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Author Topic: Best movie by Hitchcock?  (Read 1234 times)

KyriakosCH

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Best movie by Hitchcock?
« on: 25 May 2020, 21:16 »
I have watched a few of his films. My favorite is Vertigo.



I prefer the ones with J. Stewart. Of the others I did like Dial M for Murder. North by Northwest doesn't have an interesting story, in my view.

It seems most of his movies were adapted from plays or short stories. Which I found interesting, cause usually he is regarded as the actual creator of the plots, but apparently wasn't.

I like the overall mood of the films. Very "cozy", co-existing with danger (usually murder).
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #1 on: 26 May 2020, 11:15 »
I was never keen on North by Northwest myself, even though it's so highly regarded.

My favourite of his is Strangers on a Train, it's just so compellingly weird.
 

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #2 on: 26 May 2020, 11:50 »
Yes, Vertigo with its dreamlike visuals and music would be my favourite too. It was
inspiration for my background blitz entry in March.

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #3 on: 26 May 2020, 19:45 »
I don't know which one I like best. Maybe Shadow of a Doubt?

I've also been improving a couple of them lately. Here's The Birds without the birds:



And North By Northwest without the crop duster is here: https://twitter.com/MisterABK/status/1262688181478137856

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #4 on: 27 May 2020, 01:19 »
Can't say I liked Shadow of a Doubt... Maybe because it was in black and white, but imo it also doesn't have the characteristic Hitchcok cinematography (there in Psycho which was also in black and white). I didn't much like the plot of it either  :)
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #5 on: 27 May 2020, 18:10 »
There are many great colour Hitchcock films, but I think the black and white American films are his best looking. The Technicolor films do looks glorious, but they're so glamorous and highly saturated. I think there's a bit in the Truffaut interviews where Hitchcock says something like, "we haven't worked out how to shoot in colour yet," and he's right. Everyone is still backlit, even though there's rarely a good reason to do that in colour photography.


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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #6 on: 27 May 2020, 19:29 »
I don't really care for North By Northwest, but other than that I think most of the half-dozen ones I've seen are about equally enjoyable, so I'm not sure I have a favorite. I was going to say Rebecca, but on reflection I'm not sure I've actually seen it. I might just have read the book (which is great) and seen so many clips and parodies that it feels like I've seen it.

I guess I'll say Rear Window since it hasn't been mentioned yet.

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #7 on: 27 May 2020, 21:47 »
I liked Rope.


Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #8 on: 27 May 2020, 21:50 »
I think The Birds still hold up as a horror film without getting ridiculous. I rewatch it on occasion. I also liked Rope a lot, but it's not really a movie I feel like revisiting. Unfortunately, Psycho was spoiled for me before I got to see it. I still wonder how I would react if the story was unknown to me. I quite liked the tv series Bates Motel and how it alluded to the known story without setting it in stone.

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #9 on: 27 May 2020, 22:05 »
I liked Rope.

Rope is probably my favorite.  ;-D

I guess I'll say Rear Window since it hasn't been mentioned yet.

I also have a huge soft spot for Rear Window, due to multiple viewings during my childhood. :)

But there's generally something about mid/late 50's-era (or somewhere between Strangers on a Train and Psycho) Hitchcock that bugs me; That big studio sheen, the constant fragile blondes...As for Vertigo, and leaving aside the visuals, I always found it a little too melodramatic(!)

There are many great colour Hitchcock films, but I think the black and white American films are his best looking.

I tend to find them more enjoyable too. There's an efficient tightness to them that those later films can lack; From earlier movies like Shadow of a Doubt or Saboteur, or even less well-known titles like Stage Fright, to Strangers on a Train and Psycho.

I think the problems that I have with the '50s Hitchcock get worse with the '60s (post-Psycho) Hitchcock.

As for the '70s... (wrong)

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KyriakosCH

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #10 on: 28 May 2020, 00:06 »
Imo Marnie already was a pretty weak movie. It has a good scene (the last horse related one) but the plot just wasn't anything of note. Apparently it was the first of the era of collapse for Hitchcock anyway.

Rope was nice, though I already knew of the actual real event which was adapted in the play (then adapted to the movie).
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #11 on: 28 May 2020, 09:27 »
You can't really pick just one Hitchcock film and say it's the greatest, though I will say I have a soft spot for Spellbound,
not only because it has a pretty interesting dream sequence designed by Salvador Dalí, but it also stars Ingrid Bergman in the lead role,
and I am a Swede after all!  :-D

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #12 on: 28 May 2020, 12:34 »
I’ve only seen a handful of his films and there are a few I know I’ve seen but can’t really remember. But the only ones I have gone back to in recent years are Psycho and Rear Window. Both cracking films.

