Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Horror! The Horror!

I do not, as a rule, watch horror films. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been within their target demographic.

Nor have I read the newspaper article that Carol Ianonne refers to in her recent comments about how horror films are becoming, dare I say, more horrifying.

People with better manners prefer to say that today’s horror films are becoming more graphic.

Ianonne argues that this means something. She reads the increasingly graphic horror film violence as a symptom of some major social upheaval in America.

While I agree with her that America is not doing very well these days, I would offer another explanation for the increasingly graphic violence: overexposure leading to desensitization.

If children are exposed to more and more violent images, they will need increasingly graphic depictions if they want to experience the original sensation of fear.

Violent images must be something like porn: the more you watch the more numb you become to their stimulative effects. More numb requires more shocking images.

This would be true regardless of how well the country were going.

In short, graphic does not have to be saying anything at all about America. I do not see it as a symptom of the current state of American culture and society.

Of course, if young people become systematically desensitized to images of violence, this will also most likely have an effect on their behavior. Similarly, young people who are addicted to pornography end up behaving differently toward the real women they meet.


Anonymous said...

I've always loved horror movies. Torture Movies appall me.
There's a big difference.
The former are tales told around campfires since the Stone Age. And probably still are.
The latter are extremely dangerous pathologies.
The comedy series South Park reenacted one, to my disappointment.
Simply to read about "The Human Centipede" is to see Sadean perversity. -- Rich

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There's no doubt, the dude is absolutely right.