10 horror movie viewers came out
Horror movies are meant to be scary. It’s kinda in the title.
Why is it then that horror history is full of people complaining that certain movies are too much? Why do people pay their hard-earned cash to watch something they know is too violent or gross for them? Look at the posters, people! These are not Marvel movies!
Yet, as long as filmmakers have pushed the boundaries of what’s acceptable in horror, there have been people on the other side who have pushed back. That is, until they get tired of pushing and decide to leave.
Coming out of theaters is usually reserved for movies that are really boring or have Seth Rogen in them and you didn’t realize it. In this case, we’re looking at times when audiences left a movie early because they were too scared, bothered, disgusted, or a combination of the three.
Covering nearly 100 years of cinema, this list chronicles some of the most famous cases of movie theater abandonment and attempts to uncover what drove audiences to the point where they couldn’t take it anymore.
In 1932, a movie that came out shocked the world not with its violence or gore, but by portraying ordinary human beings with disabilities.
Freaks, directed by Tod Browning, tells the story of a woman who joins a troupe of parallel circus performers in an effort to seduce and murder a man with dwarfism to claim his inheritance.
The film’s cast was full of people with real disabilities portraying all sorts of traditional “freak show” performers; a bearded woman, conjoined twins, a strong man, etc.
However, despite being in the center of the picture, many of the actors were made to stay away from able-bodied cast and crew members on set. Some were also banned from seeing the film in cinemas due to staff members feeling “uncomfortable”.
This unease was also present in the film’s test audience, many of whom were unable to complete the original version because it was too “grotesque”. As a result, half an hour of footage was cut from the theatrical release without the director’s consent.
Reading people’s reactions to Freaks sheds light on the stigma people with disabilities faced at the time, which is ironically far scarier than anything in the film itself.