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The most disturbing geek movie

Of the 10 geek films that Edmond Woychowsky finds most disturbing, he says nine of the movies pale in comparison to his number one pick.

I don't scare easily, but I've watched a few movies over the years that, for one reason or another, disturbed me; these movies include Hollow Man and Alien, which I had the good fortune to see on opening night. (Remember the scene in Alien where the facehugger leaped out of the egg? It rained popcorn in the theater on that day.) Those two films are on my list of top 10 disturbing geek movies, but both pale in comparison to my number one pick: John Carpenter's The Thing. If you're unfamiliar with this movie, consider yourself lucky.

The story is about being trapped and never knowing who can be trusted, who is what they appear to be, and who is some sort of thing. The movie starts out showing men on an American research base going about their normal tasks, but things don't stay normal for long when a dog being chased by a Norwegian helicopter appears. Through an accident, the helicopter is destroyed, and one of the two surviving Norwegians is killed. Perhaps if one of the Americans knew Norwegian, they would have understood this warning, "Se til helvete og kom dere vekk. Det er ikke en bikkje, det er en slags ting! Det imiterer en bikkje, det er ikke virkelig! KOM DERE VEKK IDIOTER!!" Unfortunately, the Americans only learned in hindsight that the Norwegians were saying, "Get the hell outta there. That's not a dog, it's some sort of thing! It's imitating a dog, it isn't real! GET AWAY YOU IDIOTS!!"

Though it's not apparent at first, one by one, the Americans are replaced by The Thing until only a handful of humans remain. It is only when the situation begins to deteriorate that there is a glimmer of hope, which is quickly extinguished because you never learn if one of the two survivors has a surprise for the other. However, after reading John W. Campbell's novella Who Goes There? years ago and Peter Watts' short story The Things on Clarkesworld Magazine a couple of months ago, I suspect that there's a surprise in store for MacReady.

And, because I know readers will ask, the other seven titles on my top 10 most disturbing geek movies list are Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, I Am Legend, Predator, the original The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Matrix, and Jumper.

What geek movie do you find most disturbing? Tell us in the discussion.

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161 comments
Slvrknght
Slvrknght

The single most disturbing Geek movie (namely because you watch it once, feel unclean, but have to watch it a second time to see if there was something you may have missed to give the movie some kind of point, then realize that, no, you just watched a horrible movie twice): Zardoz

Bladexz95
Bladexz95

Tell you what guys. I'm gonna let you in on a secret. The most disturbing movie I've ever seen, and I've seen a ton of them. Martyrs. Watch it, and I dare you not to be disturbed. If that doesn't do it for you, watch Inside.

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

I agree with a lot of posters on this thread: Alien The Thing Prince Of Darkness "This is not a dream... not a dream. We are using your brain's electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year one, nine, nine, nine. You are receiving this broadcast in order to alter the events you are seeing. Our technology has not developed a transmitter strong enough to reach your conscious state of awareness, but this is not a dream. You are seeing what is actually occurring for the purpose of causality violation." A Clockwork Orange "...lashings of ultra-violence." The Machinist EXistenZ Donnie Darko Scanners Soylent Green These are all classics! I suggest adding these: Hardware "The Mark 13" Naked Lunch Videodrome The Planet of the Apes (the original) "You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

ScarF
ScarF

by Steven Spielberg, which I consider to be his only real movie. Ironic - though -, since this movie was produced in 11 days only, with a "microscopic" budget. I would also include "On the Beach" (2000).

jimmeq
jimmeq

"The story is about being trapped and never knowing who can be trusted, who is what they appear to be, and who is some sort of thing. The movie starts out showing men on an American research base going about their normal tasks, but things don?t stay normal for long when the CIO . . ." This is my daily life at the office.

wyrwolf
wyrwolf

What makes this one so damn unsettling is the mix of scientific research and the paranormal. You can't look around and reassure yourself that you aren't in the movie's world.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

Ed, you nailed it! That movie takes the crown. (And we're talking the original, not any of the watered-down edited versions.) It's the only film I've ever seen that gave me the willies. (Re: The scene where they're doing the blood test!) Other movies give you a jolt or the creeps, etc., but this one IS "disturbing"! What a film!