Heltenjon mentioned Bates Motel. That’s a great show and well worth a watch whether or not you’re a fan of Psycho. Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga are fantastic throughout. Do it!

Vertigo has recently appeared on Netflix, so I might have a look.


Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #13 on: 28 May 2020, 12:49 »
I think The Birds still hold up as a horror film without getting ridiculous.
Yeah, and it contains early elements of gore effects (at the same time with Herschell Gordon Lewis's Blood Feast). Who know how many great horror movies if only Hitchcocok pushed on the gore...

_

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #14 on: 28 May 2020, 12:58 »
I’ve only seen a handful of his films and there are a few I know I’ve seen but can’t really remember. But the only ones I have gone back to in recent years are Psycho and Rear Window. Both cracking films.

Heltenjon mentioned Bates Motel. That’s a great show and well worth a watch whether or not you’re a fan of Psycho. Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga are fantastic throughout. Do it!

Vertigo has recently appeared on Netflix, so I might have a look.



I tried watching Bates Motel, but already from episode 1 I gave up. To me it didn't seem to have a serious plot, and came across as a pulp version of Psycho. Now, the movie Psycho II, was also a pulp version of Psycho, but at least it starred Anthony Perkins and didn't jump the shark immediately.
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #15 on: 28 May 2020, 13:19 »
Psycho was a pulp version of Psycho.

KyriakosCH

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #16 on: 28 May 2020, 14:04 »
Taken that way, Bloch's book also wasn't exactly faithful to the Ed Gein story.

There is always room for further collapse.
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #17 on: 28 May 2020, 15:59 »
Taken that way, Bloch's book also wasn't exactly faithful to the Ed Gein story.

Why would it be? It's a novel about Norman Bates, not a non-fiction book about Ed Gein. And while inspired by the Gein case, Bloch only had superficial knowledge of it, so that most of the book is based on his imagination, and many of the parallels with the real-life murderer coincidental.

There is always room for further collapse.

(roll)
Calling Psycho pulp is not a criticism. It is a lurid, low-budget horror-thriller, based on a book by a prolific pulp writer. That does not mean it's not a great movie. (Lovecraft was also a pulp writer, BTW.)

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #18 on: 28 May 2020, 16:02 »
To his credit, Lovecraft would view "pulp writer" as criticism. Though he was also aware that he was that to a considerable degree - and hated it.
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #19 on: 28 May 2020, 16:10 »
I'm sure the shade of Lovecraft is relieved to hear that he was sufficiently pretentious to meet with your approval.

KyriakosCH

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #20 on: 28 May 2020, 16:14 »
I am not the one trying to start some lame fight, bro.
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #21 on: 28 May 2020, 16:25 »
I’ve only seen a handful of his films and there are a few I know I’ve seen but can’t really remember. But the only ones I have gone back to in recent years are Psycho and Rear Window. Both cracking films.

Heltenjon mentioned Bates Motel. That’s a great show and well worth a watch whether or not you’re a fan of Psycho. Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga are fantastic throughout. Do it!

Vertigo has recently appeared on Netflix, so I might have a look.



I tried watching Bates Motel, but already from episode 1 I gave up.
Same here. For me, what made me quit after one episode was that I was already put off by having it set in modern times despite being a prequel, but what really angered me was that (warning for a sensitive topic regarding sexual assault)
Spoiler: ShowHide
they jumped straight into the awful trend of adding an on-screen rape scene for a female main character just for shock value and grittiness.
I think I speak for a great deal of women when I say it's pretty offensive to add such a scene for a pre-existing female character just because it's the standard method
of hack screenwriters to make them "grittier" and struggling with depression and anxiety on top of having actually experienced a terrifying situation of stalking and harassment in real life
that shit is a complete deal-breaker for me (I strongly recommend reading this post where author Seannan McGuire if you wish to understand why this is such an offensive trope),
and I was doubly disappointed because Hitchcock himself was pretty restrained with what kind of violence he showed on screen, and when he did show violent and cruel acts on screen,
they were always completely integral to the story and the characters had to actually deal with the consequences of it.

I usually think that even if a film or series is bad, at least you can learn something from it, but Bates motel is one of the few things I've truly regret having watched and would ask others not to watch.

