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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Horror genre not horrible

The idea of violent or horror movies being detrimental to anyone is silly. Movies, excluding a documentary, are an escape. They are made up tales by visionaries. Granted, some have more skills than other, but all have a vision they try to tell. Sometimes, that vision includes elements of violence. Western culture has never been shy to violence. Movie franchises like “Saw” belong in a genre where the more gruesome the better. It’s a strange fixation on blood and guts. But, there is nothing wrong with it.

Violence on the big screen is very common, almost mundane. Growing up in the early 2000’s, there was always a movie out that had something gruesome in it. When I was young, I didn’t see them. The Motion Picture Association of America has a rating system to prevent younger viewers from seeing anything that is deemed too vulgar. Using this system, a parent can judge what is appropriate for a child to see. No movie that is extremely violent or gory will be rated below a restricted (R). While the rating system isn’t perfect, it works well enough.

Some may just find the imagery of violence abhorrent on a moral level. However, we live in a world where horrific acts of violence happen on almost a weekly basis.

Saying that a movie will cause a person to act violent is an unfair statement. With that ideology, children should be banned from watching CNN or documentaries about WWII. It is impossible to escape violence today. A movie is not going to hurt anyone. It’s fiction. It exists in a realm of make believe.

There have been controversial movies, of course. Violence can become so intense that it is more of a test to see how far one can sit through a movie, but that is fun for a specific group. Movies like 1982’s “The Thing” was praised for its special effects. The movie was gruesome. There were scenes of pure gore. There were bodies contouring into monstrous shapes, with grotesque, walking flesh puppets throughout the movie. It was amazing to see, and truly a feat of visual effects.

There is also an issue of limiting expression. If violence is needed to convey the characters, and the world of a movie, then it should not be suppressed. What would “Pulp Fiction” be without the violence? A passenger in a car has his head explode after being shot. It’s shocking and hilarious at the same time, and it creates a base for a series of jokes on the matter. Banning someone’s artistic vision is easy. Having others understand and be tolerant of another person’s expression is worth the trials and tribulations.

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