Top 10 Hardest Movies To Watch More Than Once
Have you ever sat through a movie with tough scenes to stomach? Titles that come to mind include SCHINDLER'S LIST, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and CHILDREN OF MEN. Artfully directed and skillfully executed, these films are brutal but warrant repeated viewings. Sometimes, a film can be artful and skillful but so impossible to sit through that you never watch them again. Here is our ranking of 10 of the hardest films to watch more than once. If you think we missed some others that deserve to be on this ranking, let us know in the talk backs below. Don't say we didn't warn you.
When most people think of Michael Rooker these days, they probably recall The Walking Dead or GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Rooker has been acting steadily for decades but his 1986 debut stands as one of the highlights of his career. This faux documentary style film is often found on banned movie lists around the world thanks to a stark and disturbing look into the acts of a depraved murderer. Due to the lack of morality displayed on screen, HENRY is not an easy film to watch, nor would I assume anybody would want to see it a second time.
Before THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, there was CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Directed by Ruggero Deodato, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST was the inspiration for countless similar films, most recently Eli Roth's GREEN INFERNO. But the original film blends uncensored nature footage like the above pictured killing of a giant tortoise with gore filled visuals of castration and bodily harm. This is not for the squeamish and certainly not something you would pop on during a date night.
Takashi Miike is a prolific filmmaker of bizarre and disturbing films, but AUDITION may be his most subtle. Drawing from movies like FATAL ATTRACTION, AUDITION presents a shy woman who ends up being one of the most nightmarish screen villains of all time. What she does to her supposed love in this film is brutal and horrific and is made more so thanks to good special effects and excellent editing. This may be the most rewatchable film on this list, but I am not sure I could sit through it again.
Michael Haneke does not make happy movies. Look at his career and it is filled with dour and grim stories of humanity at it's lowest. FUNNY GAMES, which Haneke remade with an American cast and crew in 2007, is an indictment of the media and violence in western society. It is also very f*cked up. The antagonists are unreliable characters and through the course of the film you will question whether you identify with them or if they repulse you. Either way, Haneke wins in drawing the viewer into this bloodbath which is a sensation I would never dare repeat.
This French-Canadian film was remade this year but nothing can match the sheer horror of the original. Pascal Laugier has not made many films and maybe it is because producers are scared shitless of what he would create. MARTYRS is a hallucinogenic nightmare that forces the audience to watch some repugnant torture scenes and violence. There is a sexual element to what we see which makes the proceedings all the more wretched. The twist tied to the film's title may not be for everyone, but this movie is not for everyone either.
Another Takashi Miike film, ICHI THE KILLER is what you would get if Quentin Tarantino lost his damn mind. It is part horror film and part gangster movie. It is ultraviolent, depraved, and features some traumatic nipple violence that will haunt your dreams. This movie may be the most fun film on this list, but I already feel dirty for describing it that way. I can take this film in small doses, but not much more.
There had to be at least one Lars Von Trier movie on this list, right? Von Trier's films are often experiences that leave you wanting to take a shower, but ANTICHRIST is by far the worst offender. Beautifully haunting, ANTICHRIST features genital mutilation that is cannot be described. But, that scene comes two-thirds of the way through the film. If you can make it past the opening sequence featuring a young child falling to his death intercut with footage of Willem Dafoe's dick, you are on another plane of existence and I award you no points.
Good lord is this movie hard to sit through. Violence itself is hard to watch, but violence against children is even worse. I never thought I would see a film with violence against an unborn child. That is where I draw the line. Couple that with a brutal home invasion film and you will never go to bed without triple checking that your doors and windows are locked. And you will never, ever watch this movie again.
Gaspar Noe is another director whose appearance on this list should come as no surprise. IRREVERSIBLE is a brilliantly constructed film with a reverse narrative that works amazingly well. The story is powerful and haunting but it is the one two punch of seeing a man get his face caved in and the unflinching rape scene that earn this film the number two spot. Noe offers no cuts or edits to the rape scene which prevents you from looking away. But, it is the passersby who see the act and do nothing that haunts you more than anything.
This movie has made the top spot on several of my lists and not for any good reason. This is a disgraceful and offensive film. I sat through it to see what the fuss was all about and now I can never unsee it. There is nothing redeeming about this movie which is a shame because I want to praise the acting and cinematography, but I can find no merit in it after seeing what happens on screen. No film has ever been more difficult to watch than this one and I will never, ever watching it again.