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Added by Joseph Grey on 26 Jun 2012 05:02
4344 Views 9 Comments

Misery Fest: Movies that leave you depressed

Sort by: Showing 25 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 427 Average listal rating (229 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
I put this classic story first not because it is the most depressing, but because it is such a well known romantic tragedy. This version is the only one I have seen, starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. Alas, this is one of those stories that makes a grown man cry. I was a teenager when I watched this the first time. Despite not having fallen in love as hard as these two, it still affected me throughout the story.

The thing that really hurts about this movie is the many times characters Catherine and Heathcliff -almost- came together and found love, only to be stopped by fear, pride, anger, and vengeance. Their love for one another gave their lives meaning, and destroyed their lives at the same time.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 144 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.8
Nightmare Alley is (I heard) Tyrone Power's favorite performance of all of his movie roles. It follows a carnival actor Stanton Carlisle as he climbs to the top of the heap in the entertainment world. Every decision he makes affects those around him.

Most painfully, his own ambition and greed begins to eat away at him, as well as the guilt of having swindled everyone in his life. By the time Carlisle's guilt gets the better of him, things really start to go downhill. It's this downhill spiral that really made me depressed.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 232 Average listal rating (120 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
There is a kind of wound to the soul that only love can make. This movie illustrated that point exceedingly well. This is one of those movies that leave you feeling despondent for days. Sure, you go through the motions of everyday tasks... but really you're thinking about these characters, and their story.

Olivia de Havilland plays heiress to her father's fortune, and Montgomery Clift plays a charming suitor. Innocuous enough, but watch the movie, and you'll understand there's much more to it. I'm not going to risk writing a spoiler, because you absolutely must see this movie, if you haven't yet.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 173 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.6
This movie starring James Mason is centered around a group of revolutionaries trying to escape a heist gone wrong. Things start to look bleak as friends split and try to escape alone.

I don't want to give up the story. Better to watch it, especially if you've got the appetite for misery.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 969 Average listal rating (535 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
A fairly well known movie among Korean horror film watchers. This movie, like its title suggests, is about two sisters. However, it's not really a horror film. At least, it's not one of those "monster gonna get you" horror films with a paper thin plot. This movie actually communicates themes on multiple levels, and deals with fatherhood, motherhood, infidelity, insanity, neglect, and wrongful death. Although not soul damaging, this movie definitely leaves a palpable trace of depression in its wake.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.7
Akasia (2003)
If you're a really sensitive person, this may not be the movie to see. No, it's not gross, or gory. It's deeply disturbing, and incredibly depressing. The story follows a couple who adopt a strange boy when they discover they can't have children. When they begin to bond with the boy, the mother suddenly becomes pregnant. With the new baby now in the picture, the boy becomes less and less important to the parents.

My ex-girlfriend picked this movie for us to watch on a whim, and I was depressed for weeks. WEEKS. I know it sounds ridiculous, but if you haven't seen the movie, you just don't get it. Perhaps tagging it this way as a depressing movie will somehow take the bite out of it. Though I doubt it. I watched the movie with no prior knowledge or expectations, and didn't sleep right for a long time afterwards.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 202 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6
The undead wet girl from the Ring is just a mindless, angry ghost, right? Not so! Ring 0 goes back and shows the story behind the angry ghost girl. The movie is without a doubt the most depressing of the Ring movies, and after seeing the film, I began to feel incredibly sad over the tragic life of Sadako, the girl in the well.

Actually, this is my favorite of the Ring movies. Not because it's the best one (that honor goes to the original) but because it affected me the most, emotionally. This is worth a watch if you've watched the original Ring movie.

Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 503 Average listal rating (293 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
This movie is an interesting one, to be sure. Akira Kurosawa directed this movie about a peasant who is used to impersonate the leader of a large clan in the warring period of medieval Japan.

