There are certain films that, upon watching, make you feel like someone just killed your dog. I doubt very many people willingly watch a film wanting to feel like shit afterwards, but it happens. However, I think feeling extremely depressed after watching a movie is a testament to its greatness; happy endings are easily forgotten, but pain stays with you. So here are the top 6 films that absolutely wrecked my soul and why.
6. Martyrs (2008)
Martyrs begins with Lucie, a young woman who had been kidnapped and tortured, escaping her tormentors and fleeing to safety. Twelve years later, she has a strong bond with Anna, another victim of childhood abuse. Although Lucie’s experience is well in her past, she suffers from hallucinations of torture and is determined to seek vengeance against her oppressors. Together Anna and Lucie return to the place where Lucie had been kidnapped and discover another female captive. It is during their efforts to save this girl that shit hits the fan, and history repeats itself.
Why It’ll Wreck Your Soul: Martyrs has an extremely slow burn. You feel the agony of the victim, and it sucks. And then when you think its over, there’s the final, excruciating twist that makes you want to cry and puke and lose faith in humanity. The final scene perfectly depicts how you feel by the end.
5. Don’t Deliver Us From Evil (1971)
Don’t Deliver Us From Evil (or Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal) is obviously another French film that follows Anne and Lore, two neighbors that board at a convent school. The kicker: they’ve both taken vows to sin and worship Satan. It’s cute! Anne keeps a diary of all of the terrible things they do: seduce local men and then run away giggling when they try to make a move, spy on nuns, and be generally mischievous. When summer vacation starts, the girls are left alone at Anne’s family’s chateau, with only the servants to watch over them. The two girls run wild, wreaking havoc while their parents are away. After summer ends, the girls take part in a talent show at their school, which is where they get serious with their vows.
Why It’ll Wreck Your Soul: Sure, these girls are mildly evil, but they’re just young girls.The final scene alone should be enough to do you in.
4. Nekromantik (1988)
Robert Schmadtke is street sweeper who cleans up roadkill and other pretty nasty messes. One day he decides to bring home a full corpse for him and his wife Betty to enjoy sexually. Unfortunately for Robert, Betty begins to prefer the corpse over himself, and his world is turned upside down.
Why It’ll Wreck Your Soul: This film is fucked up to begin with, I know. It’s pretty much banned in many countries, and you’ll have to hunt around to find a copy of this to watch it. But Jörg Buttgereit manages to turn a topic as ‘strange’ as Necrophilia into something kind of beautiful and sad. Robert’s pain is real and raw, and you’ll feel it too.
3. Red, White, & Blue (2010)
Simon Rumley’s film follows Erica, a young woman who spends her nights among the bars and beds of Austin. Quiet, her only form of human contact is the sexual type, a string of one-night stands to fill her emotionally void self. This goes on until she meets Nate, who claims to have been honorably discharged from service in Iraq. The two form a strong but hesitant bond. That is until Franki, a wannabe rockstar who is also caring for his cancer-stricken mother (and happens to be one of Erica’s past flings) returns to her life.
Why It’ll Wreck Your Soul: I can’t say too much here without giving important details away. By the end of this film, you will both feel sorry for, and potentially hate, every main character. And then you’ll want to crawl into a dark hole.
2. The Living and the Dead (2006)
Another Simon Rumley film! Okay, so maybe this isn’t horror per se, but it was listed as one of Fangoria Magazine’s top 300 horror films of all time, so I’ll count it. This film follows Donald Brocklebank, his terminally ill wife Nancy, and their schizophrenic son James. As if things aren’t hard enough for poor Donald, he’s bankrupt. He decides to leave Nancy and James alone with a nurse in an effort to solve his family’s financial crisis. Of course, James’s condition begins to worsen because he doesn’t trust Nurse Mary and believes he can take better care of his mother. So he locks Nurse Mary out of the house, which is heart wrenching because James has failed to take his medication and honestly believes he’s doing the right thing. Nancy can’t stop crying, because she knows she’s fucked. James, believing that more medicine will make his mother better faster than the prescribed amount, force feeds his Nancy large quantities of her pills, nearly killing her. James continues into a downward spiral because he won’t take his pills, Nancy continues to get worse because she’s not being cared for. Police finally make their way into the house, relieving Nancy of her son’s care. But as we already saw with Nurse Mary, James doesn’t deal with with other people taking care of his mother…
Why It’ll Wreck Your Soul: If you don’t already feel awful, I doubt the fact that you even have a soul. What personally killed me about this film was the fact that James really is trying to help his mother, but he’s so mentally ill he can’t see that he’s actually killing her. Once Donald returns to his family is when things really gets wild.
1. Maniac (2012)
Finally! The number one film that has absolutely wrecked my soul is the Maniac REMAKE starring Elijah Wood. “A remake?! Why a remake, Samantha,” you ask? Well I’ll tell you why! Eliah Wood is a fantastic actor, plain and simply. Joe Spinell was fantastic in the original Maniac, but his appearance made me feel more frightened of him, rather than sympathetic towards him. If you don’t know what Maniac is about, the 2012 version follows Frank, a young mannequin store owner who has a fetish for scalping women. After he scalps women, he staples the scalps to his mannequins and talks to them as if they are his girlfriends. However, when Frank begins to fall for Anna, a beautiful woman who just so happens to photographs mannequins, he becomes extremely conflicted. He wants love, but all he knows is pain and abandonment.
Why It’ll Wreck Your Soul: This is the only horror movie I’ve ever seen, during which I started to bawl like a baby. I truly empathize with Frank. He desperately wants to experience love, because he didn’t have much with his mother, but he doesn’t know how. So he tries to hold onto women by literally taking piece of them to keep with him, but that doesn’t work. And then when he really tries to be with someone, that doesn’t work either. It breaks my heart! The final scene of Maniac is truly one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever witnessed.
What are some soul-wrecking horror films that YOU have seen? Let me know in the comments below!