Some of the most uncomfortable films you can watch

Martha Marcy May...

These are some of the most unconformable films I’ve seen recently… The kind of films where you can’t move from your seat afterwards or when you do, you feel like having a shower straight afterwards.

  1. Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.
  2. Requiem for a Dream
    The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island individuals are shattered when their addictions become stronger.
  3. Shame
    In New York City, Brandon’s carefully cultivated private life which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction is disrupted when his sister Sissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.
  4. Irréversible
    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.
  5. Trust
    A teenage girl is targeted by an online sexual predator.
  6. Hard Candy
    A mature 14-year old girl meets a charming 32-year old photographer on the Internet. Suspecting that he is a pedophile, she goes to his home in an attempt to expose him.

Each film has a unique reason why they are deeply uncomfortable, challenging and unsettling but each one is a masterpiece in its own way. Certainly worth watching each at least once… I also use the words uncomfortable as the films are not nasty or sick, they linger in the air and slowly choke you. For example, Trust is partially nasty, depraved or evil, but its the after effect of seeing someone whose obviously being taken advantage of feeling pity for her predator. This is almost exactly the same for Martha…

The psychological effect Shame and Requiem for a Dream is intense and although you don’t actually see anything depraved or so dark. They both put American Psycho to total shame (although I understand American Psycho is meant to be a very black comedy). They for me also totally swipe horror films out the way. For me I could sit and watch Nightmare on Elm Street without flinching and sleep soundly. But Requiem for a dream gives me chills each and everytime.

I guess a good example is Trust vs Untracable?

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.