Brutal Horror Movie Is So Messed Up It’s Banned In More Than 40 Countries

The horror movie A Serbian Film has been considered so messed up that it's been banned in over 40 countries. 
Credit: Unearthed Films

A horror film has been considered so messed up that it’s been banned in over 40 countries. 

Many people enjoy a scary movie, but could you handle one of the most controversial worldwide?

Unlike many horrors, that trigger discomfort and fear, this movie has left viewers downright disturbed.

A Serbian Film (2010)
The horror movie is so controversial it’s been banned in over 40 countries. Credit: Unearthed Films

Discussing it on social media, one person writes: “There is NOTHING more disturbing than this film. It makes The Human Centipede look PG.”

Another adds: “That’s still embedded in my brain. I wish I’d not watched it.”

A third viewer warns: “Please don’t watch, it has explicit scenes that will haunt you forever. Traumatizing.”

In agreement, a fourth says: “If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and never watch it.”

A Serbian Film (2010).
People are saying they wished they’d never watched it. Credit: Unearthed Films

Directed by Srđan Spasojević, the movie follows a semi-retired adult star named Miloš who accepts an offer to star in an art film.

Before he can reconsider, Miloš discovers he’s committed to a brutal film filled with extreme s**ual content and other elements too horrific to describe.

Upon its release in 2010, the film sparked widespread controversy and significant edits had to be made – in the United Kingdom, 49 individual cuts were required, across 11 scenes, as per the BBFC.

Of the 46 countries that have banned the film, major markets include Australia, Spain, and Malaysia.

A Serbian Film (2010).
The film has received widespread controversy and it had to undergo significant edits before it could even receive a rating. Credit: Unearthed Films

The New York Times reports that Ángel Sala, the director of the Sitges Film Festival, was charged with exhibiting child p***ography with the screening of the movie.

EL PAÍS reports that the charges were dropped – if he had been convicted he would have faced jail time.

Critics were divided on the movie, with some acknowledging the director’s vision while others denounced it as disgusting.

On the entertainment site Thoughtnova, film critic Mark Kermode wrote: “The director says it’s allegorical… if it so, then the allegory just gets lost in the increasingly stupid splatter.

“The most annoying thing about it is – torture p*** is one thing, but pompous, pretentious torture p*** is something else.”

For Philosophy in Film, Matthew Jones stated it’s ‘a frontrunner for the most disturbing movie ever made.’

A Serbian Film (2010).
Some viewers have branded the film disgusting. Credit: Unearthed Films

The film’s co-writer, Aleksandar Radivojević, defended the movie – he told TPortal it’s ‘a metaphor for our national cinema,’ lambasting state-funded Serbian films as ‘boring, predictable, and altogether unintentionally hilarious.’

Its director, Spasojević, went even further.

He told Monsters, Madness and Magic the project was ‘a diary of our own m***station by the Serbian government.’

He argued that the extreme nature of the film was necessary to ‘feel the violence to know what it’s about,’ drawing parallels between the plot and ‘the monolithic power of leaders who hypnotize you to things you don’t want to do.’

A Serbian Film (2010).
The controversial movie has been defended by its director, who argues its extreme nature is necessary. Credit: Unearthed Films

The film’s existence was also justified due to Serbia’s lack of film ratings or censorship laws at the time.

Framing the movie as an exploration of unrestricted artistic expression, Spasojević said to Electric Sheep Magazine: “In Serbia, we don’t have ratings, there is no law forbidding anything from being shown in a film.”

Although 14 years have passed since A Serbian Film‘s release, it continues to be widely condemned for its graphic depictions of violence and s**ual content.

In the realm of extreme cinema, few works have sparked as much controversy and debate, it’s become synonymous with pushing the boundaries of acceptability in filmmaking.

Watch the trailer below…

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.