In 2003, outdoorsman Aron Ralston was trapped in a slot canyon in Utah, his right arm pinned by a boulder, for 127 hours. To escape, he sawed off his arm with a dull pocketknife. True story. In 2010, Director Danny Boyle released a movie about it, starring James Franco as Ralston, but when viewers arrived at that pivotal scene, many couldn’t hack it. Movieline.com compiled reports of fainting, vomiting, and seizures at film festivals and screenings across the country.
“It’s meant to be an intense, personal, immersive experience. This isn’t a horror film,” Franco told Vulture. “…you’re spending the entire movie with one guy. You, as the audience, are going through it with Aron. When you watch the footage of him talking into that video camera to his family, you feel like he’s talking directly to you. And when he cuts off his arm, maybe it feels like it’s happening to you.”
Despite the suffering of moviegoers, the film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor.