I love movies with little plot and a lot of action (or gore, haha). Pretty much always have, always will, but after I lost my youngest daughter, I discovered exactly how fraught with peril even going to the movies was. The stuff that didn’t bother me before, as it was just something used to move the movie forward, bothered the heck out of me now.
I wish there was some kind of way people who have been through traumatic events could be warned about unexpected triggers in movies. The expected triggers – that’s your own risk. (I learned my lesson by going to watch Annabelle. Do NOT watch Annabelle if you’ve lost a baby recently. JUST. DON’T.) So I think I’m going to start keeping a list of one’s that I’ve personally encountered. Feel free to chime in with ones that bothered you.
Here are some of the ones that surprised me, and what the trigger was. (Of necessity, I will be ‘spoiling’ parts of these movies. I will keep it as vague as possible, but there can be no helping it. If your urge to avoid a spoiler is higher than your curiosity about the trigger warning, stop reading now.
This will be updated as I think of/discover them.
Listed by category in the following order: Action, Horror, Mystery/Thriller, Scifi, Drama/Misc, Fantasy
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)– Flatline scene w/ sound.
There’s a scene where one of the characters dies in the hospital, and the flatline of his heartbeat is shown and the audio blared. Holy crap. Having taken my daughter off life support, I simply can’t take that sound. It sends me into immediate flashbacks.
Poseidon (2006)- Drowning Scene
Toward the end of the movie, one of the men has a violent (jerking, gasping) drowning scene.
San Andreas (2015) – Drowning Scene – x2 (First is basically just referred to, second is center-stage)
There’s a scene about 1/4th of the way through the movie where it is obvious that one of the main character’s children drowned, and he tried to save her, but couldn’t. A flash of her on the raft, a flash of her in the water. That’s it.
However, towards the very end of the movie, the hero’s other daughter visibly drowns (jerking motions, going still) and he removes her from the water and has to do CPR for a while to get her back.
Pet Semetary (1989)- Child death | Hit by a semi
There’s a scene fairly early on in the movie where a little boy runs out in the road and gets struck by a car. The child’s body is not shown, but its very clear what happens.
Dawn of the Dead (2004) – Not a trigger, per say, in that something happens in it that might have happened to you but… Maternal Death | Zombie Baby.
Scene happens near the end. Mother is tied down, turns, is put down after discovery. Then wrapped small bundle is unwrapped, very obviously dead/zombified baby.
My Girl (1991) – Child Death | Anaphylactic Shock
There’s a scene later on in the movie where a child character ends up getting stung by bees and dies from it.