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Berserker's avatar

Good movies about demented families?

Asked by Berserker (33470points) February 11th, 2017

I’m a horror fan, so one might know what I have in mind for this question. I am quite familiar with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre series, originals and remakes.
The Wrong Turn movies as well, and anything Rob Zombie makes. I am left wanting for more. Horror movies that center around demented, psychotic killer families.

However, drama or suspense movies about that same subject, and which may be a little more high brow than the general horror formula, are welcome too.

One slight specification I have is, please, no movies with super powers or ghosts or zombies did I just say that or demons. However, the occult, religion and the like are welcome.

Shoot. What do you have? Any gems? If possible, please include a short description of the movie, as well. One of my joys in anticipating a movie is to never watch the trailer. Thanks.

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44 Answers

Coloma's avatar

“Otis” one of my offbeat favorites.
I aslo like “Misery.” A classic, the psycho number one fan. lol

janbb's avatar

O course, The Shining.

Berserker's avatar

@janbb Never seen it, does look good. Suprisingly though, the book is so boring.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, on the Base on a True Story Side, The Three Faces of Eve..

ragingloli's avatar

My family’s VHS tapes.

Coloma's avatar

@Berserker I just watched ” The Shining” again a few weeks ago after decades. It is so good, you have to watch it. J.N. is so menacing and Shelly Duval is great. Sadly it is reported she is quite mentally ill these days and has moved to some obscure little town in Texas.

janbb's avatar

If you want a comic turn, “What About Bob?” is fun. Not quite demented family but psychologist (Richard Dreyfuss) being harassed by demented, obsessed patient (Bill Murray.)

Coloma's avatar

@janbb Oh yeah, another I watched again a few months ago. Good call!

janbb's avatar

Rachel Getting Married is a good one about a woman just out of rehab going home for her sister’s wedding. Not horror but good.

Sneki95's avatar

You said drama, so….. Pieces of April and A Separation come to mind.

Pieces of April is a story about the titular girl preparing Thanksgiving dinner to her family, which includes an ill mother. A Separation is about a couple who is about to divorce because the husband won’t leave his father that suffers from Alzheimer’s.

janbb's avatar

@Sneki95 Those are both really good suggestions.

Sneki95's avatar

@janbb Thanks. I think Otesanek falls here too, with a couple and their struggle to get a child. I mentioned it earlier.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Oh, a huge one you have missed, the hills have eyes

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The Big Sleep – Wealthy man hires private detective to straighten out the mess of drugs, porn, and murder his daughters are tangled up in.

Melancholia – The closest representation of depression I’ve seen on screen

The Graduate – Just see it if you haven’t

Brian1946's avatar

Like Mother Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes.

It’s a fact-based drama about Sante & Kenny Kimes, who were a murderous pair of mother & son grifters.

From Wiki:

Sante Kimes was an American criminal who was convicted of two murders, as well as robbery, violation of anti-slavery laws, forgery and numerous other crimes. Many of these crimes were committed with the assistance of her son, Kenneth Kimes Jr. They were tried and convicted together for the murder of Irene Silverman, along with 117 other charges. The pair were also suspected but never charged in a third murder in the Bahamas, to which Kenneth has confessed.

Berserker's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Oh I own Te Hills have Eyes, excellent movie. The sequel sucks though. (these being the remakes, there’s the original I think from the 50’s?)

Thanks fpr all the suggestions. Don’t know which I’ll pick, but definitely got something for tonight.

janbb's avatar

Let us know what you watched and liked.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.
Bette Davis, Agnes Moorehead.
Did she, or didn’t she?
Who hacked the married lover?
Why all the weird sightings?
Who else will die?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The Adams family. Weird rich family. Mostly a dark comedy. No killings.

Zaku's avatar

Rituals – I think this may be (one of?) the main ancestor of the films you’ve mentioned. Doctors on a Canadian wilderness river adventure vacation get hunted by crazy homicidal people in the woods.

Deliverance – (Well-done classic, warning: brutal rape scene) about a river vacation in hillbilly territory. Came out a few years after Rituals and is similar in subject.