Bart (Netherlands)
Bart (Netherlands)

Non-geek and not in-your-face disturbing, but JFK qualifies as disturbing when you really think about what this movie depicts. Dirty, dirty politics.

mjstelly
mjstelly

Crap. Now I have to go rework my entire Netflix queue. ;) Ed, Because you didn't define any boundaries, the movie suggestions lack focus. Maybe if you edited your original post with your definitions of disturbing and geeky, we could better target the suggestions.

gr0j
gr0j

Gave me nightmares for months. Not sure if it counts as a geek movie though.

tyler.poland
tyler.poland

I'm surprised it hasn't appeared in this list yet, but I found it quite disturbing. I mean wow, can you imagine a Friday night with no Steak. Oh, and there was the whole 'Soylent Green is people' thing too.

jeasterlingtech
jeasterlingtech

Gattaca has got to be the scariest movie i ever watched (geek wise) how tech can be used to destroy hopes and dreams how the world can cookie cutter you into a role and not let you escape a great disturbing monster/alien movie is "they live" not the monsters themselves but the control and collaboration of some with the monsters

Tink!
Tink!

Akira I saw that when I was about 12 or so. My 1st exposure to anime I believe [i](thanks to my animator brother who was totally into anime)[/i] Still recall a lot of that movie to this day! That's how much it stood out.

inbox.com
inbox.com

Capitalism: A Love Story Fahrenheit 9/11 An Inconvenient Truth

juliebeman
juliebeman

Sean Connery running around in an orange diaper? Completely disturbing.

xrayban
xrayban

Eraserhead! "In hea-a-ven...."

mjstelly
mjstelly

you never said what criteria you use to classify a movie as "disturbing" and "geeky". is it technology, is it a dystopian future, or dark and foreboding set design? what? maybe it's only movies that were made after the birth of the first Gen X baby? ;-) Blade Runner, Andromeda Strain, A Boy and His Dog, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Just a few that pop into this "experienced" brain.

rbosgood
rbosgood

I remember back in early 91 watching a movie that really stuck with me called "The Rapture" if you rent it, don't let your kids watch the first part. That part involves some sexual stuff, but once you get past that point, you see how it fits in to the movie. If your a spiritual person, this one will rock you.

jtorres
jtorres

For some reason I found the premise for The Island disturbing. It surely is geeky because of the cloning theme. But to think someone might harvest a whole new "me" just because they have the money to do it is creepy.

gwd3
gwd3

...I saw it in the theatre when it was 1st released and was NOT expecting the dude's head to explode! Whoa!

Arcturus909
Arcturus909

I would submit "Angel Heart" as being one of the more disturbing movies out there. It's not very "geeky", though. If you have not seen it - see it. And don't talk to anyone about it first. EDIT: Title changed from "Stayed" to "Strayed".

aeiyor
aeiyor

I agree with quite a few people who've posted about these movies: The Thing - definitely agree. Alien creature that mimic's people you know. Alien - The first was quite a shocker to introduce the alien creature and how it breeds. 28 Days - Intense Zombie movie. Cube - Original idea of being captured and imprisoned in a strange place with hosts of rooms that cycle and move and various traps. Jacob's Ladder - one of the first movies that introduced a topsy turvy universe with a twisted ending. Silence of the Lambs -- didn't see it in its entirety - just clips. Very disturbing and chilling. Here are my additions to this list... The Serpent and the Rainbow - Voodoo introduction and quite disturbing - at least when it was first released. Poltergiest - Somehow moving steak with maggots and various ghostly and corpse interactions - disturbing for its time. The Exorcist - Quite disturbing for its time and sometimes even now. Demonic possession and turning heads... Hmmm.. Switch channels. hehe. The Prince of Darkness - This was an eerie movie, the unearthing of "The Prince of Darkness" and the reign of evil that begins from it. Candyman - Disturbing, voodoo stuff too, when it was originally released. I tend not to watch horror movies as much but when I did those were some that definitely caused some after-effects.

