We are never, ever, ever getting back together.

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 realmonster 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-ingloriousAmerican soldiers assassinate Ndeliverance4azi 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 antichriston. 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 Michael Haneke – This guy loves to make unwatchable films. Matt bravely made his way through Funny Games while I bore The White Ribbon, but not happily, I tell you. Not happily.

Clockwork'71Anything 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 royaltenenbaumsshaving 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?

 

62 thoughts on “We are never, ever, ever getting back together.

  1. Sarca

    You ever see Cutting Moments? Oof, that is gross! How about Irreversible? No thanks! Human Centipede. Okay, I’m outta here!

    Se7en’s a hard one to watch, but I think it’s a great movie all the same and view it periodically.

    I felt sad for Aileen Wuornos. She really needed to feel love and compassion in her life, and she never got it. Not to excuse her crimes, but she is one person where the world truly failed her.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. In My Cluttered Attic

    I’m reluctant to press the like button, and that’s only because it might suggest a passing approval of any, or all of the above films. However I approve of the reviews and so pressing the like button was only done in approval of your review. :O)

    Liked by 4 people

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  3. adeleinglasses

    I agree with your picks, those things just stay with you *shudder*… I was trying to think of more movies that would fit under that category and “One Day” (2011) came to mind – if we can forget Anne Hathaway’s attempt at a Yorkshire accent for a minute (though it is hard to forget), the ending is just meh… I don’t like those movies where you come away not really feeling anything, what is the point? On reflection though, this is more of a film that I regret seeing at all, as that’s “one day” of my life I can’t get back…

    Great post, as always 🙂

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, those are in another category, the movies we WISH we’d seen 0 times. I read that book and promptly forgot so though I never saw the movie, I’m not surprised. The book is quite forgettable.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Wendell

    Love this post. I guess I need to watch Inglourious Basterds again because I’ve totally forgotten what that sound is, plus it’s just a great movie.

    That scene in Deliverance is disturbing, but that’s not why I won’t watch it again. The rest of it bored me.

    Instead of eyes, I have a hard time with violence against teeth. I can watch American History X, but I have to turn away (and try to cover my ears) from the curb stomp scene.

    If you haven’t seen it, The Color Purple has the most awesome shaving scene ever. By awesome, I mean incredibly intense.

    A couple in the same boat for me:

    Calvary: It’s just entirely too depressing and cynical.

    The Act of Killing: Documentary following guys who killed a bunch of people in Indonesia during the 60s when the country was trying to purge itself of Communists. They killed anyone “suspected” of being one. In other words, anyone they damn well pleased because they had that as an excuse. They were and still are gangster, running the old protection money scam, and generally treated as heroes. Great, great documentary, but sickening.

    The Passion of the Christ: Sorry, watching someone get beaten for two hours straight isn’t my thing.
    If I didn’t also own a copy of Monster, I would take you up on your offer. I agree with you about Theron’s performance being “too perfect.” See a list I made for best portrayals of real women…

    http://dellonmovies.blogspot.com/2014/01/pointless-lists-top-10-portrayals-of.html

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  5. reocochran

    There are many my brother chooses to watch, but my Mom says she enjoys the good vs. evil plots so he gets away with them. I like comedies and some historical movies, action but not so much violence. You listed some rather gross movies, I have seen all of them!

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  6. Jordan Dodd

    These are the movies I love to rewatch hehe 😀 I love a good mind-melting movie. If I could name one movie I’d never watch again, it’d be Enter The Void, which is just a mindfuck of a movie that isn’t meant for people with epilepsy, haha 😀

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  7. Salty Popcorn

    Hahahaha – I have MONSTER blu rays at home for a giveaway but I need to rewatch it to review and I keep putting it off.
    My one and only true hatred in cinema is seeing kids get hurt, I walked out of FUNNY GAMES because of this and loathe the movie, also felt ill watching SNOWTOWN.
    I do love INGLORIOUS though and happily watch it occasionally 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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  8. kmSalvatore

    I totally agree with your list , and I’ll leave it at that .. Well all except Deliverence we almost always watch it when we see it on the boob tube .. Maybe becuz we have been on that river ? I’m not exactly sure why .. But we like that movie.. I think I’ve only seen 3 others u talked about ,hated them all , and the ones I didn’t see, well I owe u a big thank you.. For saving me time and.. Money ;)!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Brittani

    I could watch Inglorious Basterds over and over but I agree with you on so many of the others.
    I hated AntiChrist, I wish I could get those two hours back.
    And you’re right about Hanke, I recently watched Amour..nope. Never again. Fuck that.

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. mattasshole

    I’ve watched A Clockwork Orange and Inglorious Basterds a bunch of times.
    I hate seeing kids get molested so Mysterious Skin is a movie experience I won’t be repeating. I also hate depictions of heroine use and withdrawls so that means no more Trainspotting or Requiem of a Dream for me.
    Also, I’m tired of seeing people throw up on screen. Why does it have to happen in every movie these days?

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    1. Jay Post author

      Okay, it’s no fair saying you hate child molestation because hello, nobody likes that.
      But I’m totally with you on the puking thing. It’s not funny, and I certainly don’t need to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. Nicole Alexandra Chua

    I’ve watched “Amy” (not sure if its the real title) because I watched it like, when I was 8 years old with my Mom LOL (and now I’m a pretty normal…psychopath) Anyways, the movie was about a weird girl chopping perfect body parts (from her POV) from living people that she sees. Like her boyfriend’s hands and her friend’s neck. Then she collected it and sew every body part and create a perfect “creature”. But the only thing missing are the eyes.. then she hand picked her own eyes just to complete that “creature”. After that that “creature” magically moved and… I was kinda traumatised for 2-3 weeks…

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  12. msmariah1

    Wow, you had a happy go lucky little movie fest going here. Yes, I’ve sworn off Lars films. I’m convinced he’s a sadist. I don’t know how he managed to squeak out Melancholia. You know I’ve never seen ‘Deliverance,’ but I know all of the banjo references.

