In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, an un-crazy Jack Nicholson is committed to an insane asylum to serve out the rest of a prison sentence. He thinks he's going to get a cushy rehab before flitting back out into the real world, but he finds the place is even more oppressive and humiliating than an actual prison. Thanks to the brain-numbing drugs and daily humiliations distributed by Nurse Ratched, the patients end up crazier (or deader) than they were when they first arrived. Jack winds up with a chunk of brain cut out against his will.
But even that isn't as bad as the asylums in horror movies. Or the one in Batman Begins, where a crazy administrator gives patients hallucinogens that induce nothing but bad trips. Or the one in House on Haunted Hill, which was once the home of a diabolical doctor who performed Mengelesque experiments on his patients. Or Shutter Island, where we won't actually tell you what happens, but just know an insane asylum is involved and it is terrible.
Do not watch this movie on drugs unless you've got a mean hankering for PTSD.
The rest? All haunted.
What They Actually Did:
There's no question that back in the old days, there was some brutal treatment of the mentally ill in these facilities. But you also have to stop and ask: If there were no such thing as asylums, what's the alternative? What happens to the people too mentally ill to care for themselves?
They make tens of millions of dollars?