11 Movies That Will Not Set ‘The Mood’
In response to my previous post about 25 ‘alternative’ movies that were pleasant enough to watch with your significant other, I thought it only fair to include 11 that you probably should not watch with them.
These are films that still have an element of ‘relationship’ about them, possibly even love in some instances, but really should be avoided if you are trying to set the mood. They are as the title suggests, completely inappropriate.
Now I am not stating that these films are in any way bad per say. I highly rate and recommend each of these, and I do not want this list to act as a deterrent for viewing these films at all. However, if your aim is to find something enjoyable, comfortable and gives you that lovely coupley feeling inside then you are not going to find them here. Similarly, I am sure there are much more inappropriate films out there, but these are the 11 that came to mind.
As with before, let me know if you agree/disagree or have any other favourites of your own, alternatively just tweet me @movieblort.
Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.
Gaspar Noé’s films usually push the envelope, but none more than Irréversible. The film shows the events in reverse order, starting with the conclusion of a horrendous night out for a couple and ending with how it all started. What happens in-between as per the description is stomach churning, brutal and almost unwatchable. Many have walked out of this film, it has been labelled as sick and twisted, but too much of what is sick and twisted is glorified in cinema nowadays. This film is frighteningly realistic, and if you are offended, upset or sickened by it then it has done its job. Arty, romantic, French film, it is not.
Available on US Netflix / Amazon Instant Video (US).
A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.
This Japanese horror film by Takashi Miike starts out innocently enough, but after all the soul-searching is out of the way, it is near impossible to predict what direction this film goes into. It has developed somewhat of a cult following since its release on the infamous ‘Tartan Asia Extreme’ label, but even fans of similar releases like Oldboy & Battle Royale should be wary of the ghastly final third, enough to kill any vibe you had tried to create.
Available on Amazon Prime UK
Nymphomaniac 1 & 2
1: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.
2: The continuation of Joe’s sexually dictated life delves into the darker aspects of her adulthood, obsessions and what led to her being in Seligman’s care.
Lars Von Trier is not one to shy away from controversy, but his latest work released across two volumes was challenging to watch for a few reasons. While the first volume is quite light-hearted, funny and riddled with bad accents and nudity, the second is an altogether much bleaker affair. It delves into areas where Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character cannot be satisfied with the happy-go-lucky shagfest she had in Nymphomaniac Vol.1, and must look for other ways for stimulation. While it is a far cry from ‘glorified porn’, the tits, penises, vaginas, blood, semen, violence and fully penetrative sex gets a little bit much after 4 hours of viewing.
Available on Netflix, Amazon and iTunes.
As he helps a young artist with her upcoming exhibition, the owner of a mannequin shop’s deadly, suppressed desires come to the surface.
It would be quite easy to simply post horror films on this list, but horror can be enjoyed as a couple. If you’re both into being scared, violence and gore, then you would clearly go and look for that type of film. However, this remake (hands up, haven’t seen the original) is so inherently disgusting and disturbing, that I felt like it deserved a shout. Starring Elijah Wood, best known for his role as Frodo, his work on Happy Feet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, Green Street (that terrible football hooligan film he did), he is not your typical serial killer lead. You could easily be mistaken for choosing this film when flicking through Netflix, when you catch his name and the synopsis reads about him helping out a girl with her art exhibit. “How quaint“, you think, “this will be lovely to watch“. You will regret your decision when you realise it is a POV horror/slasher movie where he scalps women to put their hair on mannequins. You have been warned.
Available on Netflix, Amazon and iTunes.
A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.
An expertly crafted psychological thriller, with a significant nod to the likes of Hitchcock, it demonstrates the darker side of mental health and prescription medication. While a thriller may not be the most controversial choice of a movie, the strain on the relationship between Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum, and the downward spiral these impending events have on those around them is enough to depress anyone. Great film, but maybe pick something else.
Available on Amazon & iTunes
Refusing to let anything spoil their romantic weekend break, a young couple confront a gang of loutish youths with terrifyingly brutal consequences.
A nice, romantic weekend away turns into one of the most mortifying films in recent times. Starring a young Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, Unbroken), the film resembles a hooded version of Deliverance in which a group of chavs end up ruining Michael Fassbenders holiday with Kelly Reilly. Your evening will be ruined too if you watch this film, there is nothing pleasant about it and the sickening feeling lasts well after the film has finished. It is a brilliant British thriller/horror, save it to the list, and watch it later.
