20 Best Incest Movies of All Time

Like violence, crime, or horror, incest is a theme that could be explored or exploited by filmmakers depending on their intentions, but incest movies are extremely rare.

Films that depict incestuous relationships between parents and children, parents and children, siblings, siblings, and siblings have been criticized for being exploitative of viewers’ emotions, evil, and mindless in their provocation.

Until recently, incest films were mostly low-budget affairs with only a small number of actors on board, and they were never hailed by critics across the board.

The emotional side of incestuous relationships and the ways in which people were emotionally provoked or coerced to form such relationships have also been explored in films.

Let me be clear: I am not referring to incest porn films; rather, I am discussing how incest is portrayed in more mainstream films.

Having said that, let’s look at the top incest movies that dared to tackle this tricky subject. There are many incestuous family movies on the list.

Although movies about gay or lesbian incest are uncommon, they do exist.

The good news is that several of these excellent incest movies are available for streaming on services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

20. Close My Eyes (1991)

The incestuous relationship between Richard and Natalie, played by Alan Rickman and Clive Owen, is the focus of “Close My Eyes.”

Though the siblings haven’t seen each other since they were young and have grown up in different families as a result of their parent’s divorce and subsequent remarriage, they still manage to hit it off when they finally reunite.

In addition to being married to Sinclair (Rickman), a successful stockbroker, Natalie has been employed by a staffing agency. Richard, Natalie’s younger brother, is a town planner.

Even though it’s a bit disturbing to think about, Natalie and Richard are only attracted to each other because of their sexual desire for one another.

19. Ma Mere (2004)

The most disturbing and unwatchable incest film ever made is “Ma Mere,” which is also among the most controversial films on this list.

Isabelle Huppert plays a sexually obsessive mother who pressures her son to have sex with her.

Helene requests that her son inflict physical pain on her by cutting her abdomen, and then she slits her own throat when her son’s masturbation reaches its peak.

While the film as a whole is overtly provocative and largely unwatchable, the film’s star, Isabelle Huppert, is at the height of her powers.

18. Savage Grace (2007)

Savage Grace is a disturbing look at a mother and son who share an incestuous relationship, and it’s all based on the notorious Barbara Daly Baekeland murder case.

Barbara, portrayed by Julianne Moore, struggles with her son’s mental health issues and sexual confusion.

She “stabilizes” her son’s sexuality by seducing him, creating an atmosphere of absolute fear and horror that leads to the most heartbreaking conclusion in their lives.

Julianne Moore gives a stellar performance as the film’s protagonist and makes it into something more than just watchable.

17. Spanking the Monkey (1994)

‘Spanking the Monkey’ is shorthand for masturbation and, at first, glance seems to be a dark comedy.

Raymond’s mother’s leg injury and his father’s work-related travel prevent him from pursuing the medical internship he so desperately wants.

The deterioration of Raymond’s mental state leads to the development of an unusual relationship between the two that ultimately becomes incestuous.

Despite its controversial and provocative subject matter, the film is a delight to watch thanks to director David O. Russell’s use of humor and energy.

Also, that’s pretty immoral. With a score of over 90% from critics and a box office take of over 5 times its budget, “Spanking the Monkey” easily takes the cake as the most financially successful incest film on this list.

16. Delta (2008)

This underappreciated Hungarian gem is a drama about an incestuous relationship between an estranged brother and sister.

The film’s bleak atmosphere is reflective of the odd dynamics between its characters, but it avoids making too much of the story’s potential for controversy.

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The film creates an atmosphere of foreboding with its portrayal of its characters and their relationship, but it succeeds in making us care about them without resorting to cheap tricks to get our emotions.

The protagonist in “Delta” is a young man who returns to his hometown to spend time with his mother, sister, and mother’s boyfriend.

His sister moves in with him as he builds a new house, complicating matters even further.

15. The Blue Lagoon (1980)

The story of Richard and Emmeline, two cousins who find themselves stranded on a South Pacific island, makes “The Blue Lagoon” a potential forerunner in the movement that brought incest into mainstream cinema.

Paddy, a cook who also survived the shipwreck, initially joins Richard and Emmeline on the island, but he soon dies of alcohol poisoning, leaving them to fend for themselves.

Emmeline gives birth to a daughter, whom she and her partner name Paddy, as they both reach puberty without interference from their families or communities.

The film was panned by critics for glamorizing taboos and coming across as unnatural, but the filmmakers maintained that they wanted to show the children in an unrestrained light.

I suppose the public is the best arbiter of such things.

