Top 10 Holy Sh*t Moments of 2017!

Last Updated on August 3, 2021

Give it to us straight no chaser, what was your favorite Holy Sh*t Moment at the movies this year? Tough one right, as 2017 brought us no shortage of eye-popping, jaw-dropping WTF instances on both the big and small screen. Whether it’s sewer-dwelling killer clowns, satanic babysitters, brutal jailhouse curb-stomps, submissive sex-games gone awry, cannibalistic crudos…all was on the movie menu this past year. And you know what? As we’re officially set to flip the calendar ahead to 2018, we thought why not relive some of the nastiest, gnarliest, most shocking and difficult cinematic moments to sit through one more time. You down? Good. Ladies, gentlemen, enjoy our Top 10 Holy Sh*it Moments of 2017 below! (including our video edition at the bottom!)


With the superb Netflix adaptation of Stephen King’s GERALD’S GAME, director Mike Flanagan once again proves he’s currently atop of the American horror filmmaking movement. A slick and deceptively effortless single-room set story flourishes with the amount of dynamic stylistic choices Flanagan makes, from the jaunty angles focused inside the room to scarring sentimentality of the flashbacks. At its heart however is the performance of the always stellar Carla Gugino as Jesse Burlingame, a super sexy but demure and emotionally marred married women whose submissive nature is supremely tested when her husband (Bruce Greenwood) suddenly suffers a heart attack in the middle of a handcuffed sex-game. Stuck tethered to the bed for an ungodly amount of time, with no neighbors nearby to hear or help her out, Jessie must use her own mind-power to summon the strength to find an escape. Now, I personally find the flashbacks of her sexually abusive father to be the most disturbing in the film, but nobody can fault the squeamish for fainting at the sight of Jesse’s wince-worthy escape. The poor gal literally tears, rips and skims the blood-dripping flesh right off of her wrist after doggedly pulling it through the metal cuffs. Holy F*cking Sh*t!


Hey look, 20 years later and we finally get a FACE/OFF sequel. Okay, not so much, but let’s not bullshit around here. If that ferocious fisticuff finale in Craig Zahler’s BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 isn’t one of the nastiest and gnarliest Holy Shit moments of the year, frankly, nothing is. This intense, brutal, visceral tale of cruel penitentiary recompense is a pretty tough watch all the way through, but nothing strikes down with as hard a face-crushing, gut-punching one-two as in the end, when Bradley (Vince Vaughn) goes toe to toe with a whole gang of pissed off cons. First, a little context. Bradley is in the clink for a sour drug deal, and is given no option to save his kidnapped wife other than to follow orders and kill one of the inmates of Cell Block 99. Now, finally driven to his width’s end, Bradley goes positively berserk, face-smashing, head-stomping and skull-bashing without an ounce of remorse. The absolute kicker? When he curb-stomps a dude’s face into the cement, drags it around in a gruesome heap a few feet, trounces on it once more for good measure, then spins the lifeless body around to show the victim’s pals what’s been done. Yup, you’re looking at it above!


Unless you’re an accredited theologian, the biblical subterfuge and Edenic allegories of Darren Aronofsky’s polarizing sensory blitzkrieg, MOTHER!, may have gone unnoticed. At least, at first blush. However, that does not change how you’re likely to feel after the bizarre bombardment of bat-shit lunacy that equates to the final act of the film. Seriously, WTF! In what’s essentially a grand metaphor for the treatment of Mother Nature, Jennifer Lawrence plays a stand-in for a continuously used, abused, trampled, berated, polluted, raped and pillaged mother Earth…a connection that is never made more apparent than in the final 20 or 30 minutes of the film. In fact, the exclamation point of the film’s title is there to reinforce the authoritative declaration of the third act itself. So, what happens, exactly? Well, given the context illuminated above, Mother is treated to an absolutely dizzying, manically overwhelming, anxiety-inducing bout of overpopulated trampling that ends with her own newborn baby being sacrificially eaten by the unwelcome masses. Words can’t substitute for the feeling this sequence incurs in the watcher, but trust, the entire third act of MOTHER! is one giant unquantifiable Holy Shit moment!


