If you are anything like me, you will like a good jaunt to the Cinema. The anticipation of a new block buster or awaiting a fright from the latest Scare fest, the end result is generally the same; a great day / evening out and that buzzing feeling after seeing something special.
There are those times though that you, and maybe some of your friend group, or even partner, think you want to see something more sophisticated, something darker, thought provoking and altogether more mentally scaring.
The film is a master piece, well shot, engaging and indeed, thought provoking, but instead of that warm buzz and the excitement, you all leave quiet, barely looking at each other and unwilling to be the first person to discuss what you just saw.
With this in mind we at GPHQ have been trying to think of 10 films that were GREAT but you’ll probably never watch again.
A John Hilcoat adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy book by the same name, myself and a few friends, having been told about it by another friend about it, decided that, despite the warnings of its grim, post apocalyptic setting, that we wanted something different to watch, and hey.. it had Viggo Mortensen in it.. Anything with Aragorn couldn’t be that bad right? Wrong…
The Road IS a Great film, don’t get me wrong, and apparently is slightly less bleak than the book of the same name, but as an experience it is grim, dark, joyless and just out and out traumatic.
The fact that highest point in the movie is when they find some food and then continues to go down hill from there, is testament to the well crafted nature of this movie but the exact reason I haven’t seen it again and probably wont for the foreseeable future.
Great film just emotionally draining.
Girl on a Train
Girl on a train, based on the book by Paula Hawkins, of the same name, and staring Emily Blunt is a psychological thriller about Alcoholism, abuse, sex and murder.
It’s a recent movie so I won’t spoil the plot or twist for you but Emily Bunts struggle with her past, her Ex and alcoholism is pretty real, and in some cases uncomfortable to watch.
Having left the film, my self and my Girlfriend didn’t really know what to make of it; a good film yes, but felt as if it was better placed on channel 4 on a week day eve.
A well shot and interesting movie but unfortunately not one I would go back to see.#
Peter Allison’ s Choice
2001: A Space Odyssey
A collaboration between Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick sounds like an amazing idea. The result was 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was described “as exciting as the discovery of a new dimension in life” by The Boston Globe.
In reality the film has minimal plot, no dialogue for the first thirty minutes and an acid trip in the final segment. That is not to say 2001 is a bad film and should be avoided. Instead, 2001 is a visual experience, one which realistically portrays life in space; just do not expect to make sense of it.
Cristina Bogdan’s choice
J’ai tué ma mère.
It’s a brilliant film, considering the writer/director’s age at the time, however it’s emotionally draining and it’s better appreciated if it’s only experienced once, preferably not when you’re having the worst day ever.
Andy Haigh’s Choice
From acclaimed director, Ben Wheatley, and based on the somewhat notorious novel by J.G Ballard it is a nightmarishly dark satirical black comedy centered around the life of Dr. Robert Laing played by Tom Hiddleston. Totally divisive amongst audiences and critics for its incoherent nature, High Rise is still undeniably a worthy entry in Wheatley’s oeuvre, especially for its use of Portishead’s take on Abba’s SOS but not something you’d watch again in a hurry.
Dave Foy’s Choices
Part of the 00s ‘New French Extremity’ horror revolution, which also brought us Haute Tension (2003), Frontier(s) (2007) and Inside (2007) – Martyrs is less a movie, and more a cinematic breezeblock being dropped onto your senses for 94 minutes.
Its unrelenting stream of violence, torture and suffering contains some of the most genuinely unsettling scenes I’ve seen in the horror genre in years. It also contains an ending so bleak, that it makes the climax of A Serbian Film look like the end of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
That said it’s an incredibly well made movie. Terrifying, thought-provoking, and very memorable – it’s a movie that I very much enjoyed, but still can’t bring myself to watch again – which for an experienced horror and gore fanatic, is a strange thing. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to spoil or dilute the effect of my first viewing, or maybe the final image of Anna is just still too raw in my psyche.
