Sunday, July 24, 2016

Movies That Caused Audiences to Walk Out of Cinemas

By John Sanidopoulos

Some of the best movies I've seen are ones that are known for causing audiences to walk out of the theaters. People tend to walk out of these movies usually because they are too scary, too gross, too nauseating or just plain awful, among other reasons. Though I've walked out of a few movies myself, typically I like to pull through and stay to the end, especially if it is only boring or awful. But sometimes you just have to leave, or else you will vomit, have a panic attack, faint, have nightmares or something worse. If you do a Google search of "Movies People Walk Out Of", you will come across many lists of such movies, so I will refrain from posting those movies here, as you can look them up yourself.

As I said, many of these films are among my favorites, such as The Exorcist, Blair Witch Project, Freaks and Irreversible. More recently, in 2015, the movie The Walk received much media attention for causing audiences to walk out of the theaters, and in 2016 Swiss Army Man prompted audience members at the Sundance Film Festival to walk out, although I consider both excellent films. There are definitely movies not usually listed which very few people could handle on a large screen, and even I wait to see on a smaller screen at home, particularly some really over the top foreign horror films (I'll spare you the titles). 

But putting these aside, the only movie I have seen with a mass walk out which is often listed is a French film directed by Gaspar Noe called Irreversible. I saw it opening night in 2002, to an almost full theater, but by the end there were only maybe a dozen of us left, mainly men since there is a 9 minute rape scene most women could not take, but the woman I was with and a couple of others made it through. It is a very disturbing and stressful film to watch, particularly in theaters, and it makes you feel like you are experiencing a cocaine high as you watch it. But it is also one of the most brilliant films I've ever seen. As much as I'd love to recommend it, I wouldn't dare. Many of you would hate me after.

I've only walked out of three movies in my life the first time I saw them:

1. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (I saw it in theaters when I was 8 years old. There's a reason this movie started the PG 13 rating, along with Goonies that opened at the same time, which I was too scared to see at 8 judging from the trailer. Like most children at the time, we went in excited to see the movie, but we left in tears.)

2. Passion of the Christ (I went in feeling a bit nauseous after a big steak dinner, then I mistakenly got some candy for the movie, and 30 minutes later I left even more nauseous and faint. To note: it was a good horror film, but terrible Bible film.)

3. The Walk (There's one scene, when the main character looks down for the first time from the top of the World Trade Center, that is filmed in such a way that it made my stomach flare up and almost caused my heart to burst with panic, which I think can only be really experienced to its full effect on an IMAX screen, and I had to get up and take a walk for a minute, but I did finish the movie. The experience was more intense than a roller coaster ride. This was the only movie I have seen in theaters where the lights were kept on throughout the duration.)

How a person responds to the movies that often make some audience members to walk out, may say something about how people perceive things differently, and it may reveal something about yourself. So if you look over the lists in a Google search, recall how you reacted to the ones you saw, and consider what it may say about you.