Buried Alive

I Hate Violent Movies by pisaquaririse
July 6, 2009, 5:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Watching people’s physical person get destroyed or damaged.  It makes me physically sick.  I just had to stop watching one because I was having visceral reactions.  Awful stuff.

Not to mention you sit there and become emotionally invested people and then have to watch them tortured or slain.  Masochism to watch it.  Scary movies included (who wants to be scared? )

I watch documentaries most of the time nowadays.  The film I just put on pause I could probably have watched a few years ago.  The move away from violent films has increased my sensitivity(/empathy?) to scenes of violence.  And I can’t complain.

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You know it’s weird, when I was younger I loved to go watch scary movies, but only if someone would go with me. I guess it was an adrenaline rush. Then I got old, ha. Really I don’t know what changed, but I noticed it after I watched the movies 28 Days and The Ring. I was effing freaked out for a while after each one. Even though I knew it was irrational to be scared of, uh, zombies or undead little girls coming through my TV, I was still affected. Now I just figure the hell with it, and don’t try to watch actual scary movies anymore.

I know you’re talking about watching violence specifically – there are some depictions of violence that I have a harder time with than others. I think it depends (for me) on how real it seems/feels to me as I watch it and what kind of space I’m in, and context. Like the vampire movie “Let the Right One In” – the violence in it was uncomfortable for me, but some of it (bullying between children) was more upsetting to me than other parts (vampire biting someone).

Anyway, thanks for this post.

Comment by joankelly6000

“You know it’s weird, when I was younger I loved to go watch scary movies”

Gosh, my mind would trap me in fear for days when I was younger. I moved away from it as I got older but even now I find most of the horror movies so chock fulla cheap tricks and ..BOO!.. that I can’t even suspend the disbelief. SO I get what you’re saying re: believability.

“the violence in it was uncomfortable for me, but some of it (bullying between children) was more upsetting to me than other parts (vampire biting someone).”

Yes, verbal violence is no good either but I can tolerate it more (usually). I guess physical violence just seems so ultimate to me–permanent in a way. Especially scenes of killing. It’s the end of someones LIFE and the character just walks away smoking or saying some dumbass line. I’m just like “WHY do we make movies about people like this???”

I absolutely believe we could decrease actual occurrences of violence if we stopped showing so damn much of it.

Comment by pisaquaririse

Thanks for responding. I don’t know what I believe re: reduction in actual violence as a result of less depicted violence. I feel like there’s been an ass load of violence since forever, and more violence in movies/tv hasn’t made ME feel more violent, so I feel like violence comes from something besides seeing it normalized.

Comment by joankelly6000

Yes, there has been a lot of violence (it seems) since forever. I’m not sure the reasons for violence are the same throughout history. I do think, though it’s baby steps as far as radical feminism is concerned, we have become more sophisticated in our thinking around violence–again, comparatively only. We have a waaaaaaaays to go.
But given how shaped and guided we are by what we visually consume, I can’t help but think the difference is significant.
Like you, it hasn’t made me feel more violent, but watching it over and over has, in the past, decreased my empathy to scenes of it. And I do think decreased empathy to violence is part of what enables a more violent world.

What do you think would reduce violence? (if you even think it possible)

Comment by pisaquaririse

Hi Pisaquaririse, thanks for responding.

I was in a hurry yesterday when I left my second comment – and something else was in my head about desensitization and stuff. Somewhat along the lines of your latest comment, about reduction of empathy.

I wish I did know or even have a smidgen of faith about something that could reduce violence. But I still care about depictions of it. I think what I wonder most is – what is any person getting out of seeking out particular types of representational violence? Not just the “something in it for me” type of “what they’re getting out of it” but more specifically, do particular images of violence tell us things rather than just neutrally entertain us? And if so, what are we being told?

