Disturbing Movies

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Jayski, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. reeler

    reeler Forum Resident

    If a film is done right and has passion is what counts to me, an independent dark disturbing film can be a far more visceral experience than a commercial stupid "feel good" movie- actually I find stupid assembly line happy/feel good films to be more disturbing than a well done dark film.
    Beyond the personal choice of turning on or off, the sensitivity or correctness of visual art is beyond my control. Anything can be put onto film or video and finds its audience- otherwise we would be dealing with censorship.
    On the OP's question, even after all this time I still rank "Straw Dogs" among my favorite "dark" movies.
    Grant likes this.
  2. driverdrummer

    driverdrummer Forum Resident

    Irmo, SC
    Da Da Dude looks like a Lady!!!
  3. reeler

    reeler Forum Resident

    Saw one last night that's definitely a candidate.
    "Chained" by Jennifer Lynch. If David Lynch is sometimes dark/disturbing, his daughter is pitch black.
    Aardvark23 likes this.
  4. Rocker

    Rocker Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    I just watched that one last night and it was a total snooze-fest. Nothing in the film disturbed me at all, just bored me to tears! :p
  5. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    Well that's because you're even more warped than I am! ;)
    Rocker likes this.
  6. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Geebung, Australia
    Weird ........ No rom-coms for Willem !
    vince likes this.
  7. Rocker

    Rocker Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    Normally I would agree with you... ;) But in the case of The Bunny Game, it really was a total yawn-inducing experience. There were numerous stretches in the film where literally *nothing* happens.... and some of the scenes where something *was* happening were so repetitive and monotonous that they were just as boring as everything else! For a movie that was only 76 minutes, it felt like an eternity. :p
  8. Claus LH

    Claus LH Forum Resident

    I have seen a number of the "hard ones" over the years:
    "Irreversible" Art-house horror, told in reverse....strong film with a sense of doom hanging over it. About "that one scene"....it goes on and on, and you just watch and watch. It's realistic and unbearable.
    "Cannibal Holocaust" A sick exploitation film with animal abuse, once is enough.
    "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (Hooper) Brilliant exercise in tension and rotten atmosphere, really works well.
    "Audition" Elegant, deceptive film that springs its trap and doesn't let go, cringe-inducing.
    "A Serbian Film" It's exploitation, but it is very well made; like "Salo" it takes its outrages so far over the line that it becomes a new kind of reality for the viewer.
    "I Spit on Your Grave" Like 'Chainsaw' it uses its low budget and grubby look to amplify its shocks. Horrors from the 70es and 80es benefitted greatly from shooting on film, which, when done on the cheap, gave the right unshaven ugliness to the proceedings.
    "Human Centipede 1" Terrible, no-talent film that only wants to be disgusting. It succeeds, but is otherwise junk.

    Four not mentioned so far (that I have noticed), the first two about the same subject:

    "Men Behind the Sun" Chinese/Taiwanese film made for (ostensibly) the right reasons: outrage at the secret experiments the Japanese Unit 731 conducted on Chinese and Russian prisoners during WW2.
    Like many gory films, the film making is fairly rudimentary, but it adds to the queasiness of the thing. Terrible scenes (and varying effects quality) but overall a ghastly, depressing affair. The bonus disc in my set has interviews with some of the surviving soldiers who perpetrated these horrors, and that, in its own quiet way, is as unsettling as the film.

    "Philosophy of a Knife" Monumentally long, gory and loud Russian/American film that, again, deals with Unit 731. The combination of horrible imagery, misguided would-be "auteurship" on the part of the director and a sense that the film wants to be taken not just seriously but SERIOUSLY makes it an endurance test that I don't want to be subjected to again.

    "Come and See". This Russian WW2 drama is about the madness of war as seen through the eyes of a young village boy. The film is horrifying for its war scenes and for the gradual feeling of insanity that comes over the boy and the viewer. Masterful film making, but not for the squeamish.

