Nightcrawler: A Movie I Chose Not to Finish

I give up on books quite regularly. The amount of time it can take me to finish a book can range anywhere to a few hours to up to 10 or so of solid reading time, depending on the book. So if I’m not having a great time reading, it just makes sense to put the book down and move on to the next one. I never review those books, and I almost never even mention that i’m reading them to anyone.

TV shows are another medium a regularly abandon. If something doesn’t catch me early on, I’ll move on to something that does. I don’t feel guilty about it. It’s a simple matter of time management.

Movies are typically a different beast, however. They only take a couple of hours to finish, so by the time I’ve decided I don’t really care for a film, I’m usually only an hour or so away from being done with it, so why not just finish the thing?

Nightcrawler provides an excellent case study.

It’s supposed to be a solid film. A disturbing look into a disturbed individual. I’d read about it when it was in theaters, and then I saw it pop up on Netflix, so I started watching it last week while I exercised. I got 50 minutes into it or so, and I decided today not to return to it.

Why not?

The film seems to be well put together. Good acting. Good directing. I can see why critics like it. The big flaw for me is that it’s a subject matter I really don’t care to explore any further. It made me uncomfortable. That’s often not a good reason for me to give up on a movie. I can stand a bit of discomfort in my life, but in this case . . .

I don’t know. It was different. It made me feel like I needed to wash my hands. Maybe that means it was doing too good of a job for me. I’m not sure. But I do know that with all the other movies out there, hanging out with one that just made me feel icky isn’t an experience I’d like to prolong.

So there you have it. Yes, I self-select which movies I will and won’t watch, but even after I go through that process, it turns out there are movies that I still just don’t want to finish. I suppose you learn something new about yourself all the time.

Any movies out there that you started but turned off? Which ones, and why? (For the purposes of this question, I’d like to restrict it to movies that you knew what you were getting into before you started watching. No fair saying, “I started Silence of the Lambs but turned it off because it was way bloodier than the movies I like to watch.” On the other hand, if you typically will watch movies of that nature, but had to turn off Silence because of a scene or the specific way it dealt with something, then that’s fair game.

And anyone out there finish Nightcrawler? What did you think of it? Any ideas why I responded this way?

2 thoughts on “Nightcrawler: A Movie I Chose Not to Finish”

  1. I also had wanted to see Nightcrawler and was happy when it showed up on Netflix. I only made it about 30-40 minutes in. While I agree it was very creepy, it was actually the fact that I was bored that made me give up on it. I was just thinking, why am I slogging through this when I could go back to one of the series I was enjoying?

  2. I try to reserve real judgement of a work unless I finish the whole thing. That said, I do believe it’s telling that it was a film I could so easily walk away from . . . And I certainly can relate to the sentiment.

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