Cinemas are where your dreams go to die. You’re stuck in the dark, forced to watch some terrible depiction of this cruel miserable existence of ours, your ears battered by noise. Some movies seem to take sadistic pleasure in showing you how horrible the world is and why you should be scared to leave the house.
Horror movies do this in an obvious and showy manner, but there are other films that do this more subtly, slowly carving their anxiety knives into you when you think you’re enjoying yourself. You are so wrong. Here are some hellish depictions from the movie world. (The delicious picture of the cinema popcorn is by jeffgunn.)
Fargo – North Dakota
According to his murder mystery, the town of Fargo in North Dakota is perennially covered in freezing snow. If you manage to escape dying in the cold, you’re likely to get murdered by being thrown into a wood chipper. Plus those accents are so shifty, you can tell everybody’s up to no good round these snow-slathered parts.
Apocalypto – Mexico
Rainforests are supposedly the lungs of the Earth, giving the planet that all-important oxygen. In Apocalypto, sure, there are some verdant trees and greenery, but it’s mostly full of bloodthirsty Mayans trying to chase you down and murder you, as well as dangerous animals aiming to take a chunk out of your arm. I’ll stick to my cold grey cities, thanks.
La Haine – Paris
Paris is usually seen as one of the most romantic cities in the world, but La Haine shows the grittier more depressing side not shown in tourist haunts. Gang warfare, guns and violence, as well as racism make Paris seem like somewhere to avoid – unheard of!
Hangover 2 – Bangkok
Famous for its wild party scene, this reputation is taken to the nth degree when the Wolf Pack get into horrible trouble, including a confusing time with one of the city’s famous ladyboys.
Bangkok was recently announced as the most visited city in the world, but most visitors walk away without getting their face accidentally tattooed.
City of God – Rio de Janeiro
Rio is a city of dichotomies. It has some of the most exclusive housing in the whole of Brazil and plastic surgery is common amongst the glamorous well-off, but at the same time, it is rife with poverty.
City of God’s tale of small children getting sucked into criminal gangs is one of the most riveting films you could watch, and it certainly shows a brutal side of Rio’s hectares of favelas.
Godzilla – Tokyo
If the Godzilla films are anything to go by, Tokyo is one of the most destructible places around. All the buildings look like they’re made of cheap plastic and wood, as if it could easily get thrown around.
Who knows how Tokyoites put up with that shoddy workmanship – it’s dangerous stuff!
Mad Max trilogy – Australia
Sure, there’s a lot of desert in the Australian outback, but can you imagine how much more dangerous it would be if it were also filled with cyberpunk biker gangs that mercilessly murdered everybody they encountered.
That’s what Mad Max teaches us – the desert is not just a harsh environment, but it makes people psychopaths. Great.