There are films we watch once and promise never to return, not because they were terrible, but because they explored such deep subjects that left us traumatized. Although we’ve assured ourselves never of returning to those movies, they deserve some flowers. Here, we explore 15 films people wish never to rewatch.
1 – Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
This Japanese animated war tragedy movie based on the book by Akiyuki Nosaka will completely break your heart over and over. The film tells the story of two siblings who are separated from their parents during World War II and must completely depend on each other to struggle through the sad realities of war as orphans. People have decided never to rewatch this movie because it’s entirely tragic from start to finish.
2 – Precious (2009)
Viewers who have seen the film Precious agree that the movie’s subject is too heavy for their mental health. In the most ordinary sense, the protagonist’s unflinching portrayal of abuse and adversity is an ode to perseverance but also a hard pill to swallow. The storyline follows the titular character, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been impregnated for the second time by her father and has to endure bullying and abuse from her vicious mother.
3 – Atonement (2007)
Sharing their experience after seeing the movie, one person says, “[I] sobbed like a baby after and as moving as this story is, I’ll never put myself through that again emotionally.” We agree. Atonement presents a heart-wrenching tale of a sister who finds her sister and her lover in a compromising position and, therefore, decides to falsely accuse the sister’s lover of a criminal offense. It is based on the 2005 novel of the same title by Ian McEwan.
4 – Irréversible (2002)
The traumatic experience of seeing Irréversible is truly irreversible. The movie is brutal in its display of abuse, fetishism, romanticism, and exploitation of suffering women. The plot follows a woman’s lover and ex-lover joining forces to fight after she is brutally abused.
5 – Moonlight (2016)
In Moonlight, a young boy named Chiron is taught to carve his own path by Juan, a drug lord. Moonlight is indeed one of the finest films out there, and while some may condone a rewatch, others have refused to because the movie, at its best, tugged with their emotions, even without trying too hard.
6 – Mysterious Skin (2004)
What comes to mind when you watch someone view childhood abuse as love in the years that come by? Mysterious Skin, a sad, terrifying story of abuse, employs a subtle approach to showcasing an overwhelming tale full of emotional weight. It’s not many cinephiles’ cup of tea.
7 – Hereditary (2018)
Asides from being a horror movie, the various themes that Hereditary portrays are deeply disturbing. “It put me in such a bad place for a few days after I watched it,” says a filmaholic. It centers on Annie and her family members, who have barely dried their mourning tears when strange things manifest, revealing horrifying truths about the family’s ancestry.
8 – Martyrs (2008)
This French horror movie tells the story of two young women who have resolved to take vengeance into their own hands and bloodily execute their childhood abusers. This film delves into themes of torture and suffering, pushing dreadful boundaries; it’s why many viewers dread a viewing repeat.
9 – Promising Young Woman (2020)
The promising young woman is Cassie, whose life is the exact opposite of what it appears to be. Living a secret double life at night, Cassie is equally wickedly smart and cunning. Don’t be fooled by its title; the film has nothing to do with a romcom featuring a boss lady. This movie will break you — the ending especially had people in a flood of tears.
10 – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a poignant portrayal of innocence during the Holocaust. It is a heart-wrenching reminder of the depth of suffering in the world, making it a hard movie to revisit. The depths of human suffering is displayed through the characterization of the protagonist, an eight-year-old boy in the rural parts of Poland, where he befriends a more privileged boy after his father’s promotion.
11 – Inside (2007)
Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s movie Inside, starring super actors Béatrice Dalle and Alysson Paradis, tells the story of a pregnant woman who, four months after her husband’s death, is terrorized by a scissor-wielding psychopath on the eve of Christmas. What could be scarier than that, and why go through the horror twice? You might not want to return to this movie when you see how disturbing the pictures are.
12 – A Serbian Film (2010)
If you haven’t seen this movie, you’re among the few lucky ones on Earth, according to some movie geeks. There are certain degrees of terrifying, and this movie certainly is the highest degree. It is about an older adult film actor who decides to take part in an art project in order to leave the industry for good, only to learn that he has been enlisted to work on a snuff film with extreme themes.
13 – Antichrist (2009)
The plot follows a dysfunctional couple, one of whom happens to be a psychiatrist. After the tragic death of their son, a man takes his distraught wife to a cabin in the woods where she previously spent a summer with the boy after deciding that she must confront her worries. She becomes more deranged once they arrive and begins abusing her husband and herself. The movie may be gorgeous in all its ways, but it’s even more triggering and upsetting.
14 – Dancer in the Dark (2000)
We’re used to happy musicals — well, here is a sad one. This movie is raw in its depiction of the struggles of womanhood, leaving a lingering sense of melancholy that many people find too emotionally tasking for them. In the movie, a Czech immigrant who moves to the USA slowly becomes blind and turns to music, the universal place of solace.
15 – Oldboy (2003)
Oldboy has been traumatizing viewers since 2003. Boy, is it difficult to endure the haunting feeling produced by the dark and twisted narrative conveyed in this movie for a second time. Save not only your eyes from the trauma this movie brings but your mind and heart too.
Boloere Seibidor, fondly called B.S. is a Nigerian-based writer and poet. Her favorite topics to cover include music, especially Hip-Hop, film, lifestyle, and fashion. She’s been published by Feral Journal, Fantasy Magazine, The Temz Review, and most notably, Wealth of Geeks. She enjoys romantic dinners, movie nights, and touring new sites. When she’s not writing, she’s delving back in time to the underground world of Hip-Hop, watching TikTok, or visiting the cinema.