There are different types of horror in film. There are the movies that are usually classified as horror with monsters and masked murderers lurking around the house. Films like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are good examples of those. There are also unexplained ghosts and spirit movies (Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror) and straight-up torture porn as well (Saw, Hostel).
While all these movies are scary in their own right, for some people, the threat of monsters or ghosts or psychopaths wearing crazy masks is just a little far fetched. Some people find the truly disturbing horror scenes in movies the ones based in reality. Scenes that could have – or in some cases actually have – happened. Casino films are a genre that usually has a lot of this realistic violence and horror baked in. Here are some disturbing horror scenes in casino films you should check out.
There have been a lot of violent mob beat-downs in film over the years but not many come close to the horror and brutality of Joe Pesci’s exit from the 1995 Martin Scorsese movie, Casino. In one memorable and horrific scene mob enforcer Nicky Santoro (Pesci) and his brother Dominick are taken out to a remote Indiana cornfield and beaten to death with metal baseball bats by his associate Frankie Marino (Frank Vincent).
The brutality with which the Santoro brothers are beaten before being stripped down to their underwear and dumped in a shallow grave is truly horrific. It is not a murder where someone explodes or gets their head cut off, it is just a sickening scene where you can hear baseball bats connecting with skin and bone. The reality of it is what makes it so darn scary.
Many of these types of violent scenes, especially from gangster casino movies, have become so iconic that they have found their way from the big screen to today’s movie-like online casino slots games. Online casinos like Old Havana Casino have hundreds of engaging and immersive slots that have plotlines like this. Check out the review on OnlineCasinoGems.com.
There are all types of casinos and poker rooms. There are physical ones like you find in Las Vegas, online ones, and even underground casinos. Rounders tells the tale of this last world, the underground poker scene. The movie tells the story of underground poker player Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) who is drawn back into this shady world after his best friend and former convict, Worm (Edward Norton) runs up a huge debt in their names with some shady folks.
In the scariest scene of the movie, Mike and Worm go play a backroom card game with what Worm describes as a bunch of “municipal workers”. It turns out it is a group of off-duty New York State Troopers. Mike starts winning straight up but is forced by Worm’s greed to start cheating. When the troopers catch on, they take the two out back and give them a severe beating, leaving them bleeding and lifeless on the ground. The fact that the only people who could stop this type of thing, the police, are the ones giving out the beating makes this scene a true horror.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
This crazy psychedelic romp tells the tale of Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro) as they stumble and stagger their way through the casinos, hotel rooms, and outskirts of Las Vegas. The characters are based on novelist Hunter S. Thompson played by Depp and his friend and lawyer Oscar Zeta Acosta. The story is based on a road trip the two took to Vegas in the 70s and, like most of Thompson’s “gonzo journalism” is somewhere between a true story and fiction.
The most horrific scene in a movie full of insane, drug-fueled set pieces is when Duke returns to their hotel room to find Gonzo in a bathtub with a plugged-in radio after taking all the LSD they had left. The dark, trippy scene that follows is insane and scary, especially if you have ever taken too many drugs or have been around someone who has. It is a hard scene (and movie) to explain but the pure insanity coupled with the fact that it may have actually happened makes in a true horror scene.
The Hangover (2009)
Yes, The Hangover is an absolutely hilarious comedy about a bachelor party gone wrong in a casino hotel in Las Vegas but, when you think about how real some of the scenes are, they can be kind of scary. If not for the laughs provided by Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and a host of other crazy characters, some of the situations they get into are very scary. While each situation is completely wild and absurd, anyone who has ever partied a little too hard in Vegas knows there is a kernel of truth there.
In the most horrific scene, the guys wake up after a completely outrageous night to find their hotel room completely trashed. Some things are broken, remnants from last night’s party everywhere, and bodies strewn throughout the hotel suite. When Alan Garner (Galifianakis) stumbles to the bathroom in just his t-shirt and “tighty whiteys”, he looks over mid-pee and sees a growling live tiger staring right at him. While this tiger, who the gang will eventually find out belongs to none other than legendary boxer Mike Tyson, gets big laughs, really experiencing this would be terrifying.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
In contrast to the laughs of The Hangover, the Nicholas Cage and Elizabeth Shue movie, Leaving Las Vegas is incredibly dark, real, and depressing. The story follows severe alcoholic John O’Brien (Cage) who moves to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. He meets a prostitute named Sera (Shue) who he falls in love with as she tries to get him to change his life.
There are a lot of dark and horrific scenes in this movie but none are worse than when Sera goes up to a hotel room with a group of college students. This goes against her rules to “date” multiple guys at once but, upset with John, she does it anyway. In the room, the situation quickly devolves until Sera is horrifically gang-raped by the students. It is one of the most disturbing and terrible scenes in any movie involving casinos ever.