    "The Melancholy of the Angels". A very deceptive title for a very rough film. This German cult film is in "Serbian" territory, in terms of having no limits to what can be shown, truly depraved. I have seen a very poor copy of it; I don't know if anyone has released a decent-looking disc (if anyone actually wants one...)

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  9. Cheepnik

    Cheepnik "Digs" "beat" "poetry"

    Earthlings. I have a strong stomach, and I had to stop it after 45 minutes.
  10. Rocker

    Rocker Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    I've got all those films in my collection, except for the last two.... although Come and See has been on my wishlist for quite some time.
    (I did a quick check on Melancholy and it doesn't appear to be available on DVD or BR at all).
  11. Rocker

    Rocker Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    After reading the summary, that's one film I don't plan on ever seeing.... I can't handle animal cruelty. :sigh:
  12. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ, USA
    I always thought the cop torture scene in Reservoir Dogs was deeply disturbing. I liked the movie but I didn't like that scene.
  13. Larry Mc

    Larry Mc Forum Dude

    It's awful what goes on with the treating of animals by us. I just can't watch and we, as a people, should be ashamed at what goes on. What
    makes it even worse is these animals are smarter than most folks think, so it's even more cruel. A fish can swim in a tank because it doesn't
    remember one side from the other, these animals know what's going on. Be glad you can't watch that stuff, it shows you are a compassionate
    human being. Those workers have to be sociopaths or psychopaths, who else could do that?
  14. Rocker

    Rocker Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    There's some pretty yucky stuff in the Death Scenes trilogy.
  15. Khaki F

    Khaki F Forum Resident

    Kenosha, WI. USA
    Capote is a disturbing movie. Then again, it should be. Years ago, Flora Rheta Schreiber (Sybil) wrote a book called The Shoemaker that had a similar impact. It was very difficult to read.

    What both works have in common, is that they dispel the myth of murderers being super brilliant geniuses like Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal seems like a cartoon in comparison. The people who really do these things are confused, disorganized, and sometimes express remorse about their acts, even to the point of wondering what there was inside them that allowed them to do it. This makes them far more human and real than any made-up character. Another example is the older film The Boston Strangler.

    So yes, Capote is a disturbing film, but one of real significance. Guys like John Doe in Seven don't really exist. Even in Friedkin's Rampage (another true story), Charles Reece is so flawed by his own version of reality that it's difficult to picture him as someone who is in control of much of anything. He's delusional. In real life, murder is not fun, or entertaining, or even especially creative and well crafted. It's ugly, awkward, horrific, clumsy, and ill-conceived.

    A film like Monster does a disservice to this reality by romanticizing Aileen Wuorous, making her a sympathetic victim of circumstance. Do your own homework on this if you like. Wuornos was not a sweet person. Her partner was not the woebegone waif that Christina Ricci played. Somehow, in some cases, these people have legends grow up around them, and people buy the legend instead of the reality. Capote reminds us of just how awful the reality is. that's why it matters.
  16. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident

    Montrose, CO
    The bolded above definitely warrants discussion. Murderers fall into two groups: those with antisocial personality disorder, and those without. One of the defining criteria for someone with antisocial personality disorder is: "lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another." This according to DSM-5 (= Diagnostic & Statistical Manual, 5th ed.). This type of personality disorder is widespread among criminals and/or the federal prison population.

    Antisocial personality disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia »

    But then again, some who commit murders do not met the criteria of antisocial personality disorder. For this latter group, yes they sometimes express remorse for their acts. The bigger point here is that some murders, or violent crimes, are not committed by individuals with any clear history of mental illness, and even further, many of these individuals simply do not met criteria for classification of mental illness. This observation would seem to be out of step with that segment of our society which wants everything to be simple, and therefore everybody who commits murder or a violent crime has a mental illness, and if we had better mental health care, such crimes would be greatly reduced. The data just doesn't support this. Note:

    "Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine and an expert on the connection between violence and mental illness, said in a recent interview with ProPublica, “the risk factors for a mass shooting are shared by a lot of people who aren’t going to do it ... if you paint the picture of a young, isolated, delusional young man ... that probably describes thousands of other young men.” He cites a 2001 study of mass shooters that found three out of four had no psychiatric history and only 6% were judged to have been psychotic at the time of the mass murder.

