10 Great Movies You'll Only Want To Watch Once

These will stay with you...

Oldboy Octopus
Tartan Films

Occasionally, you come across a film so great that you can watch it dozens of times and never get bored. It's a wonderful moment, like making a new friend. It's a sign of good film-making to be able to keep a story fresh even if you have visited it many times before.

Then there are those films so terrible that you regret watching them even once. You resent wasting two hours on your life on something worthless, and the idea of spending further time re-watching such garbage would be downright offensive.

Then, there's a third category of film. Content-wise, they're great; a gripping story, stellar acting, high production values. But, for one reason or another, you would never want to watch it again.

Maybe it's too depressing, tackling historical or contemporary issues that you know are there but would rather not invest your leisure time in fretting about. Maybe they're too brutal, too gory or too disturbing. Maybe they just scare the absolute pants off you, and you can't do that to your heart again.

You might love the film, it might even rank among your all time favourites, but when it comes time to choose between putting time into a film you appreciate and leaving yourself feeling desolate, nauseated or disturbed, you'd probably elect to just watch Anchorman for the twentieth time.

10. Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy Octopus
Tartan Films

Asian cinema has a reputation for being messed up, and it's one that is largely earned. Terrifying films like Ringu and Ju-on: The Grudge have led to mediocre American remakes, and Takashi Miike's oeuvre, in particular the blood-soaked masterpiece Ichi the Killer, is rightfully regarded as one of the most twisted in world cinema.

The most disturbing film to come from the eastern world, however, is the 2003 Korean revenge drama Oldboy. The story itself is downright chilling: a loutish man is kidnapped and awakens in a sealed hotel room where he is held for the next fifteen years before being suddenly and inexplicably released. He is then given five days to discover who imprisoned him and why.

The film is anchored by an incredible performance from Choi Min-sik as the protagonist, Oh Dae-su. We follow his journey from a neglectful drunk to a man obsessed with repentance. That we become so invested in the character makes the film even more gut-wrenching. There are several uncomfortable scenes, from the brutal one-shot corridor fight to Choi Min-sik actually eating a live octopus.

However, all the pulled teeth and severed hands can't compare to the utterly devastating finale, where Oh Dae-su discovers he has been sleeping with his own daughter. The moment where he grovels at his nemesis' feet and eventually cuts out his own tongue will leave you feeling like you've been punched in the stomach.

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Aspiring author. Film reviewer. Bestiary curator. Burgeoning misanthrope.