15 Movies That Made The Audience Walk Out Of The Cinema

POSTED BY Tayyab Khalil, UPDATED ON January 17th, 2024
Movies That Made the Audience Walk Out of the Cinema

Watching a newly released movie in a cinema can prove to be an exciting experience but that is not always the case. For one reason or another, a movie can have a calamitous effect on the audience and can convince them to leave early. Take a look at a few movies that made the audience walk out of the cinema:


15. Deadpool (2016)

Deadpool movie (2016)

As one of the most anticipated movies of 2016, fans were overjoyed to see the solo movie of Deadpool which was promised to be comic-book accurate. However, numerous parents took their underage children after assuming that it was just another superhero movie despite Ryan Reynolds’ open letter to parents in which he explicitly advised them not to do so.

Halfway through the rated-R movie which crossed several boundaries in terms of violence and vulgarity, parents were appalled and walked out with their children. Though Deadpool was exclusively for a mature audience and inappropriate for children, it did not stop being a critical and commercial success.


14. Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield shaky camera work

The found-footage concept took quite a toll on the audience who went to watch Cloverfield. The scenes of the monster attacking Manhattan were shown as videos recorded by a personal camera and to encapsulate a sense of realism, the videos were wobbly.

Many audience members walked out of the cinemas because the rapid and shaky camera work caused them to feel nauseous and physically ill. As a result, few cinemas began posting warning signs outside to alert the audience about Cloverfield potentially causing motion sickness.


13. Swiss Army Man (2016)

Swiss Army Man (2016)

Daniel Radcliffe has yet to make a name for himself after his acting heydays as Harry Potter but he is not going to accomplish it by starring as a rotting corpse. Swiss Army Man revolves around a man who befriends a dead body washed ashore on the beach.

The scenes of the corpse steadily rotting and farting proved to be too much for the audience and many of them left the cinema in disgust. Surprisingly enough, Swiss Army Man received positive reviews from critics.


12. The Walk (2015)

The Walk (2015)

Based on the life of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, The Walk unapologetically provides the viewers with a daring experience. All the available footage of the real-life Petit walking on the high-wire between the Twin Towers had been recorded from buildings or the ground but The Walk decided to take it up a notch.

The movie shows Petit (portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) walking the high wire from the top and extremely close; causing the audience to feel dizzy. The fact that The Walk was in 3D did not ease matters and made many people walk out early.


11. 127 Hours (2010)

127 Hours (2010)

The true story of mountaineer Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) is not for the faint of heart. While hiking in Blue John Canyon, he slips inside a canyon slot and a giant boulder traps his right hand and wrist against the surface.

After remaining stuck for six days, Aron takes a giant leap of faith by amputating his right forearm with a pocket knife to escape. The bloody scene proved to be too gruesome for several viewers. Many vomited, fainted, or experienced seizures and they were forced to leave early.


10. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs violence

The initial reception of Quentin Tarantino’s crime film Reservoir Dogs was a far cry from the legendary status it holds nowadays. The movie’s iconic torture scene was particularly in the eye of controversy as many audience members would leave when it was screened.

Tarantino always counted the number of people who would walk out of Reservoir Dogs; the highest was 33. The director thought that the audience would be able to bear his movie when it was screened at Spain’s Sitges Horror Film Festival but he was wrong. Five people walked out including none other than the pioneer of the horror genre, Wes Craven.


9. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project 1999 movie

Responsible for popularizing the found-footage technique of film-making as far as mainstream movies are concerned, The Blair Witch Project is nothing short of a frightful experience for its viewers.

Though it managed to earn a whopping $248.6 million at the box office against a measly budget of $60,000, the movie’s true claim to fame was how it managed to cause the viewers to experience nausea and panic attacks and that only increased the horror movie’s growing notoriety.


8. The Lion King (1994)

the lion king 1994 mufasa death scene

The most light-hearted entry on the entire list, The Lion King is one of the most fondly remembered animated movies released by Disney but even it has a tragic moment that can leave the viewers in tears.

