Movies there should be support group for

Friday, September 3, 2010 7:55 AM By Simon

You know the ones I'm talking about. The movies so tragic, so dreary, so emotionally devastating you feel compelled to make your friends watch it, just so you have someone to be miserable with. These are to varying degrees misery, see.

The Red Riding Trilogy
Three movies, each taking place in a different year, with the same general story arch. That story? The rape, torture, and murder of children and women. As our heroes dig deeper into what comes into a police conspiracy (everybody now: "This is the North, where we do what we want"). These movies have characters to represent different types of grief, misery, and emotional turmoil, but none more tragic oir devastating than Paula (Rebecca Hall), or the first film, who's ultimate outcome sums it up well: no matter how sad your story, how sympathetic you are, you'll get an unceremonious offscreen death. Or something like that.

The last film offers the tiniest ray of hope, but it is thin, and this paltry example only serves to further depress you.

Funny Games (original and US)
The merit of this movie(s) is especially debateable, but you can't argue the overwhelming cyncicism. Michael Hanake makes no secret of his disdain for you, the viewers who liked it, and you, the viewer who didn't. A family is tormented by two psychotic young men, and Hanake doesn't flinch in making you accomplice to each and every one of their sufferings, by simply sitting down and demanding it. When their eventual deaths arrive, it finally hits you that, yes, they are fictional, and yes, they are actors, but for one moment, you truly believed they were real, and that you killed them with your thirst for entertainment. Way to go.

Dancer in the Dark
Oh my god, Dancer in the Dark. A person who says they didn't burst into tears by the halfway mark is dishonest and unworthy of your love. Oh my god.

That one scene from Click
Everyone shut up.

Is there a movie out there that makes you suicidal?


Melanie's Randomness said...

I've never seen Funny games or the red riding trilogy but I agree with you on Click. What the hell was Adam Sandler thinking? That movie is soo depressing!!!! Funny People too with him is a lil over the top where it's just not funny & not cute so it's just akward.

Million dollar baby made me cry like no tomorrow & the Patriot. It was too heart wrenching.

September 3, 2010 at 8:28 AM
Alex said...

The German film The Downfall is probably the most exhaustingly depressing movie I've seen. The last half hour is just people committing suicide and killing their children so they don't have to live in a world without Nazis. It's so emotionally draining, I remember just being unable to hold a decent conversation for at least an hour after seeing it.

Requiem for a Dream messed me up too. And The Road is wayyy bleak.

September 3, 2010 at 9:33 AM
Robert said...

OMG So glad (?) to see Dancer on the Dark on this list, because I was LITERALLY shaken up for days after I watched it. During that last scene I was sobbing, it was ridiculous. Ugh. Bjork kills it though.

September 3, 2010 at 3:23 PM
Patricia ~ The Naked Writer said...

OH MAN i gotta watch dancer in the dark i have been putting it off for way too long now!!
for me, anything by tom solondz is a wrist welcome to the dollhouse, happiness
also, synechdode (probably not the right spelling) by charlie kauffman is one that makes me feeel all empty and hollow like life has no purpose or reason ...i always need a support group for that one...hello xanax...should you even watch a movie if you are required to numb your pain with booze, drugs, sex or all of the above?> hmmmm maybe that pain makes me feel alive

September 3, 2010 at 8:05 PM
Simon said...

Melanie: Click wasn't really that depressing, just that one scene. Funny People was heartbreaking, though.

Alex: I read The Road. I can't bring myself to see the movie. The Downfall, I think I've heard of it.

Robert: Dancer in the Dark is so mind numbingly sad I failed my finals.

Patricia: Anything Charlie Kaufman makes you feel like a failure. If a movie is just sad for the sake of it, then no. Maybe it's to boost med sales.

September 3, 2010 at 10:01 PM
Anonymous said...

The scene in Muriel's Wedding where she sits in front of the mirror singing Dancing Queen - I always find that incredibly heartbreaking. In fact, I'm sad right now just thinking about it.
I remember in secondary school they made us watch Lorenzo's Oil over the course of about three classes. Needless to say, those were three dark, dark classes...

September 6, 2010 at 7:38 AM
GoodOldParanoia said...

Well, I'm sorry to bring this out but do you remember when Simba was trying to wake his father up but he couldn't because his dad was dead? I was 8 years old and that scene almost KILLED me, man, I needed a support group back then.

September 6, 2010 at 4:02 PM
Jason H. said...

I think anything by Lars von Trier counts. But especially Antichrist, his latest.

September 11, 2010 at 10:05 PM