Available on Amazon Video & iTunes.
A family on a ski holiday in the French Alps find themselves staring down an avalanche during lunch one day; in the aftermath, their dynamic has been shaken to its core, with a question mark hanging over their patriarch in particular.
I wrote about Force Majeure last month, and while I loved the film, rarely has a film divided opinion as well as this one. The strain on the couple’s relationship is simple in premise, but due to the extremity of the situation, the existing cracks are enhanced to an unbearable degree. What would you do in their situation? Is it an over-reaction, and what is the real problem in the relationship? You could debate it for hours, but it boils down to the fact that you just do not know until you are in their situation. Nothing kills the mood like watching a marriage break down on-screen for just shy of 2 hours, and while the film itself is a beautiful and entertaining watch, the misery will extend beyond the couples on-screen and into your living room.
Available on US iTunes, US Netflix and cinemas April 10th.
Enter The Void
A U.S. drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.
A second film from Gaspar Noé on this list, and it holds a lot of similarities to Irreversible, only this one is easier to stomach. Shot from a first person viewpoint, this neon-infused drug trip of a movie set in Tokyo is disorientating and weird. The relationship of the brother and sister goes beyond real life, and in the afterlife the brother oversees his sisters subsequent life choices, and we experience the complete lack of control he now possesses in contrast to the close relationship they previously held. It will leave you either in a state of confusion and euphoria, or boredom and lethargy. In the directors own words;
“the whole movie is a dream of someone who read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and heard about it before being [shot by a gun]. It’s not the story of someone who dies, flies and is reincarnated, it’s the story of someone who is stoned when he gets shot and who has an intonation of his own dream.“
I love this movie, but it’s divisive and long. Complete vibe killer for many people.
Available on Netflix US & iTunes.
Three generations of men, including a pervert that constantly seeks for new kinds of satisfaction, an obese speed eater and a passionate embalmer.
When I first watched this Hungarian movie, I did not know what to expect. After watching it, I still did not quite understand what I had watched. This particular strand of horror, ‘Body Horror’ as it’s categorised in this essay, is quite frankly one of the most grotesque things I have seen, and it was all the more funny for it. Containing scenes of bestiality, morbid obesity and self-mutilation, nothing can quite prepare you for what you are about to watch. There is a political message hidden in here, but without a brief Hungarian history lesson you will be hard pressed to find it. Furthermore, the sickly scenes that take place supersede any type of relationship subplot (Man & Fantasy, Man & Wife, Man & Father), and if this was a film you chose to set ‘the mood’, you would almost certainly not be able to pick the next film.
Available on Amazon Instant Video
Requiem for a Dream
The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions become stronger.
One of the most recognisable films by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler), Requiem for a Dream chronicles the relationship that four individuals have with each other, and their respective vices. Each has a relatively inspirational dream; to be on TV, to not worry about money, open up a store, move out of a bad area. The road to get there however is laced with addiction, danger and nightmarish delusions. Each of them is put through physical, mental and emotional turmoil in order to try to achieve their dreams, instead a nauseatingly grim downward spiral occurs taking all of them with it.
It will take a couple of days to recover from watching this film, despite being beautifully shot and immensely powerful, a cold shower is all you will want after seeing Requiem for a Dream.
Available on Amazon Prime and iTunes.
Five months in the life of a pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement.
One of those films that leaves you with a distinct sickly feeling, and you wish you had never watched it. Uncomfortable viewing due to its sheer simplicity and restraint in handling such a vulgar yet very real subject matter. This felt more like a horror film that took that moment where your stomach turns, but dragged it out for a full 90 minutes. It really is a film that will leave you speechless for so many reasons.
Available on Amazon Instant Video & iTunes.
Fantastic list! I haven’t seen Taxidermia yet, but it sounds really intriguing. Will watch it as soon as possible.
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This is the funniest excuse for a list – more like warning!
Haha, I was inspired to do it by a friend of mine who accidentally chose Maniac when picking a film on Netflix with a girl he was trying to impress. Needless to say the entire thing ended in a shambles.
These are all really good films though, just watch them on your own!
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great list! and I had the same thing happen to me aha so your friend is not alone
Haha. Amazing. Any others you would add to the list?
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Umm possibly American Psycho, platoon, a clockwork orange, United 93… And yea I can’t really think of any more at the moment haha
love requiem for a dream and side effects
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