The Appeal of Gore

Two new movies hitting theatres soon — “Wolf Creek”: and “Hostel”: — contain graphic displays of violence, torture, serial murder, and dismemberment. _Hostel_ touts the factoid that paramedics were required at the preview due to the extreme reactions of some of those in attendance.

I find that I must shake my head in dismay and disbelief. What exactly is the “appeal”: of these sorts of flicks? Why do hordes of people surge to the theatres to watch gratuitous displays of blood, guts, and other disgusting acts of violence? The best answer I have ever been able to come up with is that it is something like a roller coaster — it gives a thrill of fear and excitement that gets the blood pumping, adrenaline rushing, leaving you with a headrush and a high that feels good, makes you feel alive. These movies act on natural fears, and we are morbidly fascinated with horror.

It titilates the evil side of humanity, appeals to that innate darkness. We are repelled and sickened, while at the same time we find it somehow appealing. Hence, the flocking to the box office and the sky-high sales of such movies.

I can’t stand watching those kinds of movies. They touch darker parts of my mind that I would just as soon keep tucked safely away. I hate the way watching those kind of movies disrupts my psyche and my sleep for several nights afterward. I wish to avoid becoming desensitized to that sort of violence. I simply see no reason to subject myself to something that, so far as I can tell, has no benefits whatsoever. It fails to qualify even as mere entertainment.

I have never understood why anyone would want to watch blood, guts, and gore fly around the screen. If there are any good reasons why anyone, let alone Christians, should watch these kinds of films, I fail to see them.

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