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Darkest Movie of All Time


CaveGirl
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Sometimes it is just fun to wallow in misery and watch countless folk go to their grave due to their own situational ethics or just malaise, and for me when I feel that way I like to watch the 1947 film, "Mourning Becomes Electra" with Rosalind Russell and Michael Redgrave.

 

This film is so dark, and so perverted that it just screams for an operatic version to be made of it.

 

The vibes are full of human misery worthy of a Greek drama, which of course was its inspiration for O'Neill who could make even his modern plays be morbidly turgid and I mean that in a good way. Who doesn't like seeing Katherine Hepburn burning up with her addiction in his more famous play based on his own sick family dynamics.

 

But I digress...do you have a favorite dark film, and I would prefer no film noirs as they are too easy to categorize as such, if possible but if you must, go for it.

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I think 'Citizen Kane' is pretty dark... All the money in the world and all he longs for is something from his youth that made him happy...

 

But, as for 'darkest', I have a lot of faves... 'Of Human Bondage' (Howard/Davis version), 'Place in the Sun', and 'Shadow of a Doubt' all right up there...

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I'm assuming when you say dark it's a reference to the atmosphere and setting of the film.

 

For sci-fi "Alien" (1979)

 

Holiday would be "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993)

 

Gangster/Crime  "I Was A Fugitive From a Chain Gang" (1932)

 

Action/Hero  "Batman" (1989)

 

Drama its a tie with "Child of Rage" (1992) and "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006)

 

Horror, again a tie with "Dracula" (1931) and "Frankenstein" (1931)  tough to replicate the gloomy atmosphere/settings even today.

 

Religion/Biblical  "Noah" (2014)

 

Comedy  "Dr Strangelove" (1964)

 

Thriller  "Orphan" (2009)

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General Ripper, how's the War Room antics today?

 

Yep, Kane is dark but not as dark as the twin Charley's, and finding out your beloved uncle was a serial killer.

 

Yikes!

"I've researched the real-life murder case that "A Place in the Sun" was based on and do think the film brings out its darkest corners.

Hamradio, you ask if I was referring to the following as criteria for dark:

"I'm assuming when you say dark it's a reference to the atmosphere and setting of the film."

Actually, no.
 

I was referring more to the psychological underpinnings of the characters and their neuroses which propel the plot, but your take is fine too.


 

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I think 'Citizen Kane' is pretty dark... All the money in the world and all he longs for is something from his youth that made him happy...

 

But, as for 'darkest', I have a lot of faves... 'Of Human Bondage' (Howard/Davis version), 'Place in the Sun', and 'Shadow of a Doubt' all right up there...

 

Some good choices of 'dark' movies;   For another Davis picture how about The Little Foxes?    The bad eggs in that film clearly outnumber the good eggs.

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Two films come to mind immediately: Requiem for a Dream; and Witchfinder General, a film so dark that even the audience is corrupted at the end. In both of these films, all the major characters end in despair.

Ellen-Burstyn-Sara-Goldfarb-Requiem-for-

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Take away the last 60 seconds, and there's never been a darker movie than The Housemaid.  Imagine a 17 year old version of Patty McCormick in The Bad Seed with a side hobby of being a sexual predator and homewrecker, and you'll start to get the idea.

 

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(That bottle that our girl seems to be taking a fancy to?  It's rat poison.)

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Some good choices of 'dark' movies;   For another Davis picture how about The Little Foxes?    The bad eggs in that film clearly outnumber the good eggs.

I think I have a couple of Davis pictures lined up before The Little Foxes like 'Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte' or 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?'. Davis had quite the career.

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Pan's Labrynth is very dark--it reminds me of the original versions of old faery tales--death and blood and magic all rolled into a beautiful, disturbing package.

 

A Serious Man (2009) by the Cohen brothers has it's hilarious moments (in one scene a boy goes throughhis Bar Mitzvah stoned out of his head) but it's based (loosely) on the Book of Job, except without the "happy" ending.

 

Hamlet--any version. It's become a saying in our family--"It's all going to end like Hamlet." 

 

They Shoot Horses Don;t They? : Possibly the most depressing film ever.

 

Heathers: A subversive and scathing critique of American High School culture disguised as a dark and funny comedy.

 

 

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I think I have a couple of Davis pictures lined up before The Little Foxes like 'Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte' or 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?'. Davis had quite the career.

Another good one is the black comedy The Anniversary, the second film Davis did for Hammer. She was a real piece of work in that one. She had a line where she asks her son's pregnant girlfriend, "My dear, would you mind sitting somewhere else? Body odor offends me." Pretty dark film, but Davis manages to make it fun.

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Pretty hard to pin down just one movie, but The Bad Seed would rank right up there as one of the 'darkest' movies in terms of content.  Bad Day at Black Rock and The Letter also come to mind.

