I've been holding onto this post for a while now. Way back in May. AV Club did a piece on films that were too painful to watch more than once, though each of the participants admitted to having watched the films they were discussing more than one time.
For Uncle P, there is only one movie too painful and disturbing to watch a second time and that's David Fincher's 1995 serial killer horror/drama Se7en.
Set in a crumbling, unnamed city where it rains all the time, Se7en concerns a serial killer named John Doe (Kevin Spacey) who is using the biblical Seven Deadly Sins as the basis for his crimes. Detectives Mills (Brad Pitt) and Somerset (Morgan Freeman) are on the case. Mills is the rookie, partnered with the near-to-retirement Somerset, who eventually befriends Mills' wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow).
As the case progresses and the two come closer to finding John Doe, the murders become more and gruesome. Five sins in, Doe turns himself over to the detectives, only to lead them to the scene of his last two murders which represent Pride and Wrath.I won't go into details here. If you seen the film, you know what I'm talking about. If not, see it and then try to erase its images from your brain...
From the opening credits of this movie, I found myself watching someone else's nightmare, something I'd only ever experienced before when I first saw Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece Apocalypse Now. Fincher creates a mood unlike anything I'd ever seen and I left the theatre literally shaken by what I'd seen.
I own a copy of Se7en on DVD, though I don't believe I've ever opened the shrink wrap on it. And while I recently caught the last heavily-edited half-hour on basic cable, I don't think I could make through a full viewing again. Se7en features some amazing performances from it's A-List cast, but the images and themes of the movie make it the only brilliant film I have never been able to fully sit through twice.
What brilliant movie (if any) has so disturbed you that you could never watch again?