30 Body Horror Movies for Extreme Horror Fans

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If you are brave enough to handle extreme horror, than here is a list of the most twisted and gruesome body horror movies. Not for the faint of heart.

30 body horror movies, not for the faint of heart

Hello, horror fans!

I grew up on a healthy dose of horror movies in the 80s. My sister and I would scour the video store shelves every weekend for any horror movie we could find to rent. Movies like “Hellraiser”, “The Howling”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Friday the 13th” and even movies no kid should be renting like “Faces of Death” and “Last House on the Left”. I know I know, what were my parents thinking? If they only knew what we were actually watching, yikes.

Well, in this article I share my passion for the most twisted and gruesome genre of cinema: body horror.

Body horror is a subgenre of horror that focuses on the physical transformation of the human body in grotesque ways.

Body horror films are not for the faint of heart, as they feature some of the most shocking and disgusting scenes ever put on screen.

But, since you’re here reading this article, I’m assuming you are not the squeamish type!

I am including 30 of the best body horror movies ever made, from some classics to more modern gems. I’ve included some of the more extreme body horror films like “Tetsuo The Iron Man” and “Martyrs” but also some more tame but equally disturbing movies like “Bug” and “Thinner”.

In addition to the movies chosen for this list, be sure to checkout any film by David Lynch, David Cronenberg and Brandon Cronenberg. (read to the end for links to Cronenberg movies that are streaming FREE)

body horror movies checklist

What is a body horror movie?

Body horror is a subgenre of horror that incorporates extreme disfigurement of the human body. This may include mutations like in the movie “The Fly”, mutilations, disease or unnatural movements of the body.

Who is this list of body horror movies for?

  • Fans of the horror genre
  • Those who like extreme movies
  • Those who are looking to be challenged by movies that push the boundaries

What information is provided about each body horror movie in this selection?

  • The movie title and release year of the movie
  • Image of movie
  • Director
  • A list of actors in the movie
  • The MPAA rating
  • Link to the movie in IMDb – For movie reviews, where to stream, ratings, trailers and lots more.
  • Link to where movie is streaming for FREE (if available)
  • A movie summary

There is a FREE body horror movie checklist you can download to keep track of what you want to see.

Links included below to the where the movies are streaming FREE (where available).

Bonus movies at the end that are all streaming FREE.

A List of 30 Body Horror Movies for the Brave Viewer

1. Excision (2012)

  • Director: Richard Bates Jr.
  • Actors: AnnaLynne McCord, Traci Lords, Ariel Winter
  • Rating: R
  • Excision on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Excision is a twisted and darkly humorous tale of a disturbed teenage girl who dreams of becoming a surgeon. She has a dysfunctional family, a rebellious attitude, and a morbid fascination with blood and gore. She also has a secret plan to save her dying sister, which involves some gruesome experiments on unsuspecting victims.

2. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a cult classic of Japanese cyberpunk cinema, featuring a nightmarish vision of a man who is slowly transformed into a metal monster. The film is known for its avant-garde style, industrial soundtrack, and nightmarish visuals.

3. Raw (2016)

  • Director: Julia Ducournau
  • Actors: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
  • Rating: R
  • Raw on IMDb

Raw is a provocative and visceral coming of age story of a young woman who develops a taste for human flesh. She is a vegetarian and a veterinary student, who is forced to eat raw meat during a hazing ritual. She soon discovers that she has an uncontrollable craving for flesh, which leads her to a shocking and bloody journey of self discovery.

4. Titane (2021)

  • Director: Julia Ducournau
  • Actors: Agathe Rousselle, Vincent Lindon, Garance Marillier
  • Rating: R
  • Titane on IMDb

Titane is a shocking and bizarre film that won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It follows a young woman who has a metal plate in her head after a car accident, and who develops a sexual attraction to cars and other metal objects. She also becomes a serial killer, and tries to escape her past by posing as a missing boy and bonding with his estranged father.

5. American Mary (2012)

  • Director: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
  • Actors: Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk
  • Rating: R
  • American Mary on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

American Mary is a twisted and stylish film that explores the underground world of body modification. It stars Katharine Isabelle as Mary, a medical student who drops out of school after a traumatic incident, and becomes a sought after surgeon for the extreme body mod community. She also uses her skills to exact revenge on those who wronged her, and to create her own unique art.

