Movies you wish you'd never seen


The death of notable filmmakers this week had me restocking my Netflix, which got me thinking about films I'd never seen, and films I wish I'd never seen. I felt guilty for months about the first R-rated film I ever saw--Firestarter, viewed after vowing silence at a friend's house, and the imagery wended its way into my dreams for weeks after. Watcher in the Woods and The Shining are perhaps what I'd term the "scariest" movies I've seen, but there are some movies just so skewed--either by abject gore or incompetence--that I do wish I'd never seen them. Hostel II is one of them.

I saw this recently, for a reason I can't completely fish out...I suppose I thought juxtaposing someone else's perceived terror with my perceived boredom would be illuminating? Who knows, but I did buy the ticket, and I did express horror when a man and his four underage charges sat in front of me, but I sat through the movie, and I'm not happy I did. Even though the whole deus ex machine third act tried to underscore the more symbolic/hyperbolic/absurdist elements of the film, I admit I've had some nightmares structured around these images...Some of which, (sorry if this is a spoiler) are featured in a previous post. I doubt I'll ever have the tolerance of Carol Clover, a Berkeley scholar who has willingly viewed 200 slasher films. In her essay, "Men, Women, and Chainsaws," she says:

For one critic, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is "the Gone With the Wind of meat movies." For another it is a "vile piece of sick crap . . . nothing but a hysterically paced, slapdash, imbecile concoction of cannibalism, voodoo, astrology, sundry hippie-esque cults, and unrelenting sadistic violence as extreme and hideous as a complete lack of imagination can possibly make it." . . .The Museum of Modern Art bought the film the same year that at least one country, Sweden, banned it.

Cultural relevance aside, are there movies you wish you'd never seen?