The heartbreaking scene of Scar murdering his brother Mufasa has been a hot topic of discussion ever since the movie’s release as it was too dreadful for many underage children. The sight of Mufasa being trampled in a wildebeest stampede as his son Simba helplessly looks on is such a horrific scene that crying children would be temporarily escorted outside the lobby by their parents.


7. The House That Jack Built (2018)

The House That Jack Built (2018)

Revolving around a serial killer named Jack who murdered several victims over 12 years, The House That Jack Built is not your average horror movie. The psychological aspects of the arthouse masterpiece magnificently succeed in sending chills down the spines of the viewers.

The movie was so disturbing that at the Cannes Film Festival, more than 100 audience members walked out of the cinema. However, it would receive a ten-minute standing ovation once it ended.


6. Pulp Fiction (1994)

The Briefcase in Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino pops up on the list yet again as the critically acclaimed director is not a stranger to controversy. Just two years after his directional debut Reservoir Dogs sent people outside the cinema, and he would replicate similar results with Pulp Fiction.

Scenes of Uma Thurman getting a shot of adrenaline in her heart, torture, gun violence, and sodomy were particularly too ferocious for audience members as many walked out or fainted. Despite the demeaning vibes that surround it, Pulp Fiction is widely considered one of the greatest movies ever made.


5. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Alex DeLarge Malcolm McDowell

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange is one of his finest works and is considered one of the most influential movies of all time. However, due to its bold and provocative themes, the movie was immediately drenched in an ocean of controversy.

Scenes that depicted rape, murder, violence, nudity, and the Ludovico Technique offended audiences and they steadily walked out of the cinemas. To make matters worse, A Clockwork Orange inspired several violent crimes across England and the movie was soon pulled from theatres.


4. Antichrist (2009)

Antichrist (2009)

The name alone of the 2009 horror tragedy movie should have hinted to the people that it is not for everyone. Directed by Lars von Trier and starring Willem Dafoe, Antichrist is a blend of horror and torture porn.

With horrendous scenes of gender mutilation and a baby falling to its death, it is no surprise that many audience members walked out from its screening whereas four viewers at its Cannes premiere fainted.


3. The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist 1973

Though The Exorcist is the very first horror movie to be nominated for Best Picture, its iconic status is attributed to the gigantic amounts of terror it unleashed on its viewers at the time of its release.

It was not uncommon to see empty seats during the screenings of The Exorcist as audience members would frantically run outside the theaters. Additionally, many Christians would leave as well due to religious motives. The movie shocked several moviegoers to the point of mental trauma.

In the United Kingdom, the number of people becoming traumatized upon viewing The Exorcist had overgrown to such a colossal extent that ambulances from St. John’s Ambulance Brigade were parked outside the cinemas to medically aid terrified viewers. 


2. The Revenant (2015)

The Revenant 2015

Nominated for twelve Academy Awards, The Revenant will always be remembered for the animalistic role of Leonardo DiCaprio. However, despite the movie showcasing his Academy Award-winning performance, many viewers did not see it in its entirety as they walked out of the theatres.

The survival drama movie is undoubtedly a masterpiece and the credit goes to several gory scenes such as the grizzly bear fight, ear, and wound cauterization. Needless to say, they served as a double-edged sword as they were unbearable to numerous audience members who did not hesitate to leave their seats.


1. Freaks (1932)

Freaks 1932 movie

Back when Hollywood was in its early stages, Freaks was a sight to behold. The movie starred real-life circus performers and featured a bearded woman, conjoined twins, a legless man, an armless woman, dwarves, and abnormal people.

Though such aspects might not seem so creepy and even pale in comparison to several horror movies released in recent memory, Freaks terrified the audience way back in 1932. The very sight of watching deformed people would send shock waves back then and the movie was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years.

In addition to the massive walkouts, one unfortunate woman suffered a miscarriage upon seeing Freaks and threatened to sue MGM. Directed and produced by Tod Browning, the movie was an attempt to showcase that appearance is not a reflection of a person’s character but it all backfired and killed the director’s career.

Did you like our list of the top movies that made the audience walk out of the cinema? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment