As the old man said, "I'd rather be in Hell with all my buddies than by myself in heaven." But that old man probably didn't see any of the following movies or TV shows. Here are six of the most disturbing visions of Hell from the worlds of movies and TV (although to be honest, it's a little difficult to make a vision of Hell that ISN'T disturbing). Going down...

"Drag Me To Hell"

A cinematic vision of Hell doesn't have to be very long to be disturbing. Take Sam Raimi's "Drag Me To Hell", a stripped-down horror/morality tell about a woman who makes one moral mistake, and it ends up causing her soul to be...well, you've read the title. We only see brief a glimpse of the fires down below, but the glimpse we see is memorable and disturbing enough to make us think twice about denying any old gypsies extensions on their bank loans.

"Barton Fink"

Of course, not all visions of Hell are quite as unambiguous as "Drag Me To Hell". Take "Barton Fink", the Coen brothers' ode to writer's block. The titular playwright checks into the Hotel Earle in Hollywood, California to kick off his movie screenwriting career. Only something is a little bit amiss about the Hotel Earle, starting with its subtly sinister slogan "A day or a lifetime." And by the end of the movie, with the Hotel Earle exploding in flames, the "Barton Fink" version of Hell isn't quite so ambiguous as it first seemed.


Hell isn't all about fire and brimstone. It's also a business, and it takes some level of practical logistics to keep all those damned souls organized. That's what the short-lived FOX series "Brimstone" is about. Ezekiel Stone is a New York City cop sent to Hell for murdering his wife's rapist, but the Devil needs a special favor. Stone becomes an agent of Hell, tracking down escaped souls on Earth and bringing them back. Not only is Hell a place of unending torment, but it has bail bondsmen.

"The Beyond" 

Speaking of all those souls, not everyone agrees on the form they take if they make it to Earth. In "The Beyond", a young woman inherits a shabby old hotel that ends up being, say it all together, A Portal to Hell. Since this is an Italian horror movie from the 70s directed by Lucio Fulci of the famous "Zombie", what comes out of that portal? Zombies, of course! Lots of really freakish zombies.

"High Plains Drifter"

Another vision of Hell that's not quite literal but too disturbing not to list is in Clint Eastwood's "High Plains Drifter". Clint is the drifter of the title, who drifts into the town of Lago as an avenging angel. He ends up literally painting the town red and erecting a sign to let his prey know exactly where they are: Hell.

"Three Little Bops"

The Warner Brothers animation department was famous for its depictions of Hell in their cartoons, and anyone who saw them as a little kid will testify to the fact that they could be pretty disturbing. The one in "Three Little Bops" is disturbing not because of any horrifying content, but more because of the implication that being exposed to the fires of Hell is the only way to play jazz properly. You know, for kids.