Blood and Popcorn

WARNING, MAY CONTAIN UNPOPULAR OPINIONS. . .

As a big fan of horror movies, I am regularly aware of those people who worry about us, thinking that we must be sick in the head in some fashion. I am particularly aware of this, as I still live with one of them. Whilst there are those far worse than my mum, when watching Saw II, she still had to ask if I actually found it entertaining. Although to be fair to her, she did wait until at least five minutes into the film before asking.
The scene in question was of a man who, having been kidnapped and sedated, now found himself in a situation in which he must cut out his own eye in order to survive. Anyone who has seen the entirety of the film will be able to confirm that, despite large amounts of on screen blood, it is not merely mindless violence, but can in fact be seen as mindful violence. ‘Jigsaw’, the ‘killer’ of the film places his victims in a situation from which they have every means of escape. Rather than simply killing them, he does what he does as he believes that knowledge of death will help them appreciate the lives they could lead, in a sort of ‘life is wasted on the living’ kind of way.
In a similar way to Se7en, it is not the violence, but the villains rationalisation for their actions that is the scariest part, particularly when they begin to sway you to understanding their point of view. Anyone who walked out half way through and missed the ending however, wouldn’t fully have seen this. (I’m not mentioning names . . . )
Yes, people die in horrible ways, and I have to admit that yes, I found it entertaining, but when criticizing films like these, many people forget two things. Firstly, despite various technological advances the human race has made, we still have a long way to go before becoming advanced ourselves. Evolutionarily speaking, we are still just apes for whom violence and the seven deadly sins make up a large part of who we are. Secondly, there are far worse things than special effects that people consider to be ‘entertaining’.
Working in my local WH Smiths, I have come to notice that the best selling magazines are most probably the ‘Granny Mags’. The cheap weekly magazines in which members of the public have sold their stories and pictures of events that have happened in their own lives. Events like rape, violence, and murder. Basically anything less than a stabbing would just be a footnote in the corner. As one magazine proudly boasts, “Life! Death! Prizes!” The only reason I can assume people buy these are because life, death and prizes are entertaining.
Likewise with books. Our biography section has now been split into two equal halves, the traditional biographies of the rich and famous (the majority of whom should be neither), now have to be crammed into exactly the same shelving space as the ‘tragic life stories’. Put simply, we now sell more books about people who had abused childhoods, than those who have actually done something positive worth reading about.

If that sounds offensive to abused children, its not meant to be and I apologise. I’m merely trying to point out that many of the people who will happily blame fictional movies for so many bad things in the world, are the same ones who are equally as happy to spend money reading about those things they are blaming the movies for.

If you think that watching movies in which people die in horrible circumstances make people like me sick in the head, then that’s your opinion and you are of course entitled to it. It is absolutely wrong, but you are still entitled to it.
Given the choice of fictional pretend violence, or real life parents abusing their own children, I know which one I’d rather spend my money on.
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4 thoughts on “Blood and Popcorn

  1. OK I will be the first to comment! I think that some people are very vulnerable and when this sort of film is made and shown it might make them think that this sort of thing is the norm! You may know it is not but all people are different! I understand what your saying about entertainment and some of the real life tragedies cannot be classed as that. It surprised me that so many do sell, although may be it is good for the victims to be able to put their experiences in words. I guess we are all basically still apes and we are interested in learning and watching others. Can non fiction be classed as educational? The world needs more humour if any thing 🙂 You may have that away from the screen but remember that not everyone does! But you are young and your tastes may changes 🙂

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  2. On the other hand :-, after watching Inside I’m Dancing, may be entertainment is something that holds your attention but moves you deeply. I’m pleased you’ve listed it as one of your favourite films. It does have something of everything, including humour :-), and it is a great film!

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  3. I am a HUGE fan of horror films as well…I love the ‘classics’: Carrie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Christine (gotta love a car that has the capacity to kill)…I also am, believe it or not, a fan of action flicks and am planning on seeing ‘Live Free, Die Hard’ tonight with some friends…I’ll let you know how it is!Kate

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