6. Audition (1999)

  • Director: Takashi Miike
  • Actors: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
  • Rating: R
  • Audition on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Audition is a classic of Japanese horror cinema, that starts as a romantic comedy and ends as a nightmare. It tells the story of a widowed man who holds a fake audition to find a new wife, and falls for a seemingly innocent and shy young woman. However, he soon discovers that she has a dark and twisted past, and a penchant for torture and mutilation.

7. The Fly (1986)

  • Director: David Cronenberg
  • Actors: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
  • Rating: R
  • The Fly on IMDb

The Fly is a classic of body horror cinema, directed by the master of the genre, David Cronenberg. It tells the story of a brilliant but eccentric scientist who accidentally fuses himself with a fly during a teleportation experiment. He then undergoes a horrifying transformation that threatens his sanity and his relationship with his girlfriend. The film is a remake of the 1958 film of the same name, but with a more realistic and gruesome approach to the effects of the mutation.

8. Tusk (2014)

  • Director: Kevin Smith
  • Actors: Justin Long, Michael Parks, Haley Joel Osment
  • Rating: R
  • Tusk on IMDb

Tusk is a twisted and bizarre film that was inspired by a story from Kevin Smith’s podcast. It follows a cocky podcaster who travels to Canada to interview a mysterious recluse, who turns out to be a madman with a disturbing fondness for walruses. He then kidnaps the podcaster and tries to turn him into a walrus-human hybrid, using surgical and psychological methods. The film is a dark comedy that mixes horror and humor in a shocking way.

9. Possessor (2020)

  • Director: Brandon Cronenberg
  • Actors: Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Jennifer Jason Leigh
  • Rating: R
  • Possessor on IMDb

Possessor is a sci-fi horror film that by Brandon Cronenberg, the son of David Cronenberg. It stars Andrea Riseborough as an assassin who uses brain implant technology to take control of other people’s bodies and execute high profile targets. She begins to lose her grip on reality and her own identity as she becomes trapped in the mind of a man whose personality threatens to overpower her own.

10. Starry Eyes (2014)

  • Director: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
  • Actors: Alex Essoe, Amanda Fuller, Noah Segan
  • Rating: R
  • Starry Eyes on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Starry Eyes is a disturbing and gruesome film that explores the dark side of Hollywood and the price of fame. It follows a young aspiring actress who auditions for a mysterious role in a horror film, and agrees to undergo a radical transformation by a sinister cult. She soon realizes that she has sold her soul for a chance to become a star, and that she must kill her friends and rivals to achieve her dream.

11. May (2002)

  • Director: Lucky McKee
  • Actors: Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris
  • Rating: R
  • May on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

May is a twisted and darkly humorous tale of a disturbed teenage girl who dreams of becoming a surgeon. She has a dysfunctional family, a rebellious attitude, and a morbid fascination with blood and gore. She also has a secret plan to save her dying sister, which involves some gruesome experiments on unsuspecting victims.

12. Bug (2006)

  • Director: William Friedkin
  • Actors: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr.
  • Rating: R
  • Bug on IMDb

Bug is a psychological horror film directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist) and written by Tracy Letts, based on his play of the same name. It centers around a lonely woman living in an Oklahoma motel room, who meets a paranoid drifter who claims he is being pursued by the government. The two become obsessed with the idea that they are infested by bugs planted by the government as part of a secret experiment, and spiral into madness and violence.

13. Teeth (2007)

  • Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein
  • Actors: Jess Weixler, John Hensley, Josh Pais
  • Rating: R
  • Teeth on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Teeth is a dark comedy and a feminist horror film that puts a new spin on the ancient myth of vagina dentata. It follows a teenage girl who is part of a Christian abstinence group, and who discovers that she has a literal weapon in her private parts. She uses her teeth to fight back against the men who try to assault or manipulate her, and begins to embrace her sexuality and power.

14. Rupture (2016)

  • Director: Steven Shainberg
  • Actors: Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis, Peter Stormare
  • Rating: R
  • Rupture on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Rupture is a sci-fi thriller that follows a single mother who is kidnapped by a mysterious organization that wants to transform her into something else. She is subjected to various experiments that exploit her deepest fears, and learns that she is part of a genetic experiment that aims to create a new species of humans. She must find a way to escape and save herself and her son.

