Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer
What is up my horror-loving homies? Do people still say homies? Anyways, I hope you guys are doing better than me. I’ve been battling a bitch of a flu lately. One of those that you think you’ve got beat, only to have it pop up again and say hello, like a bad penny, or a relative asking for money.
It got me thinking (while I lay in bed with nothing better to do), about that sub-genre of horror, that tends to make you go Ewww! Instead of Arrrggh! The one that taps into the germaphobe in all of us. I’m talking about body horror.
So with a SPOILER ALERT, get your cringe-face ready as we take a look at my TOP 5 BODY-HORROR, HORROR MOVIES:
One of the staples of any good body-horror movie is paranoia and Bug dials the paranoia up to eleven and then breaks the damn nob off! Michael Shannon plays an army veteran who believes he’s been experimented on, and he’s convinced the bugs that are infesting his motel room is coming from inside him. He drags poor Agnes, played by Ashley Judd, right down crazy road with him and the claustrophobia quickly sets in as we watch these two people tear themselves apart (literally) trying to stop an invisible infestation.
Ever wonder how people get caught up in cults? Well Bug shows what isolation, abuse, mental illness and loneliness can do to a person in the worst way possible. And the performances by Judd and Shannon, coupled with the grimy, dirty and downright gross environment, will make anyone skin’s crawl and no doubt bring out the paranoia of anyone who watches it.
Is anyone else’s skin itchy right now, or is it just me?
Remember how mad your parents would get if you picked up stuff off the road and played with it? Well this is probably what they were thinking would happen if you put said stuff in your mouth.
Slither is a fun sci-fi romp, but it also takes the alien body invasion trope and pushes it to its grossest level. Not only do these invaders look like slimy giant slugs, but once they get inside you the results are some of the nastiest you’ll ever see. I still remember the scene with the woman in the barn who’s impregnated with these gross buggers and then she explodes.
Don’t watch this one on a full stomach, unless you want to re-create that scene from The Exorcist.
It’s kinda freaky how many body-horror movies are allegories for sexually transmitted diseases. From the classic Alien (which also touches on rape) to the slow build of terror that was It Follows, STDs are a real-life terror that’s amped all the way up in these movies, and Contracted is no different.
After Samantha is drugged and raped at a party, she wakes up the next day with what she thinks is a bad hangover, only to notice rashes appearing on her body. It only gets worse from there. Her fingernails start to fall off, as does her hair. Her eyes are bloodshot and no one wants to get within five feet of her.
Most people might think of this as a zombie movie (which is what she becomes by the end), but for me Contracted is straight-up body horror as watching Samantha literally decompose before your eyes is the stuff of nightmares.
Straight up, this movie would make a helluva PSA video as it would scare anyone who saw it into taking a vow of abstinence.
#2 Cabin Fever
Did I mention body horror is one of my least favorite genres of horror? Watching Cabin Fever just reminded me why I avoid these flicks.
A bunch of friends decide to rent a cabin and have some fun after graduating, only to fall victims to a flesh-eating virus. The inspiration for this movie comes from the real life experience of director Eli Roth after he developed a skin infection. Being a horror director, he decided to share it with us in the most horrific and fantastical way he could. Thanks Eli.
The scenes in this movie will probably give you permanent “cringe face” with the most memorable being the “bathtub scene.” If you haven’t seen it, it involves a shaving razor and sound effects that will have you wishing you stole those little vomit bags they have on planes, as you hurl yourself to the nearest bathroom.
Cabin Fever is also a lesson in friendship, as in which of your friends will stand beside you when you’re sick and which ones will lock you in a tool shed with a dog that will eat…anything.
#1 The Fly
So there are only three horror movies that have ever really left a lasting impression on me. Not that the others weren’t entertaining, but these three actually had the kind of effect on me that stayed with me all my life:
Child’s Play– Made me run home to my Mom and make her throw out/give away my dolls
The Thing- Made me fall in love with horror (it’s also my favorite movie of all time)
The Fly- Which made me run outside and hurl my guts out
I’ve seen a lot of body-horror movies, but The Fly is the gold-medal winner of grossest body horror I’ve ever seen, to this day.
When it came out, people thought it was an allegory for AIDS, but David Cronenberg, the King of body-horror movies, meant it to be more of a general look at what diseases (especially terminal conditions like cancer) could do to a human being. It shows us every single step of Seth Brundle aka Brundlefly’s gruesome transformation, never pulling any punches.
It’s Cronenberg’s magnum opus about a scientist who accidentally turns himself into a giant fly and remains one of the most disturbing deformities ever to grace the silver screen.
Movies like these make me thankful all I have is the common cold. Let’s all be grateful that in this case life doesn’t imitate art, and I won’t be transforming into a fly, a zombie or a gross alien slug anytime soon.
Because I honestly don’t think NyQuil can fix that.
To your health folks!
What’s your favourite body-horror horror movie? For my Top 5 Movies of the Conjuring Universe you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes. Double Tap Baby!