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  13. Christopher

    Almost anything dealing with the Holocaust I’ll come away from thinking, I’m glad I took that trip but I never want to go there ever again. Even something tangentially about it like Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood falls into that. I liked it, but never want to go back.

    On a happier note there’s Cabin In The Woods, which I thought was a fun ride, but I never want to see it again. For one thing so much of the fun came from being surprised, but all the surprises are gone now, and I just didn’t feel like there was enough depth to make watching it again worth it. For another there was one scene–and if you’ve seen it you know the one I mean–that only worked on an enormous movie theater screen.

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  14. movieblort

    I have films like ‘Michael’ and ‘Martyrs’ on DVD if you want them. I’m never going near them again. Ever.

    Antichrist is still in it’s wrapping and I can’t bring myself to even watch that – I’m pretty good with gory stuff, but this film seems to tread that fine line between excessive and realistic, and does an act that ticks both boxes.

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  15. killkenny16

    When people criticize Hollywood for being sensationally violent and exploitative, I calmly refer them to Lars von Fucking Trier. If that he doesn’t embody both of those things, I don’t know who does.

    Great post, and you’re spot on about the whole eye thing. As violent as the first Terminator movie is, the only moment that I remember recoiling was when the Terminator stuck a scalpel(?) into his eyeball to take it out. Ick.

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  16. fernandorafael

    Great post!

    I told myself I was too scarred and would never watch Antichrist after seeing it at home, because it was the most disturbing movie ever but as soon as they released it on the big screen at an arthouse cinema in my town, I jumped at the chance. I think there’s something wrong with me.

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  17. StephLove

    For six years I used to teach a class on horror, mostly fiction, but some film, that culminated in a research paper. The students mostly wrote about film and I would try to watch as many as I could so I could grade them better. Mostly I enjoyed them, but there are a few I wish I’d never seen because they left images in my head I didn’t want there and now I’ve even forgotten the titles– banished them perhaps from my mind. It was the second movie in the Hannibal Lecter series (maybe called Hannibal?) and one about a house with a portal to hell in it. There was a character with nails sticking out all over his head. Those are the ones I wish I’d never seen in the first place, but while I kind of enjoyed analyzing the trends and the structure of all the slasher films I watched- too numerous to cite– once was enough. Often I’d feel a little dirty after watching them.

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  18. Andrew

    I think Haneke is brilliant…but I can understand how once is enough. Except for Cache. That movie needs to be seen many times.

    Antichrist, on the other hand, made me near throw up the first time. There will never be a second time.

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  19. joelnox

    Great topic-the one and done! I agree with most of yours although I’ve watched Deliverance more then once.

    The first three that come to mind are ones I just duty watched because the were the only best picture winners I hadn’t seen, Schindler’s List, The Deer Hunter and 12 Years a Slave. Also someone else mentioned Mysterious Skin, I felt someone had torn my heart out by the end. They were all fine films which I have zero interest in EVER watching again. Oh and Lawrence of Arabia!! Gawd it was eeennnnndddddddddllllllllleeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssss!!!

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  20. Kim @ Tranquil Dreams

    First one that comes to mind is a French Canadian drama called Aurore. The mixture of anger and frustration I had when I saw this one, man, I would not see it again. The only reason I still own the DVD is because its a double feature with the French Canadian version of Romeo and Juliet and I kind of liked it…

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      1. Kim @ Tranquil Dreams

        I think it did what it was supposed to do because those are the feelings you should feel towards that situation but its just such a dreadful feelings of helplessness, frustration and anger at the whole situation that went down. Its worth a watch but just prepared to be pretty depressed afterwards.

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  21. laura kilty

    I couldn’t watch all of Monster, found it way too disturbing. One of my biggest film-watching regrets is Master and Commander. There’s two and a half hours of my life I’ll never get back- I had to look up the running time, as I was convinced all these years that it was in fact a twelve hour saga of boringness and I see it is beloved by most critics and won a bunch of Oscars…. I however hated it- did I mention it was INCREDIBLY boring?!

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  22. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

    Great article. Really compelling. I’m liking the comments too. I’m surprised nobody mentioned the films of Takeshi Miike, like Ichi The Killer. Audition is his best, more Hitcockian, less buckets of blood.

    I agree with a lot of these selections, but Inglorious Basterds is definitely one I rewatch. The opening sequence is one of the best in cinema history. Yeah, I just said that. It was subtle, yet powerful; using dramatic irony to constantly ratchet up the tension.

    Thanks for this super nerdy post… you might like some of my articles too. Big nerd here 😉

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    1. Jay Post author

      There’s a very good chance you’re right.
      There’s also a very good chance that Sean’s forearm is still covered in half-moon scars from where my fingers dug into him while watching that movie!

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  26. Manja Mexi Movie

    Heheh. I’m with you on everything but (some) Hanekes. And yet if I think about it, probably he is really meant to be viewed only once, all the rest is superfluous. You remember.

    A dog dying always makes me wail and who’d want this twice (looking at you, Hachi!). For Inglorious Basterds I didn’t care much even the first time around (except for the glorious Austrian). Deliverance I watched too young so I wish to see it again now. Man Bites Dog was enough once (as was Irréversible). As for the Antichrist and all Von Triers – heheh. Guilty pleasure.

    A film that knocked me on the head recently and yet I don’t wish to revisit it ever, except maybe in the last moments before I die, is Holy Motors. I was searching for a review of it on your site but couldn’t find it. Could it be that you haven’t seen it? 😉

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