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The 50 Most Disturbing Movies

7. In a Glass Cage (1987)

Director: Agustí Villaronga

Of all the disgusting films on this list, Spanish director Agustí Villaronga’s artsy downer In a Glass Cage is certainly one of the most elegant. Viewed as a work of cinematic expertise, it’s actually quite commendable, powered by exemplary acting and a striking visual palette. It’s just not all that easy to subject one’s self to In a Glass Cage long enough to fully appreciate the movie’s technical prowess.

Unflinchingly mean-spirited, Villaronga’s historical button-pusher operates on a firm “humanity is awful” conceit. Klaus, an ex-Nazi psycho, who used to brutally torture young boys both physically and sexually, is left paralyzed in an iron lung after attempting suicide via a roof dive. His new nurse is a teenage stranger who reads through his charge’s journals, becomes obsessed with the stories of sadism, and proceeds to kidnap innocent kids and perform Klaus’ old tactics on them as Klaus is forced to helplessly watch.

When In a Glass Cage presents its devastating murders, Villaronga zooms in on the needles piercing hearts and blades slitting throats open, challenging the viewer to turn away. Not to mention, hate themselves for admiring such impressively executed malevolence.

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