14. La Luna (1979)

The controversial relationship between a mother and son is examined in Bernardo Bertolucci’s drama.

After his mother’s husband commits suicide, Joe, a teenager with strained relations with his parents, relocates to Rome with his mother.

However, the boy’s emotional difficulties eventually lead to drug abuse. His mother becomes sexually involved with him as part of her plan to rescue him from his addiction.

The incestuous scene is very well done, but the film as a whole doesn’t hold up.

13. Beautiful Kate (2009)

In ‘Beautiful Kate,’ the protagonist, a writer named Ned, and his fiancee travel back home to be with his sick father and sister as he passes away.

The film consists of a never-ending series of incestuous relationships.

An accident claims the lives of Ned’s older sister Kate and her older brother Cliff, and Ned’s fiancee finds out he had a sexual relationship with Kate.

Sally, Ned’s sister, tells him that she thinks Ned’s wife Kate has begun having sexual relations with Cliff as well, and that Ned can’t bear the guilt of this heinous act.

The writing and the film’s handling of the disturbing subject matter help to make up for the film’s muddled plot.

12. The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)

The Ballad of Jack and Rose is a film about the delicate pain of human relationships, and it is beautifully flawed because of this.

Daniel Day-Lewis plays Jack, a farmer who has a heart condition and lives with his daughter, who is shut off from the rest of the world.

Jack’s daughter starts to feel envious of his extended family after he moves in with his girlfriend Kathleen and her two teenage sons.

Jack is angry and confused after learning that his daughter had sex with Kathleen’s son, but he eventually comes to terms with the fact that she loved him.

It’s an expertly crafted drama that occasionally loses its focus and drags but ultimately succeeds in moving you with its heartfelt and humane characters.

11. Lolita (1997)

Although the incest in “Lolita” is only implied, rather than explicit, the movie still made headlines due to its depiction of a passionate sexual encounter between two young adults that seemed to border on pedophilia.

For his stay in New Hampshire, French literature professor Humbert rents a room from Charlotte, a single mother who has been caring for her teenage daughter Dolores. Humbert marries Charlotte in order to be closer to her daughter Dolores, or “Lo,” as he calls her.

Charlotte learns of Humbert’s plans and runs away, only to be killed in a car crash.

This turns out to be a blessing in disguise, as it frees Humbert to pursue Dolores, whom he now refers to as “Lolita.”

Lo runs away with another boy, Clare Quilty, but they both end up being abandoned after some time on the road.

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When compared to other incest films, “Lolita” was praised by critics for its artistic merit and emotional depth, despite Jeremy Irons’ stellar performance as Humbert.

10. Illegitimate (2016)

In ‘Illegitimate,’ we learn about the sins that plague our culture and the “sinners” who help spread them.

An argument breaks out between the children of an Orthodox doctor who takes pride in having prevented many abortions and his own children.

Sasha and Romeo, his twin children, are having an intense incestuous relationship, and Sasha soon discovers she is pregnant.

Sasha later comes to know that she has always been an unwanted child, for her father never agreed and allowed her mother to abort her.

The intricate relationship saga collapses under its own weight, leaving viewers engaged but demoralized because they can’t tell which side is on the “right.”

‘Illegitimate’ is perhaps one of the most intriguing incest movies ever made.

9. Beau Père (1981)

The incestuous relationship between a pianist and his teenage stepdaughter, whose mother died in a car accident, is called “Beau Père” in French.

The story begins with Remi, a pianist who lives with his wife Martine and stepdaughter Marion.

The plot is reminiscent of ‘Lolita.’ After her mother’s death, Marion has to decide whether to continue living with Remi or return to her alcoholic father, Charly.

Despite Charly’s best efforts to keep her with him, she eventually returns to her stepfather Remi.

Marion develops feelings for Remi, but he is unable to reciprocate because of their close relationship.

Even though a taboo is present in “Beau Père,” it isn’t glamorized like it is in most incest movies, which is why the film was met with generally positive reviews.

8. The Cement Garden (1993)

Set among a family of four children whose parents have passed away, ‘The Cement Garden is a tale of incest with a twist.

Teenager Jack is helping out around the house when his father suddenly passes away, leaving him and his ailing mother to care for his two older sisters, Julie and Sue, and their younger brother, Tom.

Knowing they will soon be orphaned, Jack and Julie decide not to tell anyone about their mother’s illness.

After their mother dies, instead of burying her, Jack and Julie prepare a cement tomb for her mother to entomb her.

Jack and Julie quickly develop an incestuous relationship despite their concerns about the potential consequences for themselves and for society as a whole.

