The following is a rough list of my favorite films dealing with revenge! I tried to focus on movies where revenge is central to the plot, but others are included for their important commentary on the subject or the brutality of the act. Since I’ve already made a post about school revenge movies, none of them are featured. This post is dedicated to @congenitaldisease because she inspired me to complete it! All of the descriptions are from IMDb or Wikipedia!
Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)
A disaffected soldier returns to his hometown to get even with the thugs
who brutalized his mentally-challenged brother years ago.
Red Road (2006)
Jackie spends her days monitoring a series of
surveillance cameras trained on a rough Glasgow neighborhood. She spots
Clyde, an ex-convict, on one of the screens, then becomes
obsessed with him. When she devises a plan to meet and seduce him, the
reason for her obsession becomes clear.
Katalin Varga (2009)
Varga is cast out of her home when her husband discovers that her son
Orban is not his. Taking Orban with her, Katalin sets out on a long
journey to track down and punish the men who raped her 11 years earlier.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her
womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who
betrayed her - a team she was once part of.
Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and
lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed
The Virgin Spring (1960)
A kind but pampered beautiful young virgin and her family’s pregnant and
jealous servant set out to deliver candles to church, but only one
returns from events that transpire in the woods along the way.
Blue Ruin (2013)
A mysterious outsider’s quiet life is turned upside
down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of
vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal
fight to protect his estranged family.
Ex-con Alex plans to flee to the South with his girl
after a robbery. But something terrible happens and revenge seems
Buster and Billie (1974)
In a rural 1940s southern town, a socially awkward high school girl is taken advantage of by the boys…
Kiss of the Tarantula (1976)
undertaker’s teenage daughter uses pet
spiders to punish her uncle and practical jokers.
Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her
domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after
being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea
bargain sets one of his family’s killers free. He targets not only the
killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.
Edge of Darkness (2010)
As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the death of his
activist daughter, he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate
cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with
cleaning up the evidence.
Double Jeopardy (1999)
A woman framed for her husband’s murder suspects he is still alive; as
she has already been tried for the crime, she can’t be re-prosecuted if
she finds and kills him.
The Last House on the Left (1972 & 2009)
Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one’s
birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are
kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992)
After her humiliated husband kills himself, an embittered pregnant widow
loses her child, and embarks on a mission of vengeance against a woman
and her family.
The Crow (1994)
A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée’s murder.
The Brave One (2007)
A woman struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission for revenge.
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord’s
home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the
ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things
take an unexpected turn.
The Loved Ones (2009)
When Brent turns down his classmate Lola’s invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.
Shutter (2004 & 2008)
A young photographer and his girlfriend discover
mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They
soon learn that you can not escape your past.
A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly
accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for
them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a
price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away…
Straw Dogs (1971 & 2011)
A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.
Eye for an Eye (1996)
When the courts fail to keep behind bars the man who raped and murdered her daughter, a woman seeks her own form of justice.
A young woman’s quest for revenge against the people
who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who
is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living
hell of depravity.
After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a
detention center where they are brutalized; over 10 years later, they
get their chance for revenge.
Mean Creek (2004)
When a teen is bullied, his brother and friends lure the bully into the woods to seek revenge.
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent
thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.
Secret in Their Eyes (2015)
A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor,
is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage
daughters has been brutally murdered.
Red, White And Blue (2010)
A woman attracts the attention of a psychotic former Army interrogator
and an emotionally fragile young man caring for his ailing mother.
Out of the Furnace (2013)
When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn’t
follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters
into his own hands to find justice.
A college co-ed is brutally raped and struggles alone to rebuild her life.
Leon: The Professional (1994)
Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a
professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda
form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the
Willard (1971 & 2003)
A social misfit uses his only friends, his pet rats, to exact revenge on his tormentors.
Events over the course of one traumatic night in
Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is
brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978 & 2010)
An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped,
humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts
down to seek revenge.
Bear in mind, all of these are pretty strong stuff. The series is notorious for a reason (the second one in particular for being falsely mistaken for a snuff film). Some of the other films above, such as Tetsuo: The Iron Man, and Bunman: The Untold Story, contain some pretty graphic and disturbing imagery.