God Bless America – (dark with comedy) depressed man with terminal diagnosis adopts runaway for killing spree, tragicomically targeting vapid American culture

Tucker & Dale Versus Evil – (gory but awesomely hilarious) comedy twist on crazy-hillbilly slasher films

Super – (dark with comedy) Rainn Wilson (played Dwight on The Office) is a semi-crazy guy who hallucinates visions telling him to become a super hero, leading to crazy escalating violent adventures and a crazy sidekick, and horrible consequences

Documentary Now! episode 1: “Sandy Passage” – (dark comedy/parody) Documentarists accidentally discover their subject family is crazy murderers.

Eating Raoul – (dark comedy, sexuality) a prudish couple declines into murdering swingers and cannibalism after accidentally killing a lewd assailant and being blackmailed.

chyna's avatar

@Zaku I loved Tucker & Dale Versus Evil. It was supposedly based in my home state. It’s a slasher film run amock.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“What Ever Happened To Baby Jane.”

Coloma's avatar

OMG! I forgot all about :“Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil.” Hilarious! Might have to watch that again in the next few days.

Jeruba's avatar

Cold Comfort Farm.

But the book was better.

Actually, if my recollection is at all reliable, I thought the 1968 BBC miniseries was even better.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m not sure exactly how to interpret your use of the word “demented” in the topic question, but as for “dysfunctional”, doesn’t that describe everyone’s family at some point?

As to the list …
Mommie Dearest
The Royal Tenenbaums
Ordinary People

Oh, and don’t forget The War of the Roses

jca's avatar

@Coloma: Every time I watch The Shining, I have such an appreciation not only for the incredible acting, but the story, the sets, the location (when the camera pans away on the family driving up to the Overlook). I just saw it a few weeks ago and googled where the road is. I’d like to take a ride on it one day. It looks incredible.

Coloma's avatar

@jca Yes, incredible. Wouldn’t you love to have that huge hedge maze in your yard? I love those.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Just watched “within” creepy as shit.

Coloma's avatar

Don’t forget the classic “Psycho” where crazy Norman Bates keeps his dead mother in the house while preying on his hotel guests. lol

Mimishu1995's avatar

You may want to check out:
Parents, a story about a family who never runs out of meat. How they get their meat is the center of the mystery.
How Awful about Allan, a lesser known movie about a man who is supposed to be crazy. He loses his eyesight after supposedly murdering his father and has just been released from the asylum. Now he fears that he is going mad again.
Island of Death, not about family but a couple, and they are maniacs. The movie entered the infamous Video Nasty list for a good reason.
Perfect Blue, a brutal story of a retired pop singer. Apparently someone thinks her abandoning the pop scene to enter the porn industry is a sin.

Coloma's avatar

@Mimishu1995 You are a movie guru. I will check out those you mention, see if any of them are streaming on Netflix.

ucme's avatar

Not going to spoil the plot but hey, it has gruesome axe murders of alleged angels of satan where a father encourages his 2 sons to slay the fuckers in order to cleanse the world of evil & in doing so, please God immensely…batshit crazy it may be, but good also.

hearkat's avatar

It’s not a movie, but Orphan Black is a great show with amazing acting (the lead won the Emmy last year) and a ton of dysfunction. Suspense, gore, laughs, love, sex, violence… it’s got it all.

Coloma's avatar

@ucme Oh yeah, frailty, another one I had forgotten about. Good one!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I watch stuff like The Blind Side and Apollo 13, Secretariat. I’ve missed virtually all of the movies you guys are mentioning. I must be Doing It Wrong.

chyna's avatar

@Berserker Let us know which one or the many that you watched. I hope it was Tucker and Dale Versus Evil.

Berserker's avatar

My movie night was a little ruined last night. But this leaves me time to try and find some of those. (i don’t have netflix so finding movies sometimes is a pain)

Coloma's avatar

@Berserker What ruined your movie nght? Did zombies show up in your living room? lol

Berserker's avatar

Haha no, I’m just really sick. Have been for the past four days, so I figured, hey if all I can do is watch movies, then…but I couldn’t even do that yesterday. Just taking naps all damn day.

Coloma's avatar

@Berserker Awwww…my poor little Beserkaline. Feel better soon.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Oh no! I sure hope you mend quickly!
I would send you some home movies, but I don’t know who has them these days. They may have been tossed out when dad died. Or, maybe they are in an evidence locker.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Berserker if it makes you feel any better, How Awful about Allan is readily available on It only takes you a quick search to find it, and you don’t even have to worry about copyright.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

The Three Faces of Eve.

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