5 Terrible Scenes That Almost Ruin Awesome Movies

#2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Harry Makes Things Awkward

We're watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, and Harry and Hermione are holed up in a tent together on the run from Voldemort. A Nick Cave song starts on the tent's radio. Harry tentatively approaches Hermione and holds out his hand, and the two of them share the longest, most awkward dance to Nick Cave since my high school prom.

Why It Ruins Everything:

A very vocal subset of Harry Potter fandom is still a little too upset that Harry ultimately ended up with Ginny instead of Hermione, and this scene (which Emma Watson claimed was meant to show Hermione rejecting Harry romantically) just adds more fuel to that fiendfyre. But that's not my problem with this scene.

It's that painfully awkward, fake-casual expression on Harry's face. You just know he is thinking, "Oh man, it's Nick Cave. I bet Hermione loves Nick Cave! This is your in, Potter. You can do this." And then Hermione obviously isn't that into it, so Harry pretends it's all a joke, and Hermione's trying not to hurt his feelings, and then they just keep dancing awkwardly without making eye contact, and you know that if the song ever comes on the radio again they'll both pretend not to hear it and try to change the radio station at the same time. And the brave hero of our seven-book series is made to look like a guy who's too terrified to ask a girl out directly and is forced to go for the old "I was just joke asking you to dance" defense.

#1. The Evil Dead -- Tree Rape

The classic 1981 horror movie The Evil Dead launched the careers of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. It featured groundbreaking special effects that put the actors' lives in danger but looked fucking awesome. It became one of the most popular cult films of all time. And it, uh, had a tree-rape scene.

If you're lucky enough to have been off making a nice sandwich while that scene played out, here's the recap: A group of unwise teenagers unknowingly release a bunch of demonic forces while staying in a deep-woods cabin. Soon after, one of the teenagers, Cheryl, wanders out into the forest, where she is stalked by some possessed trees, and then ... well, there's no good way for a comedy site to describe a rape scene, so here's a picture of something lighthearted instead.

More like NosPURRatu, am I right?

Why It Ruins Everything:

Genuinely shocking scenes, including rape and murder, do have their place in movies. Recently I saw a really good Canadian movie called The Wild Hunt that contains an incredibly violent scene that sort of comes out of nowhere. So when I'm recommending the film to one of my friends, or to the piles of stuffed animals that serve as my friends, I'll sometimes add a little warning along the lines of "Oh yeah, I should warn you, there is this one really violent scene," and then I explain that I believe the scene is necessary to the film because real-life violence is really shocking and horrible, and movies sometimes have a responsibility to show its consequences.

Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images
They usually understand.

But how do you attempt to explain to your friend who somehow hasn't seen The Evil Dead why the movie you're recommending has a tree-rape scene? Does tree rape contain some sort of deep metaphysical commentary about mankind and nature and shrubbery? Is there an underreported problem with tree rape in our society, and this movie wants us all to finally wake up and talk about? Or is it just in there because they had five minutes of empty screen time, and what else are you going to do with that besides add in some dendro-violation?

So instead of attempting to justify the non-consensual arboreal loving in The Evil Dead to your friend, you have to say something like: "Oh, and by the way, there's also a small amount of tree rape," and then your friend looks at you awkwardly, and you look at them, and then one of you clears your throat, and then they ask, "What about the 2013 remake version? Does that also contain non-consensual sex between woman and shrub?" and you reply, "Yes, it does. I guess the filmmakers decided that the ravishment-by-sapling was just too important to leave out," and then both of you take very long sips of your drinks while staring off into the distance.

C. Coville has a Twitter here and a Tumblr here.

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