Written and played out like a true tragedy, you can't help but watch as all hope for a favorable resolution literally dies at your feet. I found it hard to watch this well made, but depressing movie
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 1084 Average listal rating (594 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
Ran (1985)
A story of loyalty versus betrayal, love versus greed. A truly beautiful work of art, Ran plays out like a slow tragedy. Amongst moments of painful defeat are hints of hope and redemption. I was deeply affected by this movie, and have seen it only once so far. The Feudal lord Ichomonji tests the hearts of his sons by sharing the power of his kingdom equally among them.

Like many tragedies before it, main characters begin to die one by one as greed and lust take over the minds of those who would do anything for power. At the end, you're left feeling completely drained a lifeless. Everyone you have come to care about is either dead, or on their way to the grave. This is not a movie you want to cuddle with your significant other to. This is pure pain on film. Of course, the reason the movie hurts so much, is because you care for the characters, and the movie is very well made.
Joseph Grey's rating:
This movie stars Richard Burton, who excellently plays civil servant Alec Leamas. He is fed up with the cold war, and is beginning to lose himself in the world of lies and espionage. A great story, but this is definitely not the 'feel good movie of the summer.' The entire cast is well played and the story well told. A great movie for lovers of John Le Carre stories.

Unfortunately for our characters, stories like this leave no room for happiness and romance. Although Leamas does everything he's asked by his country, he still has everything taken from him, when it becomes impossible for him to escape with the woman he's fallen in love with.
And when the credits roll, you'll probably feel the way I did... drained. Upset. Sick. But, acknowledging a good movie.

Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 201 Average listal rating (107 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
Are you starting to see a pattern here? The mid-sixties looked pretty bleak in the theaters when it came to cold war stories. You could look at this movie as a sort of serious sibling to Dr. Strangelove. A B-52 armed with nuclear weapons begins a mission to drop bombs over Moscow, and both governments desperately try to retrieve the bomber before it can carry out its mission. There are no laughs in this story, though. This is serious stuff from the beginning to the end. There are greats moments of tense, palm sweating storytelling. Well acted by Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau, this movie is worth seeing.

It's worth seeing, IF you can handle the idea of thousands, perhaps millions of civilian deaths. That's what's at stake in this movie, on both sides of the war. And if you remember the title of my list, you have a pretty good idea how this is going to turn out.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 97 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Attack (1956)
Jack Palance is in one of his best roles as Lt. Joe Costa. Eddie Albert also does an excellent job in his dramatic role of Captain Cooney.
This movie paints a dark picture of war and corruption of rank. A very powerful and emotional movie, you're not going to be able to forget this one after you see it the first time.

You also won't be able to forget the senseless deaths of the soldiers who died because the cowardice of Captain Cooney. Lt. Costa eventually goes on a personal mission of revenge to kill Captain Cooney for his acts of cowardice. The movie leaves you with a true sense of betrayal and hopelessness.

Joseph Grey's rating:
Another cold war story, The Bedford Incident centers around a duel between a US Naval ship and a Russian Submarine. However, the movie also deals with the battling philosophies of Captain Finlander and journalist Ben Munceford, and the hopelessness of trying to win a nuclear war. An extremely tense and interesting movie. But be warned, you won't be smiling when the credits roll.

Doing a great job in illustrating the futile nature of war, the uneasy tension between the enemy ships and the tension between the crew and its Captain become too much, the ships both make a move toward mutually ensured destruction.

Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 4462 Average listal rating (2969 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.7
For those of you who have seen this movie, I really don't need to say anything. For those that haven't, I shouldn't tell you anything that will give away the story.
Really a must see in cinema, you will not be able to forget this movie, once you've watched it.

Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 1117 Average listal rating (661 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5
Forget the remake. The original Wicker Man with Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward is the only version you should see. I should have been older than 17 when I watched this movie. It took the life out of me for days. In fact, I was angry after the movie was over. But after giving it some time, I learned to appreciate the movie. Perhaps you will too.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 341 Average listal rating (187 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.6
Seconds (1966)
On the scale of depression, this one has to land very near the top. I watched this movie late at night, alone, and man did I need someone to spend the rest of the night telling me everything was going to be okay.
Rock Hudson plays a very different role as a man who is in need of a new life. When he gets one, he realizes it's not quite what he had in mind. Only the masochistic or truly lifeless will be able to see this movie without feeling depressed.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 4516 Average listal rating (2957 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 9
"Why not the third one?" you may ask. In this movie, there's the chance, the hope, that things might turn around for the better. You get glimpses of Michael Corleone perhaps giving a measure of mercy and understanding. You believe that things might work out for him and his family. Forgiveness and love might get the best of seemingly heartless criminals.

