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Old 04-14-2018, 05:12 PM
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bluewpc (Offline)
The Next Bard
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@JC So summary aside I dont think horror is lazy as a genre, in fact exactly the inverse and considering how many sequels there have been to Hellraiser and SAW I may need to justify that. Before that though Id like to define the era Im talking about as American cinema from 2000 to the present. Also Id preface this with an acknowledgment that this isnt without precedent. Tacitus writes:

All things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome.

I dont even necessarily believe this is a bad thing nevertheless it aught be examined and I dont know that it has been before. And let me qualify that. The death spasms of a civilization seem to inform the civilizations that overtake it. The visigoths seem to be an apt example if were continuing the Roman theme.

Its undeniable that people go in part to violent cinema for the violence and that the writers must contrive some wrapping that justifies the display. Now these justifications can be paper thin but must not violate certain taboos and in this instance they are exactingly scrupulous.

Criticism of the military is at this day almost unheard of. Mutiliation of children, the toppling of large buildings in the context of terrorism (Equilibrium was postponed as I recall due to exploding buildings in the end scene, Collateral Damage suffered the same), period accurate morality (Kingdom of Heaven was the most egregious example). Objective, that is to say realistic depictions of the slave trade, negative depictions of any religion other than Christianity (though to betray a bias of my own Christians fucking earned it )

Enough of that then and to your question: Is there something in the senseless murderer which wishes pain on the youthful, the attractive, the sexually active, the innocent in a rage against their own inadequacies and failures? And are they generally the vicitms of some cycle of abuse?

The vogue answer to that is of course Jordan's interpretation of Cain and Abel so I wont rehash that here because you probably know it by heart. Its a valid interpretation but Im more inclined towards Steinbeck's take on the tale:

The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt—and there is the story of mankind.


I wont get into my own interpretation because no shit I wrote an entire book about it, that and other topics. You want to know my thoughts on it you can look at this thing here: Things Fall Apart. Personally I advise against it because Im a colossal dummkopf.

I think to answer your second question about if we want to be informed about civilization through horror, my answer is yes. Yes you want to know whats dangerous and horrifying so youll be prepared to confront it. If the representations of horror are mere mindless monsters then the individual is left unprepared. I dont think people just want to be frightened. Because for that you can walk down a dark alley with a stranger. Theres something about confronting horror or watching the confrontation of horror to form a model of confronting horror that strengthens us. The idea that being frightened is the end seems ludicrous. No one wants to be frightened, not truly frightened. People pay to go see a horror movie, they dont pay to be dropped off in an asylum with a serial killer. Its a safe environment to encounter the grotesque, the other and to incorporate it into the self, because incorporation is an unconscious act and one you have no control over. The ideal is catharsis. Oedipus Rex is horror. Macbeth is horror. Id even go so far as to call the Iliad horror.

Catharsis has several definitions but in this case the psychological definition serves:

A technique used to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness.

This is the end. Not to be frightened but to ingest horror and come to terms with it. Now if your representation of horror is facile then the individual remains unprepared.
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