I’m pretty fuzzy on this, so this is a bit of a ramble, but – I’m thinking of when my sister and a friend and I rented “I Spit on Your Grave” when we were in high school. We’d heard how crazy-violent it was, and in our minds it was like – oh, cool, another Nightmare on Elm Street but from a little while ago! We were fans of the original Nightmare…

I didn’t really have much of a conscious awareness around the sexed violence of horror movies, so I had enjoyed Nightmare on Elm Street as just an adrenaline rush and a fairly campy flick.

Anyway, I’m not going to describe the first part of I Spit on Your Grave, I’m just going to say – our 17 year old selves were shaken and nauseous and freaked out, and had to turn it off. It was such a realistic-feeling depiction of what it was, um, depicting. And we were like, “fuck, fuck, I can’t believe I’m watching this actually happen to a woman.”

I very much connected what was happening to the woman character in that movie to what could possibly happen to me, by simple virtue of being female, at some time in my life. Any time, really.

But I never thought to ask any of the male school friends I had, who’d gone on and on about how gnarly the movie was and how we had to see it, how they could have stomached it.

I’m not saying I think girls and women are more sensitive to images of violence than boys and men, or even just more sensitive to images of violence against people like us, girls and women. I do think that messages get sent. I don’t know that the message is mostly “violence isn’t that big a deal” the more of it there is to view. I do believe that if it told me something about myself, which it did, to see what basically looked like a real life filmed attack on a woman, that there’s no way it couldn’t have told male viewers soemthing as well, either about females or themselves or both.

And even if those images and that message never translate to being the cause of why men and boys commit violence against girls and women, I still don’t appreciate those fucking messages. In and of themselves they feel violating to me, even if nothing in the “real world” ever comes of it. (Which I’m not convinced nothing ever does come of it, just saying.)

I don’t know how to articulate the difference between what I mean and the idea of “speak no evil” types of outrage about realistic violence being shown. I guess it’s the difference to me, for instance (problematic as the Accused may be as well), between the scene in I Spit on Your Grave and the gang rape scene in The Accused with Jodie Foster. I felt like the latter was clearly saying “this happens, this happened actually, and it’s horrifying, and people should be sickened by it” whereas I felt like the former was saying “come get a load of this.”

I don’t know how to explain it. They just feel different to me.

Comment by Joan Kelly

I used to be able to watch violence in TV/movies until I experienced my first death in real life. When my grandfather died (around 1990 or so), I couldn’t watch violent shows anymore. If the movie is really good otherwise, I’ll just close my eyes during the violent parts.

As for reducing violence, it’s simple. Reduce men.

Comment by bonobobabe

I’ve never been able to live with a TV in the house for that reason.

Now I can’t even enjoy good mystery authors like P.D. James or Ruth Rendell, although their mastery of English prose is superb.

And yeah, what Bonobobabe said, her last sentence.

The answer is pretty obvious.

Comment by Mary Sunshine

Wow, commenters stuck in the lazy-choke-hold that is Pisaquari’s Blog deserve an apology: I stink–I’m sorry.

So, Joan Kelly, I get what you’re saying about the educational, if not, truth-telling, harrowing effect violent movies can have. I’ve watched and tolerated violence more in documentaries simply for the fact it’s evidence of necessary information. I should have explained I was really, more, talking about fictional movies. Though I haven’t seen the example you cite, I really don’t see too many fictional (or even real-life based) films that present violence in the kind of way “I Spit on Your Grave” obviously did. Maybe I’m a film snob but I find most fictional movies are so poorly written, and usually so lacking in a socially-analytical base, that the violence cannot be properly ingested. “Properly ingested” is a loaded phrase, I gather. I should think more about what this means to me…

“I’ll just close my eyes during the violent parts.”

I have to close my ears usually too. Sound is powerful!

“I’ve never been able to live with a TV in the house for that reason.”

I may as well not have one. Habit at this point, I venture.
Plus, you can’t just pay for an internet connection where I am without also getting the TV connection–it’s more expensive to do so! :0!

As for reducing men: yes, I agree we’d probably be almost entirely(if not TOTALLY) violence free. FREE, even.

