Although B.J. Novak’s Vengeance has been receiving great reviews for its unique idea and dark sense of humor, it’s one of many movies that could never quite be properly mainstream because the same things that make it great also make it harder to recommend. Whether it’s because they examine dark themes, have shocking elements, or are simply incredibly niche, there are plenty of movies like this.
Redditors have taken the time to name some of their favorite movies that they find impossible to recommend. Whether confusing and hard to enjoy, like Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!, or downright weird like American Psycho, these are their top picks.
American Psycho (2000)
Thanks to its prominence in meme culture in recent years as well as Christian Bale’s rise to become one of the most well-respected actors in Hollywood, American Psycho has become an increasingly easy movie to talk about with friends but some fans still have their reservations.
Redditor Hat_King_22 calls it a “FANTASTIC movie” but says they can’t actually recommend it as “it’s just mortifying and a bit much”. The movie’s horrific violence means it’s hard to recommend as a comedy but everything about the movie and Bale’s creepy performance is clearly satirical leaving it in an awkward middle ground.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
With Kubrick as the director and a cast that includes Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Eyes Wide Shut should be an incredibly easy movie to recommend for Redditors but one user thinks its sordid themes and graphically sexual nature make it a lot harder. They dislike the movie’s public perception as it’s a “masterful work from Stanley Kubrick with many layers.”
Its story of a doctor becoming involved in the darkly secretive world of a hedonistic society allows to it explore themes that are rarely approached in mainstream media but it also makes it easy to see why it has the image it does to the general public. Whilst there are always discussions about the strength of Kubrick’s characters, it’s still a movie more than worth watching.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
In theory, if any movies should be easy to recommend without a worry, it would be Disney Studio’s classics like Sleeping Beauty, but Redditors like NoirPochette don’t think so. Although the movie’s visually beautiful take on the classic fairytale means it’s still a favorite for many, they say that they “can’t justify that Aurora is asleep for like most of the movie.”
Although the movie does have its dark moments, the main source of potential disappointment from the recommendation is the story’s absent central figure. That makes it unique amongst hard-to-recommend movies as its main problem is actually that it lives up to its title a little too much.
Dark City (1998)
Despite being a similarly dark and heavily symbolic sci-fi vision to The Matrix, Dark City‘s strangeness meant that it wasn’t a hit at the box office perhaps for the same reason why it’s still hard to recommend now. Gloomy and visually striking, even the casting of stars like Kiefer Sutherland and Jennifer Connelly doesn’t make the movie easier to sell.
One Redditor hopes that this won’t stop more people from watching it as, according to them, “If you do not love it, I believe you have no imagination.” Unfortunately, its appeal is one that has to be experienced first-hand to be understood so that doesn’t make it any easier to recommend.
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
There are some movies that fans want to recommend but only realize after they begin explaining that it’s not going to work. On the other hand, Freddy Got Fingered makes it clear from the title that the movie is not going to be for a lot of people. Add in that it sits at an impressively low 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s clear why no one wants to recommend it too loudly.
Nevertheless, Redditors like Squidgytaboggan still love the movie and think more people should give it a try. They simply put forward the title, saying “Freddy got fingered” but, as it’s a suggestion that speaks for itself, plenty agreed with the choice. Its fans believe there is a hidden charm to Tom Green’s gross-out comedy though it doesn’t make it easy to discover.
Blue Velvet (1986)
Whilst David Lynch has directed a dozen equally abstract and surreal movies that could all belong in this category, Blue Velvet is certainly the director’s most rewatchable film if only because it can take several viewings to even understand his unique twist on film noir. Of course, that means it’s not an easy movie to recommend.
Redditor youngkyrie11 calls Blue Velvet “a wild recommendation” thanks to its willingness to be disturbing and offputting from the very opening sequence. Even if the idea of a surreal noir movie is something that would get the interest of many movie buffs, getting someone to understand the dark mind of David Lynch is a tougher ask.
Nicolas Cage is a divisive figure with many loving his distinctive all-out style and others finding it distracting. In 2021’s Pig, a unique anti-revenge movie about a reclusive truffle-hunter whose beloved pig has been kidnapped, the actor found a role perfectly suited to his sometimes bizarre acting style.
For one Redditor who “really enjoyed” the movie, they still feel that they “can’t recommend it to anybody.” They were one of many that felt the problem with recommending movies like Pig is that the majority of people prefer to watch blockbusters rather than weird movies with incredibly niche premises but that this is a shame for gems like this.
Darren Aronofsky is a director with no qualms about delving into deeply symbolic and psychological territory that other filmmakers would avoid at all costs and it’s likely his upcoming movie, The Whale, will be no exception. One Redditor thinks that Mother! is his hardest-to-recommend movie of all despite being one of his best.
They say they “think biblical analogies were very interesting” but, for many other viewers, these were a source of controversy along with a violent third act that becomes more and more intense and shocking over time. A movie that inspires as much strong criticism as it does praise, Mother! is certainly a risky movie to recommend.
The idea of body horror alone is enough to guarantee that a lot of people won’t be open to being recommended a movie like Titane but its premise of a woman becoming pregnant with a baby conceived between herself and a car is likely to put off even plenty of movie fans that consider themselves to have a high tolerance for it.
According to Redditor lloydhewison8, “Recently, Titane” is the movie that has been on their mind when it comes to great movies that are impossible to market to others. With a dozen incredibly shocking moments, it’s also a movie that’s hard to forget afterward making it all the worse that it’s one that’s hard to tell friends about.
The House That Jack Built (2018)
Lars Von Trier has never shied away from controversy as the director of many movies that shock and fascinate the audience at every turn. The House That Jack Built is one of his typically polarizing efforts as some believe its provocative portrait of a serial killer is an important vision whilst others believe its weak commentary doesn’t justify all its offputting violence.
Redditor Jaredocobo believes that’s part of what makes it such an important movie to watch and share though, saying it belongs in this category despite the fact that, by the end, they weren’t “even sure if I enjoyed myself.” The best movies do encourage discussion but, in the case of this movie, it’s likely the hardest one will be recommending it in the first place.