Do you remember when the budding post-Potter Daniel Radcliffe had a pair of devilish HORNS protruding from his forehead? Well, that’s nothing compared to the savage trauma he put his squama through in Greg McLean’s grittily harrowing true tale of survival in JUNGLE. Real shite! There’s no shortage of squeamish, squirm-inducing moments in the film, but there’s one particular sequence that is not only too damn specific to be untrue, it was legitimately one of the hardest scenes to sit through at the movies in 2017. Stranded deep in the Amazon jungle by his lonesome, left without shoes or much of anything to subsist upon, Radcliffe’s character Yossi Ginsberg resorts to the direst of desperations. First, after trying to avoid a pulsating knot that continues to grow on the right corner of his forehead, he can no longer resist or deny the fact that something living is rattling around in his cranium. So what does he do? He grabs a scalpel, carves an incision into his forehead, reaches in with his bare hand and forcibly removes an aggressively squirming worm from the wound. Not queasy enough? This dude is then forced to eat an unborn, blood-covered bird fetus he finds inside a cracked egg. Ho-Ly Shit!


Gore Verbinski’s blistering critique of the cynical medical profession in A CURE FOR WELLNESS was one of the more handsome and ambitious A-list genre productions to grace the silver screen in 2017, and anyone who saw it knows it features no shortage of legit Holy Sh*t moments. How about those freaky f*cking eels! Or what about the scene where our disillusioned lead, Lockhart (Dane DeHaan), discovers a subterranean holding cell of fully submerged human beings in water-tanks? F*cking gnarly! But the absolute show-stopper of a WTF moment happens when Lockhart finds himself strapped down in a dental chair, his mouth forcibly pried open and immovable, sans anesthetics, as Dr. Volmer (Jason Isaacs) approaches with a hissing dental drill ready to operate. Straight up, I’ll give money to anyone who can sit through this scene without physically reacting in some way, shape or form. Dr. Volmer presses the speeding drill-bit right into the pearly veneer of Lockhart’s front-tooth, digs into it until a geyser of gore facializes the poor sap as if he was in a day spa. Even more vexing? The quick cut to the display rack full of similarly punctured human teeth, as if to say this is standard procedure!


One of the better told but undersold genre joints of 2017 was THE VOID, the guano-bonkers Ontario-shot hospital horror flick that, as the film unspooled, revealed itself to be a one hell of a sinister science fiction tale as well. Jointly written and directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski – both of whom worked on IT this year as well, the former also serving as assistant art director on THE SHAPE OF WATER – THE VOID focuses on a creepy coterie black-hooded figures that cordons a rurally understaffed hospital with one very basic directive: procreation! Aside the refreshingly austere tone devoid of cute winks and knowing nods, by the time THE VOID slips into its third act, the rails of sanity have completely come undone and we’re subjected to one bizarre blitz of bat-sh*t lunacy after another. The kicker? When we finally get a glimpse at the delivery room to see what the hell our so called heroine is giving birth to – a hulking, skull-faced, cloven-hoofed, bipedal alien-beast sodden in fresh gore – yeah, we’re damn near apoplectic! The movie becomes an abstraction of abject terror, HELLRAISER II style, where all we can do is sit back, drop our jaws and try to process what we’re seeing.