KyriakosCH

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #22 on: 28 May 2020, 16:47 »
It was indeed obvious from the start just how heavy-handed this series would be   (wrong)
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #23 on: 28 May 2020, 19:04 »
Watched all of Bates Motel, loved it. The last season is the best. I recommend to everybody to watch more than the very first episode before judging it, maybe?
I'm also lucky enough to have never watched the original movie (or any of the sequels/remake) so could simply enjoy the show without any baggage.
Can't remember the assault scene, but I don't care for those either.
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #24 on: 28 May 2020, 19:36 »
« Last Edit: 28 May 2020, 19:38 by Slasher »

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #25 on: 28 May 2020, 22:36 »
Watched all of Bates Motel, loved it. The last season is the best. I recommend to everybody to watch more than the very first episode before judging it, maybe?
I'm also lucky enough to have never watched the original movie (or any of the sequels/remake) so could simply enjoy the show without any baggage.
Can't remember the assault scene, but I don't care for those either.
Asking to watch more than one episode of a series is one thing if you just thought the start was a bit boring or the plot a bit confusing,
but to ask people to continue watching something even after they left because they couldn't stand a graphic rape scene is something else entirely.
It's basically like having a guy smash his fist into your gut without provocation and call you the most dehumanizing slurs imaginable the first time you meet
and then having having somebody ask you to give him another chance and say it's unfair to judge or condemn him just because he made a poor first impression.

And the fact that you don't even remember the scene just proves how gratuitous it was to include it if it has no significant impact on the plot or the characters,
but I can assure you that even if it didn't affect you, these kinds of depictions have a real, tangible effect on people who have suffered real life traumas and having
to see this kinds of shit that could trigger panic attacks, nausea and acute stress which could leave you a mental wreck for days, and I speak of this from personal experience.
I imagine that if you'd feel the pain (and I'm talking real, physical pain) I've felt when having an anxiety attack triggered, I doubt you'd treat the matter casually.

Also, if it's meant to be watched "without baggage", why even make it based on pre-existing characters at all, instead of making up new characters to tell a story without
fans of the beloved Hitchcock classic feeling disappointed? Maybe you should watch the original and see why those who've seen it disliked the new series.

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #26 on: 28 May 2020, 23:08 »
I’m also not a big fan of gratuitous rape scenes. The one in episode one though is what leads to Bates making taking part in his first(?) kill, which is basically the inciting incident for the whole series. It has to be extreme enough to warrant everything that happens next.
« Last Edit: 28 May 2020, 23:15 by Stupot »

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #27 on: 28 May 2020, 23:31 »
I’m also not a big fan of gratuitous rape scenes. The one in episode one though is what leads to Bates making taking part in his first(?) kill, which is basically the inciting incident for the whole series. It has to be extreme enough to warrant everything that happens next.
And they couldn't have used literally any other plot device to make it happen?

I'm just so incredibly frustrated at seeing men defend depiction of women being abused as being somehow good and necessary storytelling when writers are perfectly capable att writing stories for men who aren't sexually assaulted. Or would you be just as comfortable with seeing Norman Bates being violently raped on screen as a cheap plot device?

I strongly reccomend reading this for some perspective before trying to defend the scene further:
https://www.robertjacksonbennett.com/blog/three-things-that-shaped-how-i-think-about-writing-about-sexual-abuse
« Last Edit: 28 May 2020, 23:40 by Blondbraid »

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #28 on: 29 May 2020, 00:34 »
Yes, they could have used a different plot device.
No, I’m not “comfortable” watching rape scenes on TV. “Defending” is a strong word. I’m just saying it didn’t feel like a terrible decision to me in the context of the larger story arc. I could explain why but it would include massive spoilers and I don’t think you’d want to read it anyway.
Yes, I still really liked the TV show and watched every episode and stand by my recommendation.
Thank you for the link. I promise to read it today.


Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #29 on: 29 May 2020, 00:43 »
Blondbraid: I'm not even attempting to defend the scene, much less casually dismiss that these scenes can cause real harm. Even lesser am I asking *you* to keep watching; I was recommending the show to other people.
« Last Edit: 29 May 2020, 00:56 by Khris »
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #30 on: 29 May 2020, 03:22 »
I, too, think that it's a damn shame that the twist in Psycho is automatically spoiled for pretty much everyone before they even get old enough to watch the movie.

It's referenced in SO many other things, including kids' shows, so there is no way to avoid finding out.

This is probably why I've never watched the movie even though it is exactly the kind of movie I would usually love.

I've seen all the famous Perkins scenes here and there in film studies videos and I know the whole plot so I doubt it would be a fun watch for me.

