The Strange Thing About The Johnsons Bathtub Scene

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In the world of cinema, there are certain scenes that leave the audience perplexed, disturbed, or even shocked. One such scene that has gained notoriety is the bathtub scene from the movie “The Strange Thing About the Johnsons.” Released in 2011, this controversial short film directed by Ari Aster took the internet by storm due to its disturbing and taboo subject matter. In this article, we will delve into the details of this bathtub scene and explore the strange elements that make it so unsettling.

The Context

“The Strange Thing About the Johnsons” revolves around the Johnson family, seemingly a perfect and loving unit. However, as the story progresses, dark secrets are unveiled, leading to a shocking revelation. The bathtub scene serves as a pivotal moment in the plot, exposing the twisted dynamics within the family and leaving the audience in a state of disbelief.

The Scene

The bathtub scene begins innocently enough, with the character Isaiah Johnson bathing in the tub. However, what follows is a sequence that challenges societal norms and pushes boundaries. The scene involves a disturbing act of sexual abuse, involving Isaiah and his father. The intensity and graphic nature of the scene have left many viewers both disturbed and fascinated.

The Controversy

The bathtub scene in “The Strange Thing About the Johnsons” sparked immense controversy due to its taboo subject matter. It addresses a topic that is rarely discussed openly in society, making it uncomfortable for many to watch. The scene raises questions about family dynamics, abuse, and the psychological impact on the victims.

Ari Aster’s Intention

Director Ari Aster intended to create a thought-provoking piece that challenges societal norms and forces the audience to confront uncomfortable truths. By depicting such a disturbing scene, he aimed to shed light on the dark underbelly of seemingly normal families and the secrets they hide.

The Impact

The bathtub scene from “The Strange Thing About the Johnsons” left a profound impact on viewers. It sparked heated debates and discussions about the depiction of taboo subjects in cinema. Some praised Aster’s boldness and his ability to address uncomfortable topics, while others criticized the scene for being gratuitous and exploitative.

Legacy and Influence

Despite its controversial nature, the bathtub scene has become a cultural phenomenon. It has inspired countless discussions, analysis, and even parodies. Its influence on the horror genre and independent filmmaking cannot be denied, as it pushed boundaries and challenged the audience’s perception of acceptable content in movies.


The bathtub scene in “The Strange Thing About the Johnsons” remains an unsettling and controversial moment in cinema. Its graphic depiction of taboo subject matter challenges societal norms and forces viewers to confront uncomfortable truths. Whether you view it as a bold exploration of dark themes or a gratuitous depiction of abuse, there’s no denying its impact on the world of cinema.