I’m only disappointed that I couldn’t find links for Organ (1996), or Ab-Normal Beauty (2004). Also, take note that some links may require a bit of cajoling to get things started (whether it be waiting for ads, or waiting for it to load). I’m sure I’m probably forgetting a few good ones, as well. In any case, enjoy! :3
The Fly II – I’ve written extensively about The Fly II for some reason, which you can check out right here. To make it brief I’ll just say that Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of The Fly is just about perfect in my mind and one of my ten favorite horror films and while the sequel isn’t as good, it’s a fun ride and much better than one might expect.
Ginger Snaps: Unleashed– Almost as amazing as the previously mentioned original, the sequel follows Emily Perkins as Brigitte Fitzgerald, Ginger’s sister, as she deals with the physical and mental toll that the events of the first film have taken on her. Just as impactful and raw in terms of pure emotions, this is a rare horror sequel that can hold its own with the best of them.
Braindead – Peter Jackson’s third feature and final outright splatter is arguably the goriest film ever made. On top of the insane over-the-top gore gags and gross out moments, it’s a wacky comedy, a dark familial drama, and a quirky romance. It’s an unforgettable film from on film’s greatest modern filmmakers. The film is more commonly known in America as Dead Alive.
The Prowler – Similar to The Burning in that is doesn’t really break new ground in the vast landscape of 80s teen slasher movies, but the film features some top notch makeup effects from the master Tom Savini. Not much more to say other than if you’re looking for a good slasher movie, The Prowler will satisfy.
The Stepfather – It’s soooooo good. Joseph Ruben, the director of Breaking Away and The Good Son, film from1987’s The Stepfather is such a fantastic work. Lost star Terry O'Quinn play’s the new stepfather to a young woman, who unbeknownst to the rest of the world, murdered his previous family and plans to continue his murderous cycle of entering and destroying families. O'Quinn’s performance is impeccable as the titular psychopath. The film was followed by two lackluster sequels and an awful remake in 2009.
Motel Hell– A pseudo parody of the horror films of the time when it was released in 1980, Motel Hell is a real cult classic. The unusual horror-comedy was ahead of its time in many ways and includes of the most bizarre images put to screen. The film’s killers, Vincent and Ida Smith, are an odd pair of farmers who capture innocent men and women and plant them in their garden, where they are fed until they are ready to be harvested and eaten. The sound of the heads sticking out of the ground will be embedded in your mind for a long time.
Humanoids From the Deep – Executive produced by the B-movie king himself, Roger Corman, 1980’s Humanoids From the Deep is an exploitive schlockfest about sea faring monsters with an urge to mate with attractive young human females. It sounds like it could be pretty offensive and it probably is, but the film is so much fun for that reason. Directed by Barbara Peeters, one of the few notable female filmmakers in the realm of 70s and 80s exploitation horrors, the film is the best of 50s B-monster movies mixed with the trashiness of the low budget 70s grunge horror.
A Tale of Two Sisters – A 2003 South Korean horror film from director Kim Jee-woon (director of I Saw the Devil) continues to prove that some of the scariest films come out of Asia. The film centers on a pair of sisters struggling with increasingly terrifying events surrounding them and their maniacal stepmother. The film is very creepy and unpredictable (unless you saw the crappy American remake, The Uninvited, in 2009)
The Hunger – A beautiful and haunting film from 1983 directed by Tony Scott and starring the great David Bowie and the now legendary Catherine Deneuve as a married couple of vampires living in New York. Susan Sarandon plays a doctor that Bowie needs help from when he begins to rapidly age, which leads to a chain of events that reveal that Deneuve has been hiding something deadly and Sarandon becomes entangled with this secret in some unexpected ways.
Alligator – This 1980 monster film directed by Cujo director Lewis Teague is fun satire of monster movie clichés that pokes a little fun at them, but at the same time uses them to great effect. With great effects work and an entertaining performance from Robert Forster, Alligator a real treat. The film also has the balls to kill children, something not normally seen in horror films like these.
Street Trash– Not a film for everyone, Street Trash is just as trashy as the title and poster would imply. Hobos melt in toilets and a severed penis is thrown around like a football in slow motion in James Muro’s 1987 cult classic. Appropriately disgusting while poking fun at homeless behaviors and all sorts of gross oddities on top of the super cheap production, Street Trash is a film that will turn off most, but it’s a corny good time.
Shutter – This 2004 Thai horror film by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoomis a twisty ghost mystery and is utterly horrifying. A photographer begins seeing strange shadows in his pictures and can’t escape en entity that is out to get him due to a mistake from his past. The film plays with your emotions as it becomes unclear who is the villain in the story, but it is always scary.
