6 movies and shows that have made us sick, literally

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NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 02: Actor James Franco attends the New York premiere of ‘127 Hours’ at Chelsea Clearview Cinema on November 2, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

127 Hours

No one is questioning the fact that real-life outdoorsman Aron Ralston is a serious badass for cutting off his own arm to free himself from an 800-pound boulder on a hike in a Utah canyon. But when that amputation is depicted on-screen at a movie theater, it’s a little harder to swallow. James Franco played Ralston in the 2010 big screen version of Ralston’s hike-gone-way-wrong. And when the grisly scene in question came up — surprise, surprise — people struggled to not cover their eyes.

ABC News at the time talked to an expert to find out more about why people across the country reacted with vomiting, fainting, and seizures (as if that’s a huge mystery):

"“It’s natural to recoil when we see someone hurt or, at the next level, see someone hurt themselves,” said Terrence Sheehan, a physiatrist with an expertise in amputations, and the medical director of the Amputee Coalition of America. “But when you see someone cutting through soft tissue through the bone with a crude tool, it’s cringe-inducing.”"

You can say that again, doc. Their investigation also turned up some interesting stuff about why we humans react that way even when we know what’s happening on-screen isn’t real. Basically, the natural fight-or-flight response in our bodies kicks in when we see messed-up stuff even if our heads are trying to convince us otherwise.

Let’s just say, the movie wasn’t a ringing endorsement for treacherous hiking alone.