Realism and horror flicks don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but when they do, they can create some of the most terrifying, visceral moments that can scar you for life. It just proves that you don’t need hellish demons or blood-thirsty aliens to make a scary horror movie.
Here are some of the most blood-chilling examples of horror films that feel way too real.
1. Psycho (1960)
It all started here, in the mind of a sick man named Norman Bates — the psycho. This movie’s influence on the horror genre cannot be overstated, and to this day, it’s still one of the most thrilling stories about serial killers. The split personality angle made the movie stand out even more. Bates is sort of a collective image of many real-world killers, including Ed Gein, who adored his mother so much that he made a skin suit out of his victims to look more like her. Absolutely grotesque!
2. Audition (1999)
How many times have you found yourself in an awkward situation where you’re holding auditions for your future wife, and you think you finally found the concubine of your dreams, only to realize you just signed your own death warrant? That’s pretty much the plot of Takashi Miike’s psychological horror film Audition. When your new soon-to-be wife starts torturing people and cutting off their body parts, maybe you should think of getting a divorce ASAP, while you still have all your fingers and limbs attached. Fair warning: the Audition is maybe too realistic for its own good, so make sure you can stomach this kind of horror.
3. Misery (1990)
Among the vast sea of demons, shapeshifting clowns from space, and other nasty creatures created by the sick imagination of Stephen King, there are many books that deal with regular human psychosis. In the 1990 movie Misery, Kathy Bates plays a crazed fan who will not take “no” for an answer when she finally kidnaps her favorite writer. All she wants is for them to be together forever. Is that so much to ask? A broken leg or two won’t make a big difference.