The horror genre is filled with amazing movies that brutally show, or subtly hint at how humans can internally, or externally change. The following transformation sequences—that sometimes literally last the whole movie—come from various horror films we recommend… Even though they make our skin crawl. Spoilers ahead.

The Theatre Bizarre, “The Accident”

This anthology film is full of strange, transformation-laced shorts. The film that features the most poignant transformation, though, is The Accident. In this short, a young girl loses her childhood innocence concerning one of life’s biggest and lasting changes: death. The film is quiet, beautiful, and moving. It’s the sweetest, albeit saddest scene on this list. [AS]

Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps opts for a less hairy breed of lycanthrope. It’s seemingly incidental, but the lack of fur really allows the body horror to shine as nothing is obscured. Bone pushes out against skin while muscles churn and blood gurgles from the mouth. It’s a surprisingly brutal sight.  [AP]

The Craft [multiple scenes]

It’s nearly impossible to pick just one transformation scene from this ‘90s high school coven flick. The Craft has it all, including changes ranging from harmless and fun (Robin Tunney’s ability to change her hair from brunette to blonde–just because) to powerful and vindictive (making a racist Christine Taylor lose her hair). The second half of the film relies heavily on the concept of glamour, which Rachel True’s character describes as “an illusion so real it is to fool an onlooker.” While this concept is used to change the outward appearance of the movie’s characters, it is also handily used to project fake news stories and summon loads of snakes and bugs. [MI]

28 Days Later [father’s transformation scene]

No one wants to transform because they caught a rage virus. However, a rage transformation becomes an even bigger downer if it happens to your dad in front of your eyes. This, unfortunately, is what one of the character’s in this early-00s virus film must endure and survive in order to not transform herself. [AS]

Videodrome [television sequence]

Videodrome, a David Cronenberg classic, expertly shows how modern media is gruesome and consuming. Although this film, similar to Cronenberg’s other movies, is filled with stomach-churning body transformation sequences, we’re taken with the television scene where Max Renn (James Woods) and his television become “one”. [AS]

Contracted, [multiple scenes]

Samantha, played by Najarra Townsend, is raped at a party and contracts an STD. While the police try to hunt down the perp, Samantha’s symptoms intensify from hangover-like maladies to hair loss and rash formation. Still going through the motions of daily of her mother’s disapproval of her sexual orientation, trying to secure funding to continue her education, and working her mindless job as a restaurant server, what Samantha endures is physically and emotionally taxing even for the viewer.  [MI]

Thanatomorphose [multiple scenes]

Thanatomorphose is similar to Contracted in story and style. However, it’s this little-known Canadian movie’s unrelenting sexual overtones—and the maggots and rotting flesh—that make this movie almost unbearable to stomach. This is a must-watch for any extreme body horror film fan. [AS]

Bite [bathtub scene]

 

The next time you get a bite from an unidentifiable animal, take note: You may become the thing that bit you and end up eating your friends. Although Bite’s most disturbing transformation sequence happens toward to end when Casey (Elma Begovic) goes “full walrus” in her self-made nest, we wanted to take note of the scene where the lead emerges from a bath to find her bed full of fish eggs. [AS]

Basket Case [surgery]

It’s rare that a transformation scene is technically for the better, but here you have it. Basket Case is about conjoined twins, Duane and Belial. Belial is severely deformed, almost tumor-like, and living on his brother’s side. The transformation here is a surgery, the removal of Belial. Not all of the practical effects hold up, but those that do pair nicely with the sound design (which is squishy and disgusting) to make an experience that offends the senses in the best kind of way [AP]

Creepshow, “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill”

 

Stephen King’s short story “Weeds” comes to life in this Romero-directed anthology. Retitled in the film as “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill,” King stars as the title character, an uneducated farm boy who finds a meteor on his land. Excited that he could possibly sell the meteor to a local college and make money to pay off his debts, Verrill attempts to collect the rock and gets splashed by its gooey innards in the process. This intergalactic gel carries some distinctly botanical properties, turning Verrill into some sort of mossy human hybrid. Weird and wacky (and patently not scary), this piece of the anthology is fun and entertaining. [MI]

Body Melt [car crash]

This ‘90s Australian horror film concerns a health farm full of demonic administrators who experiment on their residents. Although the true terror the farm is inflicting on its community doesn’t become clear until the end of the film, the audience catches a glimpse of the horror ahead following the film’s opening credits; that’s when viewers witness one of the farm’s scientists guzzle dish soap, crash his car, and become overtaken by a crab-like parasite that emerges from his freshly severed neck. [AS]

Neon Demon

Although Neon Demon is a gorgeous film, it portrays the often disgusting lengths people will go to, to achieve fame, fortune, and beauty. Example: the film’s gag-causing eyeball scene. After Jesse’s (Elle Fanning) colleagues consume her beauty, they react in various ways… While a few of the women “shine”, one of the up-and-coming model’s competitors can’t handle what it takes to be a star, and quite literally bursts at her seams.

May [ending]

May (Angela Bettis) just wants to fit in. Sadly, though, her awkwardness isn’t masking a wonderful personality. It’s merely hiding the pent-up rage of a budding psychopath. Once May releases her anger, she’s left with her only true friend—a “doll” she’s made out of various human body parts. But her doll is missing one important feature: an eye. So, to allow her doll to see, May gouges her own eye out in an effort to transform and finally be “seen” by the one she loves. [AS]

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The Frightday Staff

The Frightday Staff

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