15. Thinner (1996)

  • Director: Tom Holland
  • Actors: Robert John Burke, Joe Mantegna, Lucinda Jenney
  • Rating: R
  • Thinner on IMDb

Thinner is based on a novel by Stephen King, and tells the story of an obese lawyer who is cursed by a gypsy after he kills his daughter in a hit and run accident. He starts to lose weight rapidly, regardless of how much he eats. He realizes that the only way to break the curse is to pass it on to someone else, and he enlists the help of a mafia boss to find the gypsy and make him lift the curse. He soon faces the consequences of his actions and his choices.

16. The Void (2016)

  • Director: Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie
  • Actors: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong
  • Rating: R
  • The Void on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

The Void is a Lovecraftian horror film that follows a group of people who are trapped in a hospital by a cult of hooded figures, and by monstrous creatures that defy the laws of nature. The film is a homage to the horror films of the 1980s, featuring practical effects and a synth score. The film is also influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, John Carpenter, and Clive Barker.

17. eXistenZ (1999)

  • Director: David Cronenberg
  • Actors: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe
  • Rating: R
  • eXistenZ on IMDb

eXistenZ is a sci-fi horror film that explores the blurred lines between reality and virtual reality. It stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as Allegra Geller, a game designer who is on the run from assassins who want to destroy her latest creation, eXistenZ, a virtual reality game that connects to the players’ spines. She teams up with Ted Pikul, a marketing trainee, and they enter the game world, where nothing is as it seems.

18. Altered States (1980)

  • Director: Ken Russell
  • Actors: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid
  • Rating: R
  • Altered States on IMDb

Altered States tells the story of Eddie Jessup, a scientist who experiments with sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic drugs, hoping to access his genetic memories and alter his consciousness. He begins to experience bizarre and terrifying visions, and his body undergoes radical changes that threaten his sanity and his life. The film is a visual and auditory feast, featuring stunning special effects and a score by John Corigliano.

19. Martyrs (2008)

  • Director: Pascal Laugier
  • Actors: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin
  • Rating: R
  • Martyrs on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Martyrs is a brutal and shocking film that follows a young woman’s quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tortured her as a child, and her friend, who is also a victim of abuse. The film is divided into two parts: the first one is a bloody and violent thriller, while the second one is a disturbing and philosophical exploration of the concept of martyrdom. The film is not for the faint of heart, as it features graphic scenes of violence, gore, and suffering.

20. Society (1989)

  • Director: Brian Yuzna
  • Actors: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards, Ben Meyerson
  • Rating: R
  • Society on IMDb

Society is a dark comedy and a body horror film that exposes the twisted secrets of the upper class. It follows a teenager who feels out of place in his wealthy family and his elite society, and who discovers that they are part of a grotesque cult that engages in orgies and body transformations. The film is a satire of the social and political issues of the 1980s, and features some of the most bizarre and disgusting special effects ever seen on screen.

21. Color Out of Space (2019)

  • Director: Richard Stanley
  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Elliot Knight, Madeleine Arthur
  • Rating: R
  • Color Out of Space on IMDb

Color Out of Space is a sci-fi horror film based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft. It tells the story of a family who moves to a remote farm, where they witness a strange meteorite crash near their house. The meteorite emits a mysterious color that affects everything around it, causing mutations, madness, and death. The film is a visual and auditory feast, featuring stunning cinematography, a synth score, and a manic performance by Nicolas Cage.

22. Splinter (2008)

  • Director: Toby Wilkins
  • Actors: Shea Whigham, Jill Wagner, Paulo Costanzo
  • Rating: R
  • Splinter on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Splinter is a fast paced and fun thriller that follows a young couple and an escaped convict who are trapped in a gas station by a parasitic creature that infects and transforms its victims into deadly hosts. The film features some impressive practical effects and gore, as well as a clever twist on the zombie genre.

23. Hellraiser (1987)

  • Director: Clive Barker
  • Actors: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence
  • Rating: R
  • Hellraiser on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Hellraiser is a classic of body horror cinema, written and directed by Clive Barker, based on his novella The Hellbound Heart. It tells the story of a woman who helps her lover, who is also her husband’s brother, to regenerate his body by killing people and feeding him their blood. The lover had opened a puzzle box that summoned the Cenobites, a group of extra-dimensional beings who subject him to extreme sadomasochism.