Trauma – Dario Argento, the Alfred Hitchcock of Italy and the master of giallo, delivered this creepy film in 1993 with his daughter Asia Argento starring. A killer stalks the streets and is decapitating staff members of a local hospital and Asia plays a women suffering from anorexia who is caught in the middle of it all and begins losing loved ones. The decapitations are graphic and the film shows the heads living on for a few seconds after the fact, which is an insanely creepy image. The film was one of the director’s last good films before the quality began to slip in the late 90s.
The Curse of the Werewolf – Surprisingly one of the only, if not the only, major werewolf works made by Hammer Films in their heyday. Directed by Terence Fisher and starring Oliver Reed as the cursed man, the film is a dark one that throws everything you know about the rules of werewolves out the window. After a lengthy setup where Reed’s character is the product of the rape of his mother by a tortured vagrant and the boy suffers from some unusual habits growing up, he grows into a seemingly normal man. One night he undergoes his full transformation and begins to kill. Bleak and high in emotions, The Curse of the Werewolf is on of Hammer’s best.
The Ghost of Frankenstein – Universal’s third Frankenstein film from 1942 isn’t nearly as talked about as the original two classics, but Island of Lost Souls director Erle C. Kenton delivered an exceptional film with Lon Chaney Jr. as the monster, Bela Lugosi as Ygor, and Cedric Hardwicke as Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein. Set years after the Bride of Frankenstein, the film see’s Frankenstein’s son return to his father’s home and finds that he blamed for the supposed cure of the Monster. The film was the last truly great serious take on the Frankenstein story for sometime and was also used heavily has a source of parody just as much as the first two in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (which shares the same general plot).
Afflicted – A Cronenbergian found footage film about two video bloggers traveling Europe. In France, one of them goes back to their room with a beautiful woman, but he is found alone and bleeding in bed when his friend busts in. In Italy he seems very ill and his symptoms becomes more and more extreme until he shows signs of superhuman abilities. When his hunger and aversion to sunlight become too much, it becomes very apparent what he is becoming. The film is able to pull off things using the found footage motif that do not seem possible to pull off in camera and on such a tight budget. The film is dramatic, exciting, scary, and one of 2014’s best. Read my full review here.
The Den – A creepy found footage film shot mostly on the desktop of a young grad student performing a social experiment on an Omegle-like website. While chatting with the usual online crowd she comes across what looks like a very real murder. She is slowly tormented with more and more frequency by unknown forces and seems to think that someone is out to get her and her loved ones. Creepy, memorable, and inventive, The Den is worth a look and a standout in an overcrowded subgenre.
Would You Rather– We’ve all played the game would you rather and in 2012’s film inspired by the game, things are taken to the next level and beyond. Starring Pitch Perfect’s Brittany Snow as a player in a sick game and horror movie icon Jeffrey Combs as the game master, Would You Rather sees a group of unsuspecting victims who wind up in a deadly version of the game. Increasingly brutal, set almost entirely in one room, and a film that successfully makes you ask “what would I do?”, Would You Rather is a surprisingly good little film. Combs is also wonderfully hammy.
Frontier(s)– The 2007 French horror film by Xavier Gens is almost on the level as Inside when it comes to horrific violence. A group of friends feels riots in Paris only to encounter a cannibalistic family, who proceeds to torture and torment the frightened group. Essentially a more violent French take on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with some extra twists, Frontier(s) is one of the most extreme horror films of the 2000s.
Them – The 2006 French-Romanian horror film directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud isn’t the graphically violent French horror film that I’ve mentioned while doing this project, but it might be the most terrifying. The plot it simple as it revolves around a couple be stalked and chased by hooded kids in and around their new home. Suspenseful and unrelenting, Them is truly thrilling.
This film is a fantastic example of everything a good horror should be. I was so impressed, even on a tiny laptop scream this film definitely has the capability to make you jump.
It’s really hard not to contain spoilers but the woman in the photos is a right creepy bitch, alive and dead. Her Mum was what disturbed me the most though, nobody really seemed that alarmed that she was keeping her daughters corpse up in her room?! Obviously that’s the kind of standard shit that must happen.
This is one of the best foreign horrors I’ve seen and if you’re looking for something that is actually going to scare you then go for this but please not in the direction of the shitty remake.
THERE WAS NO NEED TO REMAKE THIS, FUCK OFF HOLLYWOOD. *and breathe*
That guy is a right cheeky twat in the photo store as well asking if the girlfriend had put on weight, freaky ghost lady trying to kill my boyfriend or not I’d have been fuming!