YuncoFoobar
YuncoFoobar

Oh come on. How do you pick the society that will continue mans existence?

dcawley
dcawley

I can't believe nobody has mentioned "PI". It's by the same director and/or producer of "Requiem for a Dream" (also disturbing). It's not disturbing in horror sense, but rather in a human failings multiplied sense. You won't be disappointed.

mjfulk
mjfulk

How about Brazil (the directors cut not the happily ever after ending), Silent Running and THX1138

birdtoes
birdtoes

I'd add The Machinist, and eXistenZ. Very geeky, very cool, and definitely disturbing.

gbarn
gbarn

I don't get that one. I found nothing disturbing about Jumper! However, I'm glad you mentioned 'The Thing', that is one of my all time favorite scifi/horror movies. But it still didn't disturb me. You must be jumpy... :D

ScarF
ScarF

I can't believe that I forgot one of my favourites. I envy you for mentioning it >:# This is an excellent movie.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Ouch, forgot about that one. I once worked at an insurance company where someone picked the lock on the glass over the menu board. That day the lunch special was Soylent Green. They never did catch me, eh, the person that did that.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Yup. The thought of waking of next to a green-cheese faced alien and never knowing it is pretty disturbing...

wbranch
wbranch

Disturbing in that people think Michael Moore has anything valuable to contribute to filmmaking or that Al Gore has any grounding in reality. Michael Moore sets up one-sided straw man arguments and never considers other points of view or facts that get in the way of his 'message'. Doesn't exactly make for a good 'documentary' filmmaker. As for Al Gore, he wouldn't know science if it kicked him in the teeth. Worth noting that you can't show An Inconvienent 'Truth' in a classroom in England without a complimentary handout packet pointing out the factual errors which comprise most of the film's 'science'. The rest is just him whining about losing the 2000 election.

Tink!
Tink!

True, the concept that a computer could control the world's missile supply and then create a war between countries is disturbing since it could become a reality. The movie itself though, really wasn't disturbing. On that note, Eagle Eye, Echelon Conspiracy are of a similar concept (computer tries to control things) and therefore have the same disturbing factor.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

For the reason you stated, but also for the premise of the movie. Disturbing, indeed.

gbarn
gbarn

Was a great flick. And most disturbing is the fact that it's plausible...

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

It's something that I would have tried at that age. :)

Tink!
Tink!

Should be in the "Date Movies for Geeks" not in the "Most Disturbing" That was a fun movie!

handyman1972
handyman1972

Event Horizon - Yes, it had some really crazy concepts. The Descent - Simply brilliant! Virus - I know I'll catch grief for this one, but the human/machine hybrid from Hell idea struck me as really creepy. Cube - Another brilliant movie that proves less is more. Pitch Black - One of the few movies I'll watch over and over again. The Thing - Agree with everyone that this is an ultimate classic.

Tink!
Tink!

I was going to mention that one! But I didn't cuz at that time we were more on a sci-fi/horror tangent.

Tink!
Tink!

Definitely should be on the list. Very weird, cool and disturbing movie.

gbarn
gbarn

Okay, I might sound lame on this one but I thought elements of Terminator: Salvation were really unnerving. Specifically the scene at the gas station where the giant machine was blowing stuff up. The sound of that machine as it passed by made the hair on my arms stand up. It was super creepy!

Tink!
Tink!

Apart from the possibilities and consequences stemming from people having the jumper ability, there is nothing disturbing in this film. At least it had action.

ehula
ehula

Ditto... Jumper was NOT disturbing, just mildly entertaining.

leo8888
leo8888

Does anybody remember "The Omega Man"? I remember first seeing it when I was maybe 12 or 13. The ending when you see Charlton Heston (Neville) laying in the fountain full of bloody water and the effect they used to fade out was pretty disturbing to me at the time. I remember having nightmares about it. The whole concept of what it would be like thinking you were the last "normal" human being alive really gets me.

birdtoes
birdtoes

LOVE that movie - one of my all-time faves - definitely geeky and disturbing.

kentontator
kentontator

I was gonna add this one here. great movie and I think that the world would look like that if we had become heavily revolutionized with industrial stuff, and not so much technology

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I have an overactive imagination, imagine jumping inside of something of something where you can can't move and therefore can't jump out of. Or, imagine jumping into orbit with a good lung full of air, they'd be cleaning me off of the International Space Station's windows. The second is imagine a secret society hunting you down and killing everyone that you ever cared about.

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