Is Gummo a Scary Movie?

Gummo is a provocative and disturbing film that elicits strong reactions from viewers. Directed by Harmony Korine, the movie depicts a group of teenagers living in the impoverished and decaying town of Xenia, Ohio.

The film’s depiction of violence, drug use, and animal cruelty has led many to question whether it is a scary movie. In this article, we will explore whether Gummo is truly a scary movie or not.

The Plot

Gummo follows a group of teenagers as they navigate their lives in Xenia, Ohio. The town was hit by a tornado years ago and has never fully recovered. The teens spend their days engaging in various activities such as hunting cats for money, taking drugs, and participating in bizarre rituals.

The plot of the movie is non-linear and disjointed, with scenes that often seem unconnected to each other. The lack of a traditional narrative structure contributes to the unsettling tone of the film.

The Visuals

One aspect that sets Gummo apart from other movies is its unique visual style. The film’s aesthetic is gritty and raw, with handheld camera work that gives it a documentary-like feel. The colors are muted and washed out, giving everything an almost dreamlike quality.

The use of imagery in Gummo is often shocking and graphic. Scenes such as the one where two boys drown cats in a barrel or where a character eats spaghetti while sitting in a dirty bathtub are difficult to watch.

The Soundtrack

Music plays an important role in Gummo. The soundtrack features songs by underground bands such as Sleep and Electric Wizard, adding to the overall feeling of unease.

The use of sound effects also contributes to the unsettling tone of the film. For example, there are scenes where we hear flies buzzing loudly or water dripping incessantly. These sounds create an atmosphere that feels oppressive and claustrophobic.

Is Gummo a Scary Movie?

To answer the question of whether Gummo is a scary movie, we first need to define what we mean by “scary.” If we are talking about traditional horror movies that rely on jump scares and supernatural elements, then Gummo is not a scary movie.

However, if we broaden our definition of what constitutes a scary movie to include films that elicit feelings of unease and discomfort, then Gummo certainly qualifies. The film’s depiction of poverty, violence, and decay is deeply unsettling. Its non-linear structure and graphic imagery add to the sense of disorientation and discomfort.


In conclusion, Gummo is not a traditional horror movie but it does have elements that make it scary. Its unique visual style, use of music and sound effects, and disturbing imagery all contribute to an overall feeling of unease. Whether or not you find it scary will depend on your tolerance for graphic content and your willingness to engage with a film that challenges traditional storytelling conventions.