    Swanson says that even if schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression were cured, violent crime in this nation would decrease by only about 4 percent."
    Blaming Gun Violence on the Mentally Ill Is Easy, but Ignorant »
    Grant and Khaki F like this.
  17. gitters

    gitters Forum Resident

    Cannibal Feroux
    I Spit on Your Grave
    Last House on the Left
    Human Centipede
  18. sean monaghan

    sean monaghan Forum Resident

    Do TV movies count ? If so then I'm nominating:
    The Day After & Threads one of the two most depressing and disturbing films I ever seen.
    Holy Diver likes this.
  19. Rocker

    Rocker Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    I can't believe it's 2016 and Threads is *still* not available on DVD. :sigh:
    sean monaghan likes this.
  20. lobo

    lobo Music has always been a matter of Energy to me...

    I found "The Baby" (1973) really disturbing. Something about the whole story... Good actors too.
  21. Khaki F

    Khaki F Forum Resident

    Kenosha, WI. USA
    Well first of all, this is an amazing response. I hadn't expected there would be much interest in going in depth on the subject, and to say your insight is refreshing is something of an understatement. Thank you.

    I suppose, for the sake of discussion, it would be necessary to rule out murder done in anger and assassins. There are plenty of angry people out there, and, if crossed, I'm sure they're capable of hurting someone, and I'm sure many of them don't have a diagnosis. They may have had too much to drink or something, or may have had problems with alcohol or substance abuse, but that problem would be best left as another subject for another time, I think. People who assassinate may lack remorse, and the action is deliberate and calculated, so that probably doesn't belong in this discussion either.

    The stuff that films are often made of, from Psycho, to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to Megan Is Missing, deal with people who either don't function well in society, or function outside of society. An exchange from Mamet's film House Of Games comes to mind:

    Prison Ward Patient: Y'know, I know there are people who are normal.
    Dr. Margaret Ford: Are there?
    Patient: Yes, there are. But...
    Dr. Margaret Ford: But what?
    Patient: But I don't know what those people do.

    And that, I think, describes the mindset I'm talking about pretty well. Many suicides go undetected until after the fact, too. And I believe that people who disregard their own lives are capable of disregarding the lives of others. Family Annihilators and a number of School Shooters have fallen into this category. The ones who kill themselves after they've killed others. Lack of empathy may be due to circumstances besides mental illness. Feelings of hopelessness, desperation, and despair can be brought on by any number of very real circumstances that have nothing to do with a preexisting condition. Like the guy who loses his job after 30 years and goes home and shoots himself.

    There aren't that many disturbing movies about those people, though, so I'd like to move on a bit, if that's okay.

    I wanted to look up a couple of quotes from a couple of cases before replying to you. I spent an hour or two tonight searching for them, and couldn't find them. That's fine. I can make my points without them. What matters though, is that looking for them meant paging through articles on the people and the crimes involved, and here's the thing. It made me ill.

    There are people whom it doesn't make ill.

    And with that thought, I'll turn this back over to you. Obviously, I don't have lots of answers, and obviously I agree that the subject merits further discussion.
    townsend likes this.
  22. PhilJol

    PhilJol Forum Resident

    Gaspar Noe's Irreversible, really disturbing
  23. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

    The Day After was really something when it came out. We were all afraid it was going to happen.
    sean monaghan likes this.
  24. Matheusms

    Matheusms Forum Resident

    The glacial trilogy by Michael Haneke. There's some Blood and gore (animal cruelty) on Benny's Video but the real dark stuff comes in the subject matter. Three necessary but very hard to watch films.

    BLUESJAZZMAN I Love Blues, Jazz, Rock, My Son & Honest People

    Essex , England.
    Oldboy - Original Korean version.

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