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Controversial horror film was so disturbing the film festival director was arrested after it aired

Controversial horror film was so disturbing the film festival director was arrested after it aired

The exploitation horror film was banned in many countries following its 2010 release

Warning: This article contains discussion of rape which some readers may find distressing.

We've all heard the stories about audiences walking out of films that are just too gruesome, haven't we?

I mean, it was only in 2018 that there was a mass walk out during a screening of Lars Von Trier's The House That Jack Built at Cannes Film Festival.

It's hard to imagine personally that anything could ever be so horrifying I'd ever leave my seat - but I guess you'd never know until it happened.

As it turns out, horror films are sometimes so barbaric and so gruesome that law enforcement have to get involved.

A Serbian Film is banned in many countries. (Unearthed Films)
A Serbian Film is banned in many countries. (Unearthed Films)

Back in 2010, 'exploitation horror film' A Serbian Film was screened for the first time.

The film follows is centred on Miloš, a semi-retired ageing porn star who agrees to participate in one last film to secure the financial future of his family.

Miloš then makes the harrowing discovery that he has been duped into making a snuff film that features paedophilia and necrophilia.

The film features a series of deeply disturbing scenes, that include rape and violent scenes of murder.

A brief synopsis of the film is probably enough to turn your stomach, but you can watch the trailer here:

A Serbian Film was the directorial debut of Srđan Spasojević, and first shown in the United States in 2010 during a screening at South by Southwest festival.

By the time it was due to air in the UK in August that same year, Westminster Council intervened, as they wanted it to be classified by the BBFC first, prior to it being shown at the Film Four FrightFest.

Ultimately, it ended up being pulled entirely after 49 compulsory cuts were ordered.

A Serbian Film was been banned in many countries including Australia, Malaysia and Norway.

It was also banned in Spain - so when it was screened at an adults-only showing during the Spanish Sitges Film Festival in October 2010, the festival director Angel Sala was charged with exhibiting child pornography in 2011.

A Serbian Film has been badly reviewed. (Unearthed Films)
A Serbian Film has been badly reviewed. (Unearthed Films)

This charge was brought about following a series of complaints from a Roman Catholic organisation - but was later dropped.

Director Spasojević told IndieWire in 2011: "On the one side, it’s very funny that someone can still find movies and editing so mysterious, like some kind of devil’s work.

"Of course, on the other hand, it’s very sad. It proves my film was right. One of the things the film’s saying is that we’re not living in the free world. The way the film was made also represents our resistance to political correctness, to fascism.

"These kind of reactions are fun, interesting, stupid and very, very sad. It’s evidence that we’re not free people.”

As for how critics felt about the controversial film, it has accrued a less than average score of 45% on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

A. O. Scottfor the New York Times said: "'A Serbian Film' revels in its sheer inventive awfulness and dares the viewer to find a more serious layer of meaning."

It goes without saying that we won't be watching it any time soon.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 500 222, available 24/7. If you are currently in danger or need urgent medical attention, you should call 999.

Featured Image Credit: Featured Image Credit: Unearthed Films

Topics: Crime, TV And Film, World News