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.