‘The Cement Garden’ received mostly positive reviews for the performances and especially the direction.

7. Oldboy (2003)

If you haven’t seen this explosive thriller by Park Chan-wook, I strongly suggest you do so before continuing.

“Oldboy” is as intensely thrilling and taxing on the heart as any film has ever been.

Oh Dae Su, the protagonist, is a man who was held captive for 15 years for no apparent reason and was recently released.

He attempts to discover his captor’s identity, but things take a strange turn when he learns disturbing secrets from his past.

Dae Su’s rival from high school, Lee Woo-jin, was caught by him having a sexual encounter with Dae Su’s sister.

When he tells his classmates, Woo-sister jin’s ends up killing herself as a result.

To get even, Woo-jin put him in prison for 15 years and made him fall in love with his grown daughter so that he would experience the same heartbreak he had.

6. Shame (2011)

Steve McQueen’s “Shame” is a startlingly potent drama that delves deep into the shadowy recesses of the human mind.

A New York City executive with serious masturbation and sex with prostitutes problem is the film’s protagonist.

However, when his sister comes to spend a few days with him, he has to rein in his emotions.

There are a number of possible meanings to take away from this film.

Though many people assume Brendon and Sissy have never met or had any kind of history, I have my suspicions.

Both their level of physical closeness and their conversation style give off unsettling vibes and hint at their incestuous history.

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Both Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan received high praise for their riveting performances, and the film’s pathology was praised for being believable and accessible to audiences. Please explain how you find an agreement.

5. The Quiet (2005)

When deaf and mute teenage girl Dot goes to her godparents’ house to live with them, after her parents have died, she comes to know about their teenage daughter Nina who supposedly is in an incestuous relationship with her father Paul.

On the other hand, Paul has some secrets to keep and has suspicions about Nina while secretly, Nina plans on murdering her father, a dream of hers that comes to fruition when Paul is strangulated and pushed from the building to death.

Nina moves on with her life and Olivia gets arrested for murdering Paul, as opposed to Dot who was perceived as the murderer.

Critics were pleasantly surprised by the opening of “The Quiet,” praising the film overall and singling out Elisha Cuthbert for her “stunning performance” Because incest was involved, there were a host of negative reviews as well, only if someone cares.

4. Murmur of the Heart (1971)

Louis Malle’s humorous and touching depiction of adulthood and sexuality will touch your heart.

Despite the strangeness and provocativeness of Laurent and Clara’s relationship, the incest between them does not disturb or unsettle you here because of the charm and lovable affection between them.

Their romance has a strangely otherworldly quality that gives it a unique and welcome air of mystery.

Many modern filmmakers, including Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, have cited this film as an inspiration.

3. Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998)

When they were younger, Anna and Otto got along great, but things changed when Anna’s mother remarried Otto’s father after her husband died.

They become increasingly attracted to each other and develop an incestuous relationship, but circumstances force them apart and they don’t reconnect for many years.

The film’s refreshing lack of melodrama and sentimentality in its romantic scenes stems from its refusal to pass judgment on its characters.

If you like incest movies, you should check out “Lovers of the Arctic Circle,” which is one of the best and deserves more recognition.

2. The Dreamers (2003)

If you’re looking for a disgusting incest movie, look no further than “The Dreamers,” which is actually one of the most erotic incest movies out there.

At the beginning of the film, American student Matthew visits France to study French literature and meets identical twins Theo and Isabelle.

When Theo and Isabelle invite Matthew to stay with them, he initially declines but eventually agrees to their “liberal” ways of sleeping and bathing together in the buff.

In a creepy way, Theo seems to approve of Matthew and Isabelle’s relationship by staying observant of their every move.

The Dreamers is one of the most explicit incest movies ever made because of its graphic depiction of masturbation, incest, and frontal nudity.

The three eventually decide to take part in the ongoing protests in the street, where they gradually lose their inhibitions and their attachment to one another.

The Dreamers was well-received by both critics and audiences, who praised the film for its “sweet and enchanting” qualities.

1. Dogtooth (2009)

To call this unflinching work of art brilliant would be a gross understatement.

Dogtooth is a film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos about a family who doesn’t let their children leave the family compound or learn about the outside world.

The film normalizes violence to the point where not even the most gruesome scenes can shake your composure.

When the father fires the woman he used to pay to have sex with his son because she showed them Hollywood films, the situation develops into unsettlingly naturalistic incest as the parents ask the boy to choose between his sisters.

Almost like a Michael Haneke movie, but without the harshness.

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