Bad (BAD!!!) movie

I’ll put any spoilers (such as they are, more on that in a moment) behind the cut, but suffice it for now to say that I HATED this movie.

So Saturday after our indulgent spa thing (which was lovely & I am all bright and shiney and glowy now) Jeff and I went to Shaba Shabu (ed note: turns out the name is actually Shaba Shabu … we’d been thinking it was Shabu Shabu and pronouncing it [accordingly] incorrectly) for a nummy dinner on the Thai side (first time there, as usally we do the Japanese side).

Then, as it was still early, we decided to go see The Butterfly Effect:

I hated this movie. Hated it so much I got up and walked out, which I’ve only done 3 or 4 times in my entire life.

Based on the previews, I’d gotten the impression that the main plot was going to be something about the Ashton Kutcher character (hereafter referred to as AKC) discovering that he can travel through time after something horrible, like an auto accident, happens to AKC’s girlfriend. Then you start getting into the paradoxes of time travel and the butterfly effect and every time AKC tries to fix it, something else goes wrong.

Well, I was right about the time travel part.

Here’s the spoiler part:

It turns out that in his childhood, AKC was subjected to lots of abuse, of many different types. His Dad, who is crazy and in an institution, tries to kill him the first time he meets AKC; and a”friend of the family,” who is entrusted with AKC’s care, films kiddie-porn starring AKC and the sister of a character I’ll call Mean Boy (MB), ’cause I don’t remember his name. Perhaps most disturbingly (can I really say that after already telling you his own dad tried to kill him and he was put in kiddie porn by a family friend?), MB is psychotic. Not crazy funny, ha ha, but mad in a wants-to-hurt-everyone-and-everything-around-him kind of way. Amongst other charming bits are scenes where MB burns AKC’s dog alive and beats AKC into a pulp.

AKC has blackouts (not all that surprising, considering), and as the movie begins to unfold (and AKC tries to figure out why he has blackouts) we see more and more of what happens in the scenes above.

And that’s when I had to leave. It was very upsetting, for a lot of reasons. Having experienced trauma-induced blackouts myself, I couldn’t watch him experience them without sort of “going there” myself.

I also don’t like watching people be evil. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but it’s close. I guess the real thing is that I don’t like real people who are really disturbed really wanting to hurt people*. Being possessed by demons or aliens is OK, as are non-human evils like poltergeists (of the evil type) or terminator robots. And as terrible as they are, I can watch movies with “natural disasters” (floods, sinking boats, burning buildings). But there’s something about watching people be eveil that just crosses a line for me. It hits too close to home to see psychotic people trying (and succeeding) to hurt other people.

So about 30 minutes into the movie, I had to leave. I’d already looked over at Jeff several times and said that I didn’t like it, but initially when he asked me if I wanted to leave I said “no,” as I thought it was going to get better. It didn’t get better.

By the time I decided to leave I was shaking… I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I almost ran out of the theater and it took me a good half hour (and the better part of a Dairy Queen Blizzard, which almost always helps) to calm down.

Now obviously, there was a lot more going on than a disturbing movie, and I bet a lot of people (whose baggage is perhaps, not marked with the same “Been there” stickers as mine) will really enjoy the movie.

I hated it though. Just hated it.**

* Yes, I know it’s a movie, but you know what I mean.
** There may have been some “redemption” somewhere, but, of course, I didn’t make it that far…

3 thoughts on “Bad (BAD!!!) movie

  1. I empathize with you. There are just certain types of movies I will not see. I have had nightmares for a couple years now and anything that might morph into a nightmare later I steer clear of. Thanks for steering me clear of a bad movie.


  2. L. and I saw the trailer for this one recently. It looked dark and probably not worth seeing, but I thought the same thing you did that there might be some redeeming time travel aspect to it that would make it worth seeing.
    Thanks for the warning on this. That kind of evil human stuff disturbs me a lot and stays with me for a long, long time. Blech. It’s the kind of think you can’t un-see once you’ve seen it, so I’d rather just not see it in the first place.


    • exactly
      Evil human badness. I wish I hadn’t seen as much as I did.
      There was a sci-fi short story that (maybe even was called the Butterfy Effect and) had a lot of the same sort of exploration of repercussions. I *loved* the story, but there was no mean-spiritedness in it.
      (All I remember about the story was that you weren’t supposed to “stray off the path” when you took a time travel tour, and I think things started to go wrong when someone accidentally brushed the wings of a butterfly? Or something like that…”


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