Now I'm a happy-go-lucky kinda guy but some of the greatest films ever made are FUCKING DEPRESSING so in Haydon's Movie House fashion (which is a total lie as this is the first time I've done this...) here's my top five depressing films that will make you grab that Ben and Jerry's quicker than lighting and make you sob when you check your iPhone and see that NOBODY has called or text you. Enjoy, I guess...
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
(dir: Isao Takahata - Japan)
I know what you're thinking: "Chris, it's a fucking Studio Ghibli film mate, get a grip", well I'd love to agree but Grave of the Fireflies is an utterly beautiful and equally devastating film about a young father and daughter who are desperate to survive during the horrific events of the Second World War. Spoiler alert: virtually everyone and everything fucking dies in a bloody, brutal and albeit artistic way.
Vera Drake (2004)
(dir: Mike Leigh - UK)
Not only is this one of the best films of the 2000s, it's also one of the most eye-watering, wrist-slitting pictures in Leigh's filmography and recent British cinema. It feels odd to feel such strong emotions towards a back-street abortionist but trust me, Vera Drake will get under your skin and upset you long after the DVD ends. I bet it's even more horrendous on Blu-Ray...
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
(dir: Darren Aronofsky - USA)
I know - you were expecting this to be number one like every other list online. There's no doubt that it's worthy of the top-spot but I've still got two more cards to reveal. Aronofsky's audacious, incredible and heart-wrenching drug drama is utterly earth-shattering and soul destroying, particularly Ellen Burstyn's character, Sara Goldfarb whose descending spiral into the blackened belly of addiction is simply eye-gouging to endure. This is a sheer masterpiece which deserves to be seen by all, you'll just want a long bath and cake afterwards...
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
(dir: Lars von Trier - Denmark/Spain/USA)
You thought Melancholia and Antichrist were depressing? Man, you ain't seen shit. Lars' best film (yeah I said it) is one of the most unshakable, harrowing films in recent filmmaking. I'm pretty sure he actually hated Bjork, that's how cruel this film is. She learns to speak fluent English in order to start going blind, have everything taken away from her, have all her money stolen that she has worked so hard for to help her son get to college, gets banished from her home after being accused of theft and foul-play and then she fucking dies. JESUS LARS YOU HEARTLESS BASTARD. It's like Precious only really, really good and actually moving. Just typing about it is making me sad.
(dir: Gaspar Noe - France/Belgium)
No, it's not just because it has that horrific 9 minute anal rape scene which is sickening and virtually unbearable, it's because even in the slightest glimmers of hope that begin to emerge at the end of this reverse narrative masterpiece, you know that it's all in vein. Soon enough, everyone will meet their depressing and often timely fates. Even the joys of falling pregnant is tarnished by the sheer brutality of the violence and sexual abuse Monica Bellucci meets. Noe's Irreversible is one of the few films that is actually unforgettable and it's equally one of cinema's most defining and important releases. After watching, you will feel drained of any life and happiness for a good week or two and you'll instantly want a Happy Meal and a hug. TRUST ME.