Some movies you could watch a million times, quote every line, and never get enough.
Other movies, you regret seeing even the once.
Somewhere in between is a movie that you’re glad you watched, but that you know you’ll never revisit. These are mine:
Monster – Stupidly, I bought this one. Does anyone need a copy of Monster? I won’t be using it. Based on the real life events of Aileen Wuornos, who Charlize Theron plays to perfection. Maybe a little too perfectly? This woman was convicted of murdering 6 men, but that’s not the worst of it. Aileen is a prostitute who gets beaten and raped by a client. She wants to quit the life but can’t find any legitimate work and her girlfriend wants to be supported in the matter to which she’s become accustomed. Going back to prostitution, she can’t control her anxiety and believes that every john is out to hurt her – so, she kills them first, and takes their money. It’s never easy to see ruthless murder on film, but it’s so much worse when you’ve seen the back story and understand where all the pain and fear is coming from – and it infects you too.
Inglorious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino presents us with an alternate history where Jewish-American soldiers assassinate Nazi political leadership and brutally murder German soldiers. We went to see this in the theatre, and thing about Tarantino is, there’s no way you’re getting off easy. I was prepared for blood and guts. What I can’t shake is the sound the knife makes as it carves a swastika into victims’ foreheads.
Deliverance – Four friends go out into the woods to have themselves a little male bonding time in nature. Unfortunately, they happen upon some hillbillies who take some of the friends hostage, and force Ned Beatty onto his knees, bidding him to “squeal like a pig” as he is forcefully raped. It’s harsh and humiliating and just about as degrading as it gets – for him, and for us.
Antichrist – Should I even write this? If you’re a nice person, please turn away now. Do not read on. For the rest of you: Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play a grieving couple who have recently lost a child. To cope with their pain, they retreat to a cabin in the woods whee he has crazy visions and she exhibits increasingly violent sexual behaviour, culminating in (last chance! turn away!) her snipping off her clitoris with a pair of rusty scissors after a pretty punishing round of frantic, joyless masturbation. Do I really need to explain why I’ll never watch this again?
Man Bites Dog – A mockumentary that’s anything but funny. A film crew follows around a charismatic serial killer. The murders get increasingly graphic and horrible. The rapes are just fucking brutal. But the haunting thing is that the film crew goes all Stockholm Syndrome and pretty soon they’re willing accomplices. Fucking harsh, man.
Anything with eyes – I have a super duper eye phobia and despise any movie with extreme close-ups with eyes. Worse still: blood shot eyes. Worse still: eyes being forcibly held open. A Clockwork Orange being the worst possible case.
Anything with shaving – Mostly just men shaving their necks. 99% of times it’s just shaving, but I am literally hiding behind my own fingers, certain that at any moment a major artery is about to be opened, accidentally, on purpose, I don’t care, I just can’t take the anxiety leading up to it. And then mostly they just wipe the shaving cream off and continue on with their days, but me? My blood pressure’s through the roof.
Anything where the dog dies. I can’t take dead dogs, whether or not they go to heaven.
So which movies can you never revisit – and why?