The 50 Most Hard-To-Watch Scenes in Movie History

14. Tongue Cutting

Movie: Oldboy (2003)
Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang

The masochism associated with voluntarily watching Oldboy's hardcore tongue-slicing scene is twofold. One, there's the visceral, straightforward reaction that comes from watching a man cutting his tongue clean off. To director Park Chan-wook's credit, he drags the moment out just long enough to prolong the misery without giving audiences enough time to look away. You know it's coming, you think there's a chance that it won't actually happen, and then, wham, you're fighting back intense nausea.

The scene's other kind of impact is contextual. Oh Dae-su (Min-sik Choi) snips his licker to atone for the sin of unknowingly having sex with his daughter—if he can't speak, he'll never be able to tell her the truth. —MB

Tags: oldboy
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