No dice though. Michael Corleone sets in motion another series of revenge killings, and even goes so far as to have his own brother executed. He alienates his wife, damages his children, and loses his connections to his better side. And then the credits roll.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
Lady in White (1988)
It has been awhile since I've seen this movie. In fact, I think I watched it three times at the age of seven, and never saw it again. But I do remember feeling terrible after seeing it.

I remember feeling hopeless when realizing as the details of an old murder slowly resurface, the outcome of events will never change. The dead are still dead, and you can't bring them back. It made me feel sick as a kid, that much I remember vividly.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 4855 Average listal rating (3105 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.3
If a part of you didn't die when you watched this movie, you were probably already dead. As many good movies begin, this one is full of hope. Foolish hope perhaps, but you begin to feel as though the characters might find a way through their troubles, and into some kind of peace, or happiness.

Yeah right. Next to the words "Directed by" reads "Darren Aronofsky." That means you're going to wish you were never born by the time the end credits roll on this movie. Each life that is interwoven into this film is ruined in a way that feels beyond recovery. I was eighteen and had a million dreams of my own when I watched this movie. It took me weeks to even remember what they were, and like most people I probably never fully recovered from this story.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 995 Average listal rating (609 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
Awakenings (1991)
A seemingly forgotten movie starring Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams. Robin Williams plays a doctor who begins to administer an experimental drug to a group of patients who suffer from a disease that leaves them completely frozen in their bodies. The problems only become more complex as the treatment begins to work.

Watching the patients finally begin to live life again brought them close to me emotionally, which made it all the more painful when the treatments began to fail. One by one, they had their lives and freedom taken from them, just as they were beginning to free themselves of their illness. I've only seen this movie twice, and it didn't make me any less depressed seeing it the second time.

Joseph Grey's rating:
This movie, which I watched a few weeks ago, is not as depressing as many others on this list. However, after seeing the movie, it slowly crept up on me. The more I thought about the movie, the more I started to feel down about it.

Having to watch everyone you care about age and die just as you are becoming young enough to truly help and appreciate them is pretty horrible, when you think about it. Also, there's a lot to be said for growing old with someone. If you get younger as the person you love deteriorates, it may be more than most people can take. I think the worst part of it had to be the loss of the mind as the body became like a child's. Forgetting your entire life, everyone you've known, and being trapped in a toddler's body... it's not something I ever thought of before seeing the movie. It's gotta be one of the worst ways to leave this world.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.7
A seemingly harmless movie at first. In the first fifteen minutes or so, you think you're going on a journey between pupil and student, traveling into the past to discover how living life is the true ink to a writer's pen, or something like that. Then you find out more and more about Tom Crick's scandalous past, and if the next hour and a half doesn't depress you, you must be too depressed already to notice.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 148 Average listal rating (89 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
On the Beach (1959)
One the Beach is one of those movies that doesn't seem depressing at the start. Once you figure out what's really going on though, get ready to feel the silent dread. A great cast of characters, and good direction. You should see this movie just because of how good it is.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.3
Ethan Frome (1993)
Nothing beats classic misery. I watched this movie only one time, but the misery lasts forever. Still, it's worth a viewing, especially if you feel things are going a little too well in your life.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 1043 Average listal rating (679 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.4
This movie has it all. Bleak weather, miserable townsfolk, a dreary old mansion, and... deep depression and suicide. Of course, I won't tell you what happens to who, but watch the movie and you'll understand how it made this list.
Joseph Grey's rating:

This is a list of movies that I remember seeing that left me feeling down for a while after watching them the first time.

Some of the descriptions have spoilers, which I'll cover with the spoiler tape. Most of the movies are worth watching once, so don't discount them just because I lost sleep after seeing them.

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