8. A Serbian Film (2010)
This film is disgusting, disturbing, beautifully shot, and repulsive. Directed by first time director Srđan Spasojević, A Serbian Film tells the story of a semi-retired porn actor who is married and has a daughter, who agrees to participate in an “art film” for financial security for his family.
The film has received a lot of attention for its graphic depictions of rape, necrophilia, and child sexual abuse. The film was even investigated by the Serbian government for crimes against sexual morals and the protection of child minors.
A Serbian Film has been banned in many countries around the world including Australia, New Zealand, France, Portugal and many more. Despite these bans, the film traveled the festival art circuit and had a limited theatrical release.
There are several scenes of the most disgusting sexual behaviors, most of them forced and are not recommended for the faint of heart or soul. A Serbian Film, while a statement against the Serbian government, it is also a statement to your date if you watch this at your first night together.
7. Fatal Attraction (1987)
The clue for why this is not a good first date movie is in the title. Unless you want your first attraction to be fatal, then watch this at another time. Fatal Attraction follows a married Manhattan man (Michael Douglas) who has a weekend affair with a woman who refuses to let it end (Glenn Close). It is argued psychologically that Alex Forrest (Close) has borderline personality disorder.
The character displays impulsiveness, emotional liability, and frantic efforts to avoid abandonment, among other symptoms of the disorder. She blackmails, stalks, and is emotionally and physically obsessed with him. Fatal Attraction also brings up a discussion of infidelity and would likely have a strong effect of both men and women and how they feel about the issue.
This is a really good film and Alex Forrest has been cited as one of the best villains in film history, but the topic of infidelity and mental instability may be too much for a first date. Although the film is incredibly successful, being the highest grossing film of 1987 worldwide and being nominated for six Oscars, this is no attraction you would like on a first date. Alex boils a pet rabbit that is tough to sit through.
6. Salo or 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Directed by Italian master director Pier Paolo Pasolini, Salo, as it is most generally known as one of the most controversial film in history. It follows four wealthy, fascist, libertines after the fall of Mussolini’s Italy, who kidnap eighteen teenagers and subject them to four months of mental and physical torture, sadism, and extreme violence. It explores themes of political corruption, abuse of power, sexuality, and fascism.
The film was banned in several countries at the time of release and is still banned in several territories. It has graphic portrayals of rape, torture, and murder -mainly in people who are thought to be under the age of 18. There are scenes where the victims have to eat like dogs, eat less than edible things and are subjected to such gruesome torture that it is hard to watch.
Salo is not for the faint of heart and has plenty of artistic merit, however, unless you really want to watch it for artistic purposes or are just plain daring, this film is not for you, especially for a first date. If you are going to avoid any of these for a first date film selection it should be this one.
5. Inside (2007)
Imagine you are a pregnant woman. You are at home, when all of a sudden there is a stranger inside your house who wants to take your unborn child. That is the premise of this extreme French horror film. It is genuinely scary and brutally violent. There are some guys who will take their dates to scary movies just so they can jump into the guy’s arms for protection from what they see on the screen. This is not the horror movie to do that with.
Directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo wanted to work around some of the cliches of the horror genre. They wondered what the motivation would be if a woman chased another woman.
The different motivation worked as the film received praise, especially from horror critics who thought it was one of the most audacious, brutal, and unrelenting horror films of the decade. Audacious, brutal, and unrelenting, those are three words that should not describe a first date.
4. Oldboy (2003)
Conspiracy, violence, incest, sounds like a perfect first date. Those are three of the main components of this South Korean mystery thriller directed by Park Chan-wook. The film follows Oh Dae-su, who has been locked in a hotel room for 15 years without any knowledge of his captor or their motives. When he finally gets out, he is in a web of conspiracy, lies, and violence.
This film is really dark and has so many scenes that are beautiful in their own right, but do not up the romance factor. Oh Dae-su has scissors and they are on his tongue about to cut, enough said. If the idea of getting locked up for years on end, poorly questionable relationships and uses of a claw hammer are great things for your date, you might want to run out of the theater.
The film received heaps of critical acclaim including the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Oldboy was praised for its cinematography, story and quality characters. However, for a first date, this critic’s choice is not the right choice for viewing.
3. Bitter Moon (1992)
This film is just a lot for a first date. There is an abortion, sadomasochism, talks of bondage and voyeurism, and lots of uncomfortable hate/love relationships. Bitter Moon follows two couples, Fiona and Nigel (Kristin Scott Thomas and Hugh Grant) and Oscar and Mimi (Peter Coyote and Emmanuelle Seigner) who meet on a Mediterranean cruise. Oscar tells Nigel all about how him and Mimi met and the deals they have made with each other. Just going off the premise it doesn’t sound bad. However, the premise is only half the story.
Oscar is a paraplegic, older man who explored bondage, sadomasochism, and voyeurism at the expense of Mimi. Mimi gets pregnant and Oscar forces her to get an abortion. During these stories Nigel becomes fascinated with Mimi and tries to woo her. Not to be outdone Fiona, who has been told all about the other couples activities by Nigel, is flirting with a younger man.
There is also sex, betrayal and murder, just to hit every bit. Because of the film’s darker subject matter, murderous end and lengthy talks of sexual subcultures, this is no film to start a relationship with, even if you are into a little BDSM.
2. Gone Girl (2014)
Nothing says romantic like a man being investigated for murdering his wife. That is the premise of this psychological thriller directed by David Fincher. Starring Ben Affleck as the unusually calm husband who is investigated for his wife, the titular gone girl, played by Rosamund Pike.
There are several scenes in Gone Girl which should lead to you not being asked on a second date. One of them is when Rosamund Pike is having sex with Neil Patrick Harris and slices his throat. If that doesn’t put you in the mood, I don’t know what will.
Another is when Rosamund Pike comes back to her home, covered in the blood from her slaying and the cameras and people follow her to her doorstep. And then there is the scene where Pike convinces the FBI that they are incompetent and not to charge her with anything.
The film has been very successful and has received praise from the tons of people who saw it (it made $368 million), and critics alike(award nominations and critical praise) especially for the stylish nature of Fincher’s filming and the performance of Rosamund Pike. Although this film really is great, it’s probably not the best idea to watch a film with such a disruptive relationship on a first date.
1. Antichrist (2009)
Written and Directed by Danish director Lars von Trier, who is never a good choice for a first date, Antichrist is an experimental horror about a couple who lose their minds after the death of their child. They retreat to a cabin in the woods where the man experiences strange visions and the woman manifests increasingly violent and sadomasochistic behavior. Nothing says first date like the title Antichrist.
This psycho-sexual voyage is part of von Trier’s unofficial “Depression Trilogy”, another reason not to watch it with a new special someone. The film is broken down into a prologue, 4 chapters, and an epilogue. In the prologue, a child dies by falling out of a window, the first thing you see is the death of a child, doesn’t sound very romantic, does it?
This is followed by the four chapters where the real madness starts. These chapters are entitled: Grief, Pain (Chao Reigns), Despair (Genocide), and The Three Beggars, all wonderful things for a romantic evening.
Antichrist is an experience, a beautiful film in its own right, and not for the faint of heart, but it should be watched alone, or with someone you have been with for quite a while, and probably not even that.
Author Bio: Ryan Anderson is a sophomore at Miami University in Oxford Ohio, where he is studying Zoology and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. His love of classic cinema and film history keeps his love for film strong and ever-present in his life.