I get asked a lot to hook people up with some dark and disturbing films. I have been watching horror all my life, and not to blow my own trumpet, but I am pretty sure that I am well educated on the genre.
So what do I think is the most disturbing movie ever made? well, if I had to choose just one, then I would have to say, Simon Rumley’s, The Living And The Dead.
There is no doubt about it, The Living And The Dead is a horror film, but it’s a horror of a different kind. It replaces the usual, zombies, serial-killers, vampires, and werewolves with mental illness.
I can understand why some people would not like the film, it is 100% an acquired taste. It doesn’t have a lot of characters, special FX, or loads of deaths -In fact the film would make an awesome stage play.
A father has to make a choice to leave their large estate to find treatment for his dying wife. He hires a nurse to help out with his wife’s medical needs while he is gone, but their only son, James has locked her out of the house and believes that he can look after his sick mother. The only problem is that James (Leo Bill) has the mind of a child as well being manic depressive with violent tendencies.
Although James has the best intentions, he is far from able to look after his mother. James starts to increase her medication, you hear him saying stuff like “I can make you better Mummy”, forcing pills down her throat. This is some of the most unsettling and uncomfortable scenes I have ever seen on film.
With all the pressure of looking after his mother, James is also forgetting to take his own medication. This leads to (best described in a review I read) “a decent into a psychological nightmare”.
The Living And The Dead is a film drenched in realism and approaches mental illness in a way that I have never seen on-screen. In my own personal opinion, this is far more terrifying than any other horror I have seen. The performance from Leo Bill is one of the most frightening and realistic performances. How the man never got an oscar for it, is beyond me!.
Go check it out, and if you enjoy it then all I ask of you is to tell someone else about the movie.
Here is the trailer (seems there is a few spoilers so watch at your own risk.