8. Let the Right One In
The movie: This film came out at the height of all the vampire fandom, but it sets itself apart by being way better than a tween fantasy, despite starring two tweens. Oscar (KareHedebrant) is an outcast. Constantly picked on at school by bullies, he has fantasies about being big and strong enough to exact his revenge.
Enter Eli (Lea Leandersson), a girl who will not only talk to Oskar, but also appears to have super-human strength. At first it may seem like the budding romance between the two is heartwarming, but it soon becomes apparent that Eli is perfect for Oskar, in that they’re both monsters. They bond over inflicting pain upon others while healing the anguish inside them.
Why not a date movie: On the surface the relationship between Eli and Oskar seems alarmingly innocent, but when you realize that Eli is decades older than Oskar and needs a human servant to survive, the film becomes more about parasitism in relationships than about quirky tweens trying to make it work.
Only watch if: You are trying to tell your date that you want him to become your personal servant.
7. Bicycle Thieves
The movie: One of the premier examples of Italian neorealism, it was filmed on location in Rome, with crumbling buildings and hungry, broken down, grizzled Italians. One of the tenets of neorealism is a high degree of authenticity, so most of the actors appearing in the film are not actually actors, but rather just people on the street.
The story is deceptively simple. Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) lucks out and gets a job putting up posters across Rome. Work is sparse in the city, and Antonio sees this as a way to keep food on the table for his family. He needs a bike for the job, and is forced to pawn the families bedding in order to afford one. During the first day of work, the bike gets stolen. His hope pedals away with the bicycle, and he spends the rest of the film dejectedly wandering the streets of Rome with his son Bruno (Enzo Staioli) searching for it.
Why not a date movie: The sadness of the city and its inhabitants is palpable, and though the film was released nearly 70 years ago, it still packs a wallop. Seeing this much hardship on display will effectively crush any positive vibes established earlier on a date.
Only watch if: your date gets turned on by realistic human misery.
6. The Fly
The Movie: Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is a brilliant inventor. After years of work he has created a pair of teleportation pods, and in his elation decides to show it to journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis). She is suitably impressed, and the two begin a relationship. Unfortunately, soon afterwards Seth decides to test the pods out himself, and his DNA gets spliced with a fly. The rest of the film shows the horrifying transformation his body and mind goes through.
Why not a date movie: A stand-out example of the body horror genre, this film can be seen as a metaphor for disease and aging. Look at it from a relationship context, however, and it can be read as an exaggeration of the way people change throughout relationships. Show it to a date, and you will essentially be telling her that you are planning on changing dramatically (and probably impregnating her with maggot babies).
Only watch if: Your date is an entomologist/Goldblum enthusiast.
5. Only God Forgives
The movie: A twisted take on the revenge genre. A shady club runner rapes and murders a 16 year old girl and then gets murdered by the girl’s father at the instruction of Lieutenant Chang. The club runner’s motherCrystal (Kristen Scott Thomas) demands that her remaining son Julian (Ryan Gosling) take revenge on Chang and the girl’s father. Julian is chock full of sexual repression, no doubt due to Crystal’s inappropriately aggressive sexual advances. She never hesitates to degrade him, but will then turn around and sensuously caress his body.
Why not a date movie: The film is a dizzying ride through the neon-soaked streets of Bangkok, punctuated with vibrant violence and an ending that would make Freud’s head explode. Showing this movie to a date will almost definitely be seen as an admission of an oedipal complex and blood fetish.
Only watch if: Your date also happens to be your mother.
4. Y tu Mama Tambien
The movie: Made before he left his native Mexico to direct Academy Award nominated movies about space and wizards, Alfonso Cuaron directed a sexually charged coming of age tale. Julio and Tenoch (Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, respectively) are two friends who appear to be nearing the end of high school.
Their girlfriends both leave for a European vacation, and the two boys immediately invite Luisa, a beautiful older woman married to Tenoch’s cousin, to an idyllic beach (that may or may not exist) to try and impress her. To their surprise, she agrees, and the three embark on a trip of their own through Mexico.
Why not a date movie: The movie is full of drugs, sex, teen angst, beauty, and infidelity. All three protagonists are in relationships, and all three end up sleeping together in one form or another. It is an incredible movie, but not one that sets a precedent for a strong, monogamous relationship.
Only watch if: You are trying to get your date to have a threesome with you and your best friend.
The movie: Released during the slasher heyday in 1987, this film follows hapless sap Larry as he moves back into his childhood home and attempts to work things out with his family. Unfortunately for him, his brother Frank, a selfish pleasure-seeker, has recently used the house as a gateway into the realm of Cenobites, a group of sadistic demons. Frank escapes this realm, only to be relentlessly pursued by the Cenobites, who don’t make a distinction between escapee and future detainees.
Why not a date movie: The film is full of bloody, dripping, (mostly) practical gore effects juxtaposed with sweaty sex scenes, which leads to all instances of intimacy being greeted with gut-churning anxiety (and a dead rat). After watching this film, any hanky-panky laden suggestion will be greeted with revulsion at best and projectile vomiting at worst.
Only watch if: Your date has a penchant for shoving needles into her face.
The movie: One of the few films in the arthouse-torture-porn subgenres. Written and directed by Lars von Trier, the movie opens with a beautiful slow motion sequence filmed in black and white, in which a couple has graphic sex while their toddler son opens his bedroom window and falls to his death, all with opera music playing in the background. It only gets worse from there.
At its core, the film is about a grieving couple trying to find a way to deal with their son’s death. They make a poor choice early on and decide to head to the woods to stay in their isolated cabin, and needless to say things do not go well.
Why not a date movie: Filled with extremely realistic depictions of hardcore sex and violence, the film subverts all the notions you had about love, pain, sex, pleasure, relationships, nature, sexism, and much more. The scenes with graphic violence may be rough, but they seem almost relaxing after all the dread and suffering on display during the scenes with just He (Willem Dafoe) and She (Charlotte Gainsbourg) talking to each other.
Try to watch this movie on a date and the love police will break into your home and throw you into perpetual loneliness, just on principle.
Only watch if: you are trying to break up with your date in the most sadistic way possible.
The movie: After being dumped by his ex-junkie wife Sarah (Liv Tyler), Frank (Rainn Wilson) a lonely but well-meaning sociopath, falls into depression. He receives a message from God(taking the form of a giant tentacle monster voiced by Rob Zombie) that he should take up vigilantism.
Empowered, Frank christens himself The Crimson Bolt, finds a suitable weapon (a pipe wrench), and embarks on a quest to rescue Sarah from the clutches of the odious Jacques (Kevin Bacon). Unfortunately, he is more Travis Bickle than Bruce Wayne, and punishes all offenses, from child molestation to drug dealing to cutting in line, with a swift wrench to the face.
Why not a date movie: The film offsets the cartoony violence with graphic, realistic gore, showing the real life consequences of taking justice into your own hands. Even if your date likes the movie, it’s hard to shake off the underlying message of “if you break up with me I will go on vigilantism tinged rampage until you take me back.”
Only watch if: your date cannot distinguish between violence and affection.
Author Bio: Will has been watching movies since birth and writing about them since adolescence. When not bowing before the alter of celluloid gods, he enjoys music, books, and the outdoors. Never miss one of his inconsequential thought and follow him on twitter, @wabray17.