I've even seen the original Psycho house set when it used to still stand in the Universal Studios back-lot in L.A... And the tour guide made a joke that spoiled the movie ending even then and I was 12 years old and already knew the twist LOL.

It was even spoiled in Happy Days, as was Citizen Kane in the same joke:

Spoiler: ShowHide
The Cunninghams are heading out the door to go to the movies and Ralph shows up.
He asks what they are seeing and they say "Citizen Kane" and he says "Oh, that's great! "Rosebud" is the sled's name!"
Howard says "Maybe we'll see Psycho instead."
Ralph says "That was good too. Anthony Perkins is his own mother!"
Howard says "Well, maybe we'll just stay home and watch TV instead. Have you seen THAT ONE, Ralph? Huh? Have you?!"


I would have been about 8 years old when I saw that episode and even then I already knew the plot twist in Psycho.
« Last Edit: 29 May 2020, 03:29 by Mandle »

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #31 on: 29 May 2020, 10:11 »
Stupot, Khris; I'm sorry if my last comments came off harshly, I got stressed out at seeing what came across as people saying something that's hurt me was really great and more people should try it,
and I don't think any of you meant to belittle the harm these depictions can do, but I will say that one of the hardest parts of struggling with anxiety and depression is just how hard it is to feel like your
illness is taken seriously, and especially if you are a woman, being able to avoid stressful and triggering imagery due to how normalized it is in today's media. I've had so many well-meaning people unintentionally
trick me into seeing things that's caused me agony because these tropes are so common they don't even stand out to most casual viewers, and I ask that if you still want to ask people to watch shows with such
things, at least include a warning that "by the way, this series have graphic sexual assault, so only watch it if you feel you can stand it", because I promise it'll mean a lot to everyone who's ever had depression or ptsd.
Thank you for the link. I promise to read it today.
Thanks, and I hope you'll find the time to read the Seannan McGuire post I linked to before as well, they are both well worth reading. https://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/470626.html
I'm glad you're taking time to read this, it means a lot.

Mandle: It's a shame you got spoiled about the twist to Citizen Cane and Psycho, but I do hope you'll still watch them one day. While I was spoiled about the twist in Psycho as well as the meaning of Rosebud in Citizen Kane,
I still greatly enjoyed both films as they are incredibly well made films with great acting, direction and atmosphere. Personally, I sometimes feel like anti-spoiler culture has gone too far when people act like the entire movie
has been ruined and unwatchable just because you've already heard about the plot twist, when all of my favorite films are films I've watched several times despite knowing the outcome, because the path to said outcome is just that good,
whereas the only films where a spoiler has ruined the experience has been M Night Shaymalan's later films exactly because he wanted to redo the success of the twist in The sixth sense so badly he turned himself into a one trick pony and
made a bunch of movies that had nothing going for them except increasingly far-fetched plot twists.

I'd put it this way; If you accidentally found out somebody was throwing you a surprise party and you already knew who was going to be there and what food and presents they'd bring, would you choose to skip out on what could still be a potentially great party just because there wasn't any big surprises?

KyriakosCH

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #32 on: 01 Jun 2020, 22:16 »
I think that while the cinematography in many of his films is great (particularly in Vertigo, but there are scenes of note in many other movies: even in Marnie, which has a bad plot imo, the horse fall scene is good), the story usually isn't that sound. Of course it is worse in some cases than in others.

Rear Window, for example, makes little sense as something possible to happen, and seems to be more about the setting.
Spoiler: ShowHide
The killer doesn't plan anything correctly in the actual murder, but is then very calm and calculative in parts of the cover up (supposed journey of the wife) and not at all with others (who would hide any evidence of murder in the yard of his busy apartment block?).


Vertigo, on the other hand, has a nice symmetry:
Spoiler: ShowHide
 A woman dies. A woman falls off a high tower. The end result is real, but the events leading up to that are fake: she had died earlier (strangled), and a double fakes the story as a supposed suicide. J.Stewart's character mourns the double, and then finds the double's supposed double (she is the same person), who he tries to make look exactly like the one he mourns. But when this happens, the end result is that the trip to the high tower is replicated, and this time the double falls to her death.
Another nice symmetry exists with the woman in the oil painting, a supposed proto-double and origin of the fake suicide story.


I think the Vertigo story is notable. The other stories in films of his I saw aren't, imo.
Too bad Borges had lost his eyesight by the time Vertigo was filmed. I think he might have been interested in the story.
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #33 on: 01 Jun 2020, 22:49 »
Something I haven't seen touched upon much in discussions on Vertigo is the parallells of the story and the Edgar Allan Poe story Ligeia, because they do have some strong similarities, and the wikipedia article even mentions it.