Trust the French to be this messed up!
Danish director, Lars Von Trier, has always been a polarising figure in modern cinema. To some he is the embodiment of ‘Dogme 95’ – a movement of avant-garde, experimental and confrontational film-making, which shies away from the influence and capital of the major studios, and uses low-budget craft to portray a sense of realness with award-winning results.
To others he is a crack-pot talentless hack, making monotonous and pretentious movies, and focusing more on making his actors suffer relentlessly during the film-making process and less about instilling his projects with an interesting and coherent plot.
I don’t really fall on either side – I’ve attempted to watch most of his movies, find most of them to be a bit dull but well-crafted, and then end up turning them off. There is one exception though. Antichrist is Von Trier’s bastardised version of a horror movie, set around the story of a couple who have isolated themselves in a rural cabin, in a seemingly hopeless attempt to deal with the grief of losing a child.
What follows is an exploration of the true depths of suffering, both in a mental and physical sense – as well as Von Trier’s own insecurities and fears regarding the outside world (specifically the cruelty that exists in nature/the animal kingdom) which impacted heavily on his own personal depression during the production. It’s a visually stunning film – full of terrifying, freaky, repulsive and yet strangely sensual imagery.
There are a few scenes of torture/gore that would rival any of the Saw or Hostel franchises, but it never feels gratuitous – instead it is meant to be a physical representation of the mental devastation and frustration that the couple feels. The main performances are good – Charlotte Gainsborough’s portrayal of a character being overcome by hysteria could have fallen into over-the-top territory, but instead attracts some level of pity, no matter what cruel things she says and does. But Antichrist’s bleak and abrasive tone makes it a film that is extremely difficult to revisit – I bought it on dvd at release, and have only managed one viewing – have no real interest in going back.
Josh Varney’s Choices
The Count of Monte Cristo
The 2002 film adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel. follows the general plot of the book which tells the story of Edmond Dantes, a sailor who is falsely accused of treason and imprisoned at the Chateau dif by his best friend Fernand Mondego, who wants Dantes’ girlfriend Mercedes for himself.
There Dantes hatches a plan for revenge not as himself but as the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo.
Betrayal, revenge and redemption set in 1815 France, we can expect nothing less than swashbuckling sword fights and brilliant manipulation from Dumas, a la The Three Musketeers.
Its worth the run time but like most of Dumas novel to film adaptations once you’ve seen it you don’t really need to see it again.
The Cable Guy
just…..pain. Nothing but pain. If you haven’t experienced Jim Carrey as the over indulgent “cable guy” giving Matthew Broderick the ‘fatal attraction’ vibe then…..you don’t get off that easy.
Experience 1hr and 35 minutes of screaming torture like the rest of us had to coming off of Carrey’s success of Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber. We were lied to dammit!!
Plot? Well Oddball cable installer Chip Douglas (Jim Carrey) attempts to strike up a friendship with customer Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick) by offering him premium channels at no cost. When Steven rebuffs Chip’s frequent need for companionship, Chip goes from a mildly eccentric acquaintance to a full-fledged psycho stalker.
Though it’s increasingly apparent to Steven that the cable guy is dangerous, convincing his friends, family and the authorities of that is another matter entirely.
A good film but not one I’ll probably watch again.
Lianne Gray’s Choice
Grave of the Fireflies
Studio Ghibli have made some of the best animated feature films in the world, a number of which are my favourite movies – just not Grave of the Fireflies; the beautifully crafted, ugly-cry inducing, heart wrenching animated masterpiece.
Do I want to watch this movie again? Well, the last time I saw it I had to hide under my duvet for a good 2 days binge watching Friends and eating my weight in custard creams. Then felt guilty about that fact that I was binge eating anything because of Setsuko.
So yeah, not something I will watch again, any time soon.
Agree with these choices? Disagree? Have more? Then comment below!