Are There Any Films You Just Can't Watch?

Are There Any Films You Just Can't Watch?

When I saw the trailer for Obsessed starring Beyoncé Knowles and Ali Larter, I knew I would just have to see it. It’s not that I’m a huge fan of either of them, but even as a pacifist I like me some revenge—especially revenge on a would-be home wrecker! “Oh yeah,” I whooped to my bemused husband, “I wanna see that wife kick that girl’s a**!”

When we finally rented it, there I was, all set to watch the catfight—even though I’d read reviews that dismissed it as simply a movie put in motion to see these two pretty girls fight each other at the end—and suddenly, in the very first scene, I felt my stomach clench as Knowles pulled a small child from his car seat.

“Dammit,” I mumbled, turning it off immediately. I had no idea they had a kid in the movie—but I knew I couldn’t watch the film because the child would be used as a plot device somewhere, either kidnapped or abused or whatever by the psycho woman trying to get her guy.

Call me weak, but ever since I got pregnant I have not been able to watch movies that involve kids getting hurt. That rules out a lot of movies! I break down, I have terrible nightmares, and sometimes I’m affected for days. I actually had to stop I Am Legend at the part where the mom, infected, tried to get someone to take her child to safety. I eventually continued watching the film—after sobbing for a good ten minutes.

Is there any genre or aspect of a movie that will turn you off of it immediately? Something that, once you see it, you say, “That’s enough. I won’t see more.” I once saw a couple walk out of the theater during Untraceable early in the movie, when the little kitten is being killed. Now that one I just couldn’t get—you’re going to see a movie about a serial killer, you know people are going to be murdered—but you’re not going to watch it anymore because you didn’t know an animal would be killed? Come on!

And does choosing movies this way limit your view any way? Is it a good rule to only choose films that won’t disturb you—or are you missing out on great works of art? I did watch Schindler’s List, after all, which is considered a great achievement in film—and also portrays some horrific things happening to children.

Ratings, violence, Ben Stiller, clowns—is there anything that will make you say, “Absolutely not!” when it comes to a movie?