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #34 on: 02 Jun 2020, 09:58 »
Is that the one with the new wife gradually resembling the previous, dead wife, all the more?
Another "double" story.
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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #35 on: 02 Jun 2020, 13:20 »
Is that the one with the new wife gradually resembling the previous, dead wife, all the more?
Another "double" story.
Yep, precisely.

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #36 on: 09 Jun 2020, 23:50 »
I feel bad about mentioning the Bates Motel TV series in the first place, now. I agree that the rape scene could/should have been done in another way. We all have our off-triggers; mine is cruelty towards children. Ever since becoming a parent, that changed how I'd watch something that earlier only entertained me, f.ex. some kidnapping plot in a crime show. And I've not even experienced anything of the sort.

That being said, the characters really do delve into the traumas from that first incident. Norman and Norma are two very disturbed individuals in the show, and the assault have lasting effects on them, sadly among other things resulting in other assaults later on. The actors are really good, too. The last season recreates the plot from Psycho in a way that relies on the story being spoiled beforehand - it's exactly what drives the tension. I thought that season was going to be poor, but it turned out to be quite good.


While spoilers deter from my enjoyment, they usually don't ruin the entire experience. Alas, with Psycho, I'll never know how I would have reacted...I've been furious with the typical literature schoolbook from the period when I went to school, where they told the pupils only the endings of various books, thereby crushing our will to read them. On a lighter note, when the Lord of the Rings movies came out, it was generally accepted that people knew that
Spoiler: ShowHide
Gandalf would come back
. The trailers for the next movie gave it all away, as they probably thought the audience would have read the books. I distracted my wife at the key points during the trailer for months, and incredibly enough, it worked! When we went to the movie, she was pleasantly surprised.

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #37 on: 10 Jun 2020, 01:05 »
I know what you mean about not knowing how you would have reacted not knowing the twist.

Because if this thread, I’m currently reading the book of Psycho. And it’s the same thing. I can still enjoy the book but man I’d love to know whether or not I’d have guess the twist. I mean it seems quite obvious really but of course I’ll never know.

One thing that surprised me about the book is that:
Spoiler: ShowHide
The shower scene happens right within the first few chapters, and the rest of the story is about Sam Loomis and everyone trying to find her.

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Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #38 on: 10 Jun 2020, 07:19 »
These classic old movies with some of the most original and best twists in film history are permanently spoiled for all time. It's really such a shame.

Now it's so hard to find a movie with a twist that is original and/or that you couldn't see coming from a mile off.

I did just watch one recently with an impressive surprise called "The Cabining". A very nice low-low-budget horror movie made by two brothers. It seems they made it for around $70K-$80K. The two brothers directed it and one of them plays the main character. The acting is above par for such an indie production and the chemistry between the main character and his gross friend reminds me of Pegg and Frost. Not as polished as them but these guys are much younger and have time to get it just right. I would highly recommend and hope they go on to make more movies.

Re: Best movie by Hitchcock?
« Reply #39 on: 10 Jun 2020, 13:13 »
I feel bad about mentioning the Bates Motel TV series in the first place, now. I agree that the rape scene could/should have been done in another way. We all have our off-triggers; mine is cruelty towards children. Ever since becoming a parent, that changed how I'd watch something that earlier only entertained me, f.ex. some kidnapping plot in a crime show. And I've not even experienced anything of the sort.
I'm glad you understand. And it's very common for parents to say that they can't watch depictions of children being hurt after having children of their own, but it still frustrating to me that most directors at least try to acknowledge this and even a filmmaker as awful as Uwe Boll had the decency to make the death scene of a kid character in Dungeon Siege take place entirely off-screen as to not upset any parents watching, whereas if you're triggered by graphic depictions of sexual violence against women, they're so common nowadays you have to keep constant vigilance to avoid stumbling onto it by accident. If only filmmakers would extend the same courtesy to women's fears as they do to parents..

I wish I had the luxury of avoiding spoilers, but it's immensely hard doing that whilst simultaneously avoiding being surprised by scenes that could make me feel awful for several days on end, which is why I think comprehensive trigger warnings over sensitive subjects in a given piece of media should be mandatory, as they are the only fair compromise to minimize spoilers whilst sparing the mental health of those who need it.
« Last Edit: 10 Jun 2020, 13:24 by Blondbraid »