This Is What Makes a Film Rewatchable
Art and Experience:
Why do we keep returning to some films? We might have an answer.
Some movies can be rewatched over and over again. No matter how you feel, what you’re doing, or what time of day it is, these films are the type that you put on for the sake of a good time. Think of these films as your comfort movies.
But what makes a movie rewatchable? There are a few factors that make us return to a movie no matter how many times we’ve watched it. Pentex Productions believes six factors make a movie rewatchable: story, humor, quotability, compelling characters, pacing, and a satisfying ending.
There may be a lot of crossover between what makes a film good and what makes a film rewatchable, but they are not the same thing. Other factors excluded while considering what makes a film rewatchable are nostalgia and personal opinion. While I have my own personal reasons to watch Twilight: New Moon for the umpteenth time, it is not universally a rewatchable movie.
Check out Pentex Productions’ video down below.
The story has to be compelling enough to be interesting more than once. Maybe they’re stories where you can discover new angles or jokes with every viewing. While the story is compelling, it can’t go into heavy thematic topics. You need to be able to watch the movie in any mental or physical state.
This rules out a lot of great movies like The Godfather, Children of Men, and American History X. While we have seen these movies multiple times, their stories are something people have to be in the mood for.
Lots of comedies are rewatchable. Even films that are not explicitly a comedy have regular moments that make us genuinely laugh. This lighthearted air that these films carry has the power to draw us back into their worlds with ease.
When you know the joke is coming, it builds up anticipation and excitement. If there are a few moments like that in a movie, then there is something to look forward to and keep you engaged in the story. Humor is why comedies like The Big Lebowski and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off are so rewatchable, as well as non-comedies that still have humor like Back to the Future and Forrest Gump.
‘The Big Lebowski’ CREDIT: Gramercy Pictures
Quotes from movies are like a shared language. On rewatch, these quotes from the movie can feel like an old friend sharing an old inside joke with you. It is that layer of comfort and familiarity that keeps bringing us back to these films.
This is mostly true with comedies. As a kid, I endlessly quoted Monty Python and the Holy Grail because we had it on so often, and I thought the jokes were extremely funny. But if any filmmaker can make a quotable film, it would have to be Quentin Tarantino. His films are packed full of quotable moments that are equal parts cool and hilarious.
The responsibility to make a film engaging time and time again falls onto the shoulders of the characters and their stories. The characters not only have to have stories that are engaging and interesting, but they also have to have some sort of development or a compelling aspect to them that rewards us for returning to them.
‘The Truman Show’CREDIT: Paramount Pictures
Is there anything worse than a movie that feels like it is longer than the Snyder Cut?
The film needs to be energetic and regularly change its pace to remain interesting and engaging. A lot of movies have scenes that stop the movie in its tracks, serving little to no purpose towards the film. We shouldn’t want to skip over any parts of the film. Instead, we should be glued to the scenes as they build in intensity to deliver a satisfying ending.
A rewatchable movie has to reward us with a satisfying ending. These endings don’t have to be necessarily happy, but they don’t leave us feeling cheated.
When the credits roll, we should feel satisfied and content with what we watched, and might leave us wanting more. Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, and Tarantino are masters at ending a movie without leaving us feeling like there should have been more.
So what is the most rewatchable film out there?
‘Hot Fuzz’ CREDIT: Rogue Pictures
Using the six elements that make a movie rewatchable, Hot Fuzz has to be the best movie to rewatch, no matter what. The film is the perfect Hollywood action parody and delivers an insightful and hilarious commentary on small-town life. The humor comes through more on every rewatch, the jokes that you remember still make you laugh, you can never go wrong with a character portrayed by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright has mastered pacing in a way that makes watching the film exciting.