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Ten films you should never watch when planning a party

Life’s a party, some idiot once said. He’d obviously never seen any of these terrifying films…

By Tom Huddleston

It’s party night! You’ve got a fridge full of booze, a kitchen full of nibbles and a playlist crammed with bangers – but there’s still two hours to kill before your guests arrive. Time for a movie! However, if you don’t want to end up ringing everyone you know telling them you’ve suddenly fallen ill, we’d suggest staying clear of these ten party-poopers…

1. This Is the End (2013)

Film Comedy

The film It’s a backslappy celeb-a-thon in the Hollywood hills as stoner superstar James Franco (himself) throws a mega-bash for actor friends like Seth Rogen (himself), Jonah Hill (himself), Craig Robinson (himself), Paul Rudd (himself) and Michael Cera (himself, only more so).

Reasons to avoid Though the film is funnier than you might expect, it may remind you that all your friends are ordinary, boring people with zero celebrity status – and that playing darts with Helen from human resources isn’t as exciting as playing pool with Rihanna.

The ultimate party pooper You’d think the apocalypse would put a crimp in Franco’s fun times – and at first it does, as countless minor comedians tumble into the gaping abyss. But The End of Days is just an excuse for everyone to have fun adventures and live way more exciting lives than you ever will.

2. Weird Science (1985)

Film Science fiction

The film After ultra-nerds Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) and Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) create their perfect woman (Kelly LeBrock) using only a computer, some wires and a doll, she tries to make them look cool by throwing a wild bash while Wyatt’s folks are away.

Reasons to avoid This is the kind of too-many-people-show-up, the-house-gets-trashed type nightmare that every party-thrower dreads. Only with added missiles, gunfire and kidnapped geriatrics.

The ultimate party pooper We’re not saying a gang of motorbike mutants from the future will run amok at your party. But why take the risk? Best to cancel while there’s time.


3. The Deer Hunter (1978)

Film Drama

The film Winner of five Oscars, Michael Cimino’s grand tragedy follows a group of smalltown American friends as they prepare to leave for Vietnam. A wedding party scene shows a tight-knit gang singing along to ‘Sweet Caroline’ and living life to the full.

Reasons to avoid When the party’s over, it all goes horribly wrong. Even those who survive the horrors of war are terribly scarred, and their memories of past happiness only make things worse.

The ultimate party pooper The final gun-to-the-head scene, which we won’t spoil… The moral is this: whatever pleasures you may take now are fleeting and meaningless when set against the true horror of existence. So seriously, time to lock the door and hide under the covers. They’ll get the message.

4. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Film Science fiction

The film We’ve all been there. Your fearless Messiah (Keanu Reeves) is about to lead you into battle against the scary tech forces that have enslaved humanity. You won’t live to see another dawn. There’s only one thing for it. Party!

Reasons to avoid They call it a party, but what we have here is a vision of hell: a thousand nubile, semi-clad dreadlocked pagan pillocks pumping away to tedious techno. Imagine if your party turned out like this!

The ultimate party pooper It all tips over and everyone switches from dancing to dry-humping. Ew – what if those were your friends, necking like slippery permatanned sea-otters in the living room? Imagine.


5. The Omen (1976)

Film Horror

The film When Damien Thorn (Harvey Stephens), adopted son of the American ambassador (Gregory Peck) reaches five, his adoring parents throw him a big bash. The cream of London turn out to toast the adorable little moppet.

Reasons to avoid Just because you haven’t noticed a buildup of huge dogs, flocks of crows or creepy-faced old women in your neighbourhood in the run-up to the party doesn’t mean that one of your guests (or you!) won’t turn out to be the Antichrist.

The ultimate party pooper Damien’s nanny hangs herself from the third-floor window. Unless you live in a bungalow, this is a very real risk.

6. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Film Drama

The film Financial sleazebag Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) has dragged himself up from poverty to become one of America’s richest men. But Jordan’s not selfish: there’s nothing he loves more than thanking his hardworking staff with a no-holds-barred knees-up.

Reasons to avoid It might look like these guys are having a whale of a time, necking bottles of Dom Perignon and going ‘wooo!’ a lot. But remember: they’re bankers, and this is the movies. In real life they’d all be standing around awkwardly talking about football and shares.

The ultimate party pooper When the hangover hits, it hits hard: the FBI start sniffing around, and Jordan’s family life spirals downwards. This could happen to you!


7. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

Film Action and adventure

The film It’s the grand finale of the original ‘Star Wars’ saga, and the Rebel Alliance are (spoiler alert!) celebrating their victory against the Emperor and his metallic minions. Sadly, the venue they’ve chosen for the big end-of-war bash has a serious rodent infestation.

Reasons to avoid They say that in any major city you’re never more than a few feet from a rat. Give the rats cutting tools and xylophones and you have some idea what our heroes are facing. Oh, and it all takes place in the middle of a huge forest like some kind of dog-on-a-string illegal rave.

The ultimate party pooper It turns out that not only is the forest overrun by furry critters, it’s also home to the planet’s most haunted fireplace. So there are ewoks, there are ghosts, and they’ve just crushed the only authority in the galaxy capable of busting up this unholy gathering. Nice work, rebels.

8. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)


The film The ultimate frathouse movie, this follows a band of misfits and outsiders whose tumbledown university lodgings become a nexus of hard drinking, casual sex and general debauchery. The toga party scene is a classic of Caligulan excess.

Reasons to avoid It may look fun, but think of the victims. There’s the poor hippy who gets his guitar smashed against the wall by bully John Belushi. There’s the long-suffering Dean who has to try and control these hooligans. And slightly less amusingly, there’s the 13-year-old girl who gets blind drunk, hooks up with sleazy Tom Hulce and is delivered back to her folks in a shopping trolley.

The ultimate party pooper When the hot-shit soul group Belushi and friends have hired for the evening are forced to deliver their set to a bunch of overprivileged douchebags wearing bedsheets. One of them even grabs a mic and sings along. It’s enough to make you swear off all social gatherings for life.


9. Cloud Atlas (2012)


The film We count at least three parties scattered throughout this sprawling and divisive fantasy. But what we’re focusing on is a book launch for the colourful recollections of mad, bad Irish gangster Dermot Hoggins – played, with tangerine tan, handlebar ’tache and outrageous ah-begorrah accent, by Tom Hanks.

Reasons to avoid There are always going to be a couple of folks at a party who don’t get along, but the rift between Hoggins and snarky critic Felix Finch (Alistair Petrie) pushes things a bit far. The barney that kicks off may be entertaining to fellow guests, but you wouldn’t want it in your kitchen. And then…

The ultimate party pooper Hoggins grabs Finch, hauls him out onto the balcony and pushes him over the edge to his death. As mood-killers go, it’s up there. Party-planners who happen to live in tower blocks will want to give this one a wide berth.

10. Old School (2003)

Film Comedy

The film After discovering his girlfriend in flagrante with a stranger in the middle of the afternoon, Mitch (Luke Wilson) moves to a new house on the edge of a university campus. Desperate to relive his teen years, best friend Bernard (Vince Vaughn) decides to turn Mitch’s new pad into a party mansion.

Reason to avoid See ‘This is the End’. For their inaugural bash, Bernard hires a huge PA, invites everyone in the neighbourhood and even hauls in Snoop Dogg as special musical guest. There’s just no way you can compete.

The ultimate party pooper Mitch gets gloriously drunk, hooks up with the object of his desire and becomes a hero to thousands. Um, okay. We might need to rethink this one. Maybe parties are okay after all.

Other films you should probably avoid...

Ten films you should never watch during a break-up


There’s nothing to get you through a break-up like curling up in your jimjams with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a romantic movie. Just be careful what you watch! There’s a fine line between gentle feelgood romcom to put back together the pieces of your broken heart and a movie that’ll make you feel wrist-slittingly destined to be single and alone forever.


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