24. The Howling (1981)

  • Director: Joe Dante
  • Actors: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan
  • Rating: R
  • The Howling on IMDb

The Howling follows a news anchor who, after a traumatic encounter with a serial killer, visits a resort secretly inhabited by werewolves. The film is a satire of the social and political issues of the 1980s, as well as a homage to the horror films of the past. The film features some of the most memorable werewolf transformations ever seen on screen, thanks to the makeup effects by Rob Bottin.

25. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

An American Werewolf in London follows two American backpackers who are attacked by a werewolf in the English countryside. One of them dies, while the other survives and becomes a werewolf himself. He falls in love with a nurse who takes care of him, but also has to deal with the ghost of his dead friend and the threat of the full moon. The film is a mix of humor and horror, featuring a memorable transformation scene and a soundtrack of songs with “moon” in the title.

26. Bite (2015)

  • Director: Chad Archibald
  • Actors: Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Denise Yuen
  • Rating: R
  • Bite on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Bite is a body horror film that follows a young woman who is bitten by an insect during her bachelorette party in Costa Rica. She returns home with a mysterious infection that causes her to mutate into a bug like creature. She also lays eggs in her apartment and becomes aggressive towards anyone who tries to interfere with her transformation. The film is a gross and disturbing depiction of the consequences of a single bite.

27. Braindead (Dead Alive) (1992)

Braindead (Dead Alive) is a zombie comedy splatter film directed by Peter Jackson, before he became famous for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It tells the story of a young man who lives with his overbearing mother, who is bitten by a rat monkey and turns into a zombie. He tries to keep her and the other zombies he creates under control, but things get out of hand when his uncle and a horde of party guests show up. The film is a gory and hilarious homage to the horror films of the past, featuring some of the most outrageous and creative kills ever seen on screen.

28. Tokyo Gore Police (2008)

  • Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura
  • Actors: Eihi Shiina, Itsuji Itao, Yukihide Benny
  • Rating: R
  • Tokyo Gore Police on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi (english dub), Tubi (original Japanese w subtitles)

Tokyo Gore Police is a wild and bloody ride that takes place in a dystopian Japan, where the police force is privatized and the criminals are mutated into monstrous beings called Engineers. The film follows Ruka, a female cop who is skilled in killing Engineers and who seeks revenge for her father’s murder. The film is full of over the top gore and bizarre humor.

29. Contracted (2013)

  • Director: Eric England
  • Actors: Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald
  • Rating: R
  • Contracted on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Contracted is a disturbing and gruesome film that follows a young woman who contracts a mysterious and deadly infection after being assaulted at a party. She begins to experience rapid and horrific changes in her body and mind, as she slowly turns into a zombie. The film is a unique and realistic take on the zombie genre, with a strong female lead and a shocking ending.

30. The Ruins (2008)

  • Director: Carter Smith
  • Actors: Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore
  • Rating: R
  • The Ruins on IMDb

The Ruins is a tense and terrifying film that follows a group of friends who visit a remote Mayan temple, where they encounter a hostile tribe of locals and a deadly vine that infects and consumes them. The film is based on the novel by Scott Smith, and features some of the most gruesome and realistic effects ever seen in a horror film. Its a survival horror that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

BONUS Body Horror Movies Streaming FREE on Tubi

The below movies are streaming on Tubi for FREE as of Feb. 2024 (subject to change)

Hellraiser Movies

Hellraiser: Revelations

Hellraiser: Judgement

Hellraiser II: Hellbound

Hellraiser (2017)

Cronenberg Films

Rabid

Shivers

AntiViral

Dead Ringers

Other

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Body Melt

The Human Centipede 2, The Human Centipede 3

Howling 2, Howling 3, Howling 4, Howling 5

An American Werewolf in Paris

Contracted Phase 2


Thanks for reading this article for body horror movie inspiration!

If you love horror, than checkout our other articles on horror movies!

We hope to see you again soon.

body horror movies checklist

Free Movie Checklist

Click on the button below to get your FREE “Body Horror Movies” checklist that you can print or check off directly on your device!

So, what are your thoughts on the movies included in this list? What additional movies would you have included? What movies would you have left off?

We encourage all comments and discussion!

Everyone is welcome!


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