Finger foods, anyone? Horrifically hairy hors d oeuvres? How about a big batch of your bestie for just desserts? Well, rest easy, all is on the menu with RAW, the stunningly superb and savagely sickening breakout French hit from writer/director Julia Ducournau. While deserving compliments are out to the chef, equal plaudits go out to the films drop-dead feature debutant Garance Marillier, who plays Justine, a demure and unassuming veterinary student by day and creepily cannibalistic hellion by night. Raw indeed! And just as there are many options on the menu, there’s no shortage of Holy Shit Moments to feast upon in the film as well. How’s this for an appalling appetizer? After slowly acquiring a fiendish taste for raw meat, Justine does all she can to resist the urge to chow down on her own sister’s accidentally severed index finger. She can’t fight the urge, and soon she’s purging her self-control and chomping the uncooked flesh like a famished peasant. Still hungry? Justine’s main course comes after vomiting a long unending lock of hair belonging to another victim she imbibed, ultimately masticating her best friend Adrien’s leg until nothing but a gory-wet stump is left. Bon appe-f*cking-tit!


For as quiet and ruminative as LOGAN’s emotionally impacting swansong ultimately pays off in the end, one of the things that make it so great is there’s no glaring dearth of crazily supercharged WTF instances in the film at all. A perfect balance is struck. And while mention must surely be made of Dafne Keen’s precociously heartbreaking turn as Logan’s young daughter Laura, the one absolute standout scene in regards to a Holy Sh*t moment has to be when Wolverine squares off with the hyper-aggressive, home-invading clone in X-24. Straight up, this a spar for the ages! First, Jackman’s subtle distinctions in the dual-role clash – one good, one evil – are akin to Fassbender’s in ALIEN COVENANT. It’s that good. Then add the sheer ferocity of the violence itself, as X-24 gorily waylays a houseful of innocents with his adamantium claws (Soul Glow’s Eriq La Salle yo) before facing off with his own mirror match. The most alarming part for Logan though? X-24 violently snatches Laura and heads for the door. Logan must choose who to care for first: the dying Charles X upstairs or his newly kidnapped kin!


Jordan Peele’s searing satirical salvo GET OUT not only boasts one of the best and most important statements made in cinema this year, it also features one of the most uncomfortably paralytic sequences of 2017 as well. We already know what a massive impact the historical record breaking R-rated horror hit made and the staying power it has retained since its release in back February, but did you know what actually inspired the palpitating dread of the Sunken Place to begin with? Peep it. “The Sunken Place means we’re marginalized. No matter how hard we scream, the system silences us. We’re all in the Sunken Place,” Peele tweeted less than a month after GET OUT was released. Indeed, the notion of being surreptitiously hypnotized, dehumanized, disenfranchised, racially hegemonized, bought, sold, subjugated, brainwashed and controlled as if an MK Ultra puppet is about as terrifying a prospect as one could imagine. Unfortunately for Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), he didn’t have to imagine it. This became his inescapably nightmarish reality in the end. The entire revelation of the Armitage family’s odious agenda is one huge Holy Shit Moment, with the Sunken Place serving as its de facto hell!


One of the more zanily pleasant, ultra-violent surprises of the year came via McG’s THE BABYSITTER, a Halloween Netflix release that seemingly came out of nowhere (aptly on a Friday the 13th no less). The same can be said for its gorgeously charming title character, Samara Weaving (Hugo Weaving’s niece), who gave a wickedly wonderful turn as a lovably evil caretaker with a penchant for gory Satanic blood sacrifices. We’d argue the movie works as well as it does because of the palpable chemistry between Weaving and her young costar Judah Lewis as Cole, with the key tone-shifting Holy Sh*t Moment coming right about when the high-school misfit is supposedly put to sleep for the night. Sneaking a peek at what Bee gets up to with friends after hours, Cole is a bit more than alarmed to witness how his babysitter and a group of her friends quickly turn a game of spin the bottle into a rapid bout of butchery. In one fell swoop, Bee brandishes a pair of sighs, abruptly pounds them into the cranium of a teenage victim until a grisly faucet of grue leaks from his tress down his face. Since we witness this through the eyes of 15 year old Cole, it plays as a doubly deadly WTF moment!

Tags: Hollywood

Latest Entertainment News Headlines