Comment by pisaquaririse

I’m glad I stumbled upon this site, because I was looking for others who share my concern for a new level of violence that is being presented more and more in films as entertainment.

Sometimes I feel like my intolerance for violence in films makes me seem “lame” to people who don’t have that particular issue, so it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my sensitivity to it.

I think it’s incredible and, frankly, very disturbing, that people find movies like “Hostel” entertaining. If you’re not familiar with that movie, it’s basically scenes of people being tortured to death, and it’s very, very, very graphic. I couldn’t watch it, but I’ve seen snippets of it, and believe me, that was enough. It really worries me that people would pay to see a movie like that…what do they get from watching others in agony? A thrill? Some sort of pleasure? And if so, what does that SAY about them? I would be highly disturbed to hear someone say they ENJOYED watching people suffer, even if it was “fake.”

Clearly, I’m not one of those people. I’m the direct opposite: I can’t watch something like that without lingering effects: nightmares, thinking about it later, etc. Rationally, I know that it’s not real, that it’s just a movie, and that those people are actors, but the images and sounds really do stay with me.

I was in the house with someone who watched “Watchmen” recently and even though I wasn’t watching it, I still heard sounds of saws and screaming and all kinds of horrible sounds, and that bothered me almost as much. I’ve heard movies like “Saw” and “Hostel” and “Last House on the Left” referred to as “torture porn” and I think that’s an accurate description…it’s seems like it’s just gratuitous violence for the sake of shock.

And there wouldn’t be films like that if there weren’t a market for them. And there seem to be a lot of those films. Why?!

Is it because as a society, we’ve become desensitized to the point that what USED to be considered ultra-violent (say, gunfights) are now “no big deal” so we have to show people getting their limbs chopped off or set on fire?

And what happens when THAT becomes “no big deal?” What’s the next level?

I shudder to think…

Comment by JennyB

I’m a Christian…I don’t watch violent or horror movies. Does the Bible explicitly forbid watching such films? No. But certainly they cannot strengthen your relationship with God or Christ, and in many cases may cause terrible damage. Besides, you have to understand: Studies have shown that continual altering of this might seriously affect your brain itself, causing personality and behavior changes beyond your control.

Comment by Rafa

I’m glad I found this site, like another commented I found it looking for like minded people.
I feel like I’m getting increasingly ‘worse’ at tolerating violence on tv and in films. My OH watches things like the Soppranos and Dexter and I can’t stand it, I start to panic and feel sick if something violent is going on, killing, beating up, rape also. But I feel like I can’t get up and walk out of the room or even say anything, just try sad concentrate on a book, my phone, laptop, whatever. My sister will watch things like the Saw movies but I would never watch it. I don’t understand why anyone would want to watch things like this its sickening.

Comment by thegladsatsuma

This reminds me of a trailer recently. It’s sad that so few people speak their mind on media violence, but I’ve seen through my friend countless acts of visual, and thousands of horror and exploitation films and I have to say your all absolutely right. My friend is a huge fan of horror and he gets into all the technical details of it, the gore, the blood how its made etc… I guess in a sense that could make you famous, but the violence is so over the top its disgusting. I remember not being able to finish one of the Saw films, and he acted like I was a wimp or something. I just don’t understand the appeal in these films, and the old ones were tolerable, the new horror films I cross the line at.

All I notice about this film, is their not killing pedos, not killers, or racists. They are killing girls, women, men, and people with religious beliefs. Is this really the kind of film America is ok with? This filth is even more disgusting than the sickest horror film imaginable. Because this is glorifying mindless violence, this is a disgusting display of brutality and judgmental thinking. I for one think this whole film is more disgusting than anything I’ve seen lately. Kill a teen girl cuz she’s a brat, these people who made this film must have warped fucked up minds. Its disgraceful to the film industry, to parents and family’s. This shit should be banned immediately I love good thought provoking films, but this is disgusting.

Comment by Matt

Excuse my language I just felt very sickened by this film trailer.

Comment by Matt

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