you have a fear of traveling to new countries, don’t watch any of the Hostel movies, since they portray a group of people on vacation and then experiencing the worst days of their lives while fighting to stay alive. Hostel II was so disturbing and sexually explicit that it received a ban from Germany and New Zealand.

3 Slender Man (2018)

Slender Man Movie Trailer Is Here and It's Terrifying

Slender Man was a campy horror movie that was released in 2018 and didn’t get much hype until after its initial release. Starring Joey King, Slender Man depicts the iconic shadowy and tall monster that targets the people who play his game, and while it’s not incredibly scary, the state of Wisconsin banned the movie altogether. It’s for a reason you might not expect, but it’s still incredibly disturbing and ultimately very sad.

In 2014, a young girl was stabbed multiple times by her friend, both of whom were twelve years old. The friend who did the terrible act confessed that she felt that Slender Man made her stab her friend 19 times, and luckily, the young girl survived the attack.

2 I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

Camille Keaton in I Spit on Your Grave 1978
Cinemagic Pictures

I Spit on Your Grave is an incredibly intense and graphic film that deserves about a dozen trigger warnings before you embark on this movie. The plot follows a woman named Jennifer Hills, who seeks revenge after she’s raped by four men who nearly kill her and then blame the attack on her choice of clothing. The film was banned by several countries since the rape scene lasted thirty minutes and felt pointless and incredibly long for the content that was displayed.

When Jennifer finally gets her revenge and kills the men, it’s good, but it’s a hard watch, as she’s been taken advantage of by so many men and for so long. After the release, I Spit on Your Gravereceived a “video nasty” tag from the United Kingdom. That being said, it has gotten a remake and a few sequels, leading us to believe that audiences did in fact enjoy what they were watching.

1 Saw 3D (2010)

Reverse Bear Trap - Saw 3D
Lionsgate

The Saw movies are known for being hard to watch and full of torture scenes that’ll have you squirming in your seats while you try not to get sick while you watch. Saw 3D is just like all the other installments in this lengthy franchise since it’s gross and over the top, and a slightly funny but unfortunate situation happened in Massachusetts at a seven-year-old’s birthday party at the movie theater.

What they thought was going to be Megamind was actually Saw 3Dand it took the theater workers a few minutes to realize what was going on and to change the tape. Despite that, Saw 3D was banned in Germany for a few months due to the violence.

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