 

Bad Day at Black Rock does have some very dark content but at the end 'good' beats 'evil'.    With The Bad Seed,   a bolt of lightning is the cure.     To me the darkest type of movies end in darkest.   i.e. darkest continues on and on.  

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I would call "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" a dark movie.  There shouldn't be anything entertaining about one sister whose basically a  s a d i s t, terrorizing the other sister; but it is very entertaining, at least to me.  The first time I saw it, I couldn't wait to see what Bette Davis was going to do to Joan Crawford next.  She is batsh*t crazy in that film and it definitely kept me interested from beginning to end.

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I would call "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" a dark movie.  There shouldn't be anything entertaining about one sister whose basically a  s a d i s t, terrorizing the other sister; but it is very entertaining, at least to me.  The first time I saw it, I couldn't wait to see what Bette Davis was going to do to Joan Crawford next.  She is batsh*t crazy in that film and it definitely kept me interested from beginning to end.

 

Yes that is a dark movie now that I think about it more.    Even the ending is very sad.   All that hate for all those years based on a simple misunderstanding.     

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Heathers (1988) is definitely very dark. "My teen angst has a body count."

 

Un Chien Andalou (1929) A Salvador Dalí nightmare filmed by Luis Buñuel.

 

Grave of the Fireflies (1988) Survival is often the darkest of the dark.

 

Blade Runner (1982) The opposite of the usual: "science will create utopia" mantra.

 

The Mechanic (1972) The premise that murder is as legitimate a profession as any other work is disturbing. Other common perceptions are given a very dark treatment.

 

The Black Cauldron (1985) may be the only truly dark movie ever made by Disney. 

 

Sleuth (1972) and Deathtrap (1982) share a look into dark souls.

 

Diabolique (1955) I can not find words to properly express how dark this movie is.

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Bad Day at Black Rock does have some very dark content but at the end 'good' beats 'evil'.    With The Bad Seed,   a bolt of lightning is the cure.     To me the darkest type of movies end in darkest.   i.e. darkest continues on and on.  

You just described The Collector.

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Am I the only one to see a little humor in having "Cave Girl"  starting a topic called "Darkest Movie Of All Time"? :lol:  I would say that many of our great "noir" films fit the topic here. Two other films that came to my mind quickly are DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES and THE CHILDREN'S  HOUR.

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These are not high-brow movies I'm going to list:  

 

     The 1974 low-budget movie 'THE TEACHER' has a very dark ending.  Not the kind of ending you'd be expecting!  Stars the alluring Angel Tompkins, Jay North ('Dennis the Menace') and Anthony James.  One thing about this movie:  The lounge-music score from Shorty Rogers is *amazing*!   :P    It's jaw-dropping.

 

     RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975) isn't chock full of luv and laughter at the end, either.

 

     MALIBU HIGH (1979) > Don't be fooled by the seemingly light and airy SoCal '70s lifestyle seen in other 'Teen-Oriented' movies of the time.  This isn't like MALIBU BEACH or THE VAN or VAN NUYS BLVD. . . . it's much darker in tone and features music in the closing scene which would later be used circa 1981 for the long-running Tv show THE PEOPLE'S COURT with Judge Joseph Wapner and Doug Llewellyn.  The girl in the movie tries to seduce her (male) teachers, becomes a prostitute and then a hit woman (!) [or a 'hit-teenager' as the case may be].  Totally bonkers.  And remember if you watch:  'INGERSOLL is a common name around here!'  :D  

 

     DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY (1974)  Peter Fonda, Adam Roarke, Susan George

     DAREDEVIL, The (1972)  George Montgomery, Terry Moore, Cyril Poitier [older brother of Sidney]

     LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN, The (1982) Lawrence Monoson, Diane Franklin

 

      Don't look for any cheerful endings in the ^above^ three movies, either. 

-----------------------------------------------------------

     And this movie here has the singularly most screwed-up 'happy ending' I've ever seen:  SUMMER SCHOOL (1978).  Also known as 'MAG WHEELS'.  I wrote a review for this movie on the IMDb several years ago.  I felt impelled to after watching how this thing ended.  In case anyone who might read this feels like tracking down this movie and watching it, I *highly* recommend paying close attention to 'THE ANITA SONG' in the film performed by some unknown garage band called 'THE WORD'.  I couldn't get this song out of my head!  > The lead character in the movie is a girl named 'Anita' and this bubblegum song is *catchy*!  :)

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Jennifer Lynch's 'Boxing Helena' (1993)

Ulmer's 'Detour' (1945)

 

For darkness combined with a downbeat ending it's hard to beat George Sluizer's 'Spoorloos' aka 'The Vanishing' (1988)

 

Or maybe the downest ending ever - of Corbucci's 'The Great Silence' (1968) wherein evil triumphs in a most matter-of-fact and decisive manner.

 

And, of course, Michael Anderson's '1984' (1956) based on George Orwell's prophetic novel in which we learn that the Corporate State is leading inexorably to this destiny for the individual - utter hopelessness will be the existential default.

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