Today on Blogcritics
Home » The Cult of Horror

The Cult of Horror

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

horror.jpg

A Halloween Message (in advance)

The non-human section of the animal kingdom is often so much more interesting than the mixed up messed up human one. I envy animals’ blithe ignorance of human weirdness. I admit I’m only a simple cartoon creature but even I can tell what’s weird and the cult of horror is very weird indeed. The worship of horror films, horror books, horror images, violence merchandise. And the worship of the creators of the Horror & Violence Industry – those real vampires who gobble up the dough that consumers eagerly stuff into their insatiable gullets. For the fix of adrenalin they get from watching Special Defects: repulsive studio-excreted aliens and grotesquely made-up actors overpaid to torture, rape, shoot, decapitate, abuse, disembowel, dismember and generally do evil as slowly and sadistically (let me count the ways) as the twisted imaginations of their authors can conceive.

“Oh come on!” horror fans will say, “It’s only innocent fun, fake frights. We know it ain’t real.” But that’s exactly the point: lured into a painstakingly realistic yet fake violent horror world, human sensitivity becomes blunted. The boundaries between what’s real and what’s fake become blurred. And when real horror happens in the real world – as it does every day – immunity sets in. Cynicism. ‘Cool’ irony. Indifference. Bewilderment: “This can’t be real, it’s just like a horror movie.” A zombified society, passively allowing itself to be hypnotised by every cunning conman with a used monster to sell.

Come on, wake up! Don’t censor the purveyors of horror and violence. That’s what they want, it makes them feel like rebels. They’re not rebels, they’re just noisy, spoiled, megalomanic brats. Ignore their tantrums, take away their allowances and above all, stop worshipping their excrement. Oh allright, their shit. And if you crave horror, look around at the real world – you’re sure to find some. But it won’t be thrilling.

Powered by

About Aug

  • http://www.criticalminds.org Brady

    Sheesh, that’s a bleak and very subjective way to look at the topic.

    Movies are an escape from reality, whether you are watching a love story, drama, porno, or horror. Really doesn’t matter, you are watching the screen to suspend the reality around you and see images that would not normally appear in your everyday life. Otherwise you could just site there and enjoy your own pathetic reality.

    Some people prefer their suspended reality to be close to their own. Some like to delve a little deeper into the unknown. The horror genre, for most of us, lies in the latter realm, the dark underbelly of human nature. The genre plays with the audience’s fears and anxieties of death, dismemberment, etc. Some are over the top (Evil Dead) and some are deadly serious (The Exorcist).

    The celebration of the genre is not a celebration of death, destruction, etc., but a celebration of the audience overcoming a traumatic or uncomfortable event. It is a celebration of overcoming perceived danger. This is similar to the enjoyment of amusement park roller coasters. We don’t celebrate the risk of roller coasters, but the perceived danger gives us a “thrill”.

    Just as you suggest, quite a few of these images exist in reality. As a Wired article recently examined, protest organizations around the world are releasing videos showing the world the abuses that they are encountering, such as this one from Afghanistan. I’m not sure many people sit around watching that for entertainment.

    Are we numbed when looking at these images of reality simply because we watched horror movies? Perhaps more of us are able to stomach the gore in the imagery, but I doubt that any of us are numbed to the viciousness of the act. If anything would numb us from the reality it would be the overplay of real violence in the nightly news. It would be the images of war being replayed over and over on the history channel.

    I seriously question the implication that horror movies are causing us to be an amoral society. People have been protesting the horror genre for centuries, both in writings and adaptations on the stage. The responses and criticisms have almost always been the same.

  • http://www.nataliedarbeloff.com/blaugustine.html Augustine

    I take your point, Brady. It’s a point of view that the majority will usually express when discussing the subject of horror and violence in films, TV etc.

    “People have been protesting the horror genre for centuries, both in writings and adaptations on the stage. The responses and criticisms have almost always been the same.”

    Yes.But my point was not about censoring the horror genre per se. And I don’t think that:
    “… horror movies are causing us to be an amoral society.”
    We may be an amoral society anyway and the horror & violence genre just feeds into that.

    We’ve been discussing this over at Open Source Politics, http://www.ospolitics.org/mt/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=403
    where this post of mine also appears. Interesting to read the different approaches to this subject over there.

    And no, this doesn’t describe me:

    “…you are watching the screen to suspend the reality around you and see images that would not normally appear in your everyday life. Otherwise you could just site there and enjoy your own pathetic reality.”

    Firstly, my own reality is far from pathetic. It’s a lot more interesting and exciting than the crap which the horror&violence industry throws up on a screen.
    I am very fortunate in not having blood and gore and torture in my everyday life.
    But some people, in the real world, are not so fortunate. I can’t hide from that fact, even in my enviable secure life.

    “…As a Wired article recently examined, protest organizations around the world are releasing videos showing the world the abuses that they are encountering…”

    Yes, and it’ a good thing that they are showing these things. Of course nobody (except maybe psychopaths) looks at such images for entertainment. Maybe if they were shown more often people would start questioning the validity of a diet of fake horror and its effects in dulling the human capacity to respond actively and compassionately to all the examples of true horror that exist in the real world. Not just on the big global stage , but also anywhere you care to look in our society.

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    I’m probably in the minority on this one but I’ve never subscribed to the notion that violence on TV, in videogames, etc truly contributes to a more violent society. It seems like a cheap excuse or blame tactic for those who don’t want to be held accountable for their own actions.

    “I shot that guy because I played too much PS2 Grand Theft Auto.” Riiight.

  • http://www.criticalminds.org Brady

    “Firstly, my own reality is far from pathetic. It’s a lot more interesting and exciting than the crap which the horror&violence industry throws up on a screen.”

    I didn’t mean it so literally. I doubt your life is pathetic and mine isn’t, either. But, neither of us live in a fantasy world, which movies represent. At least I don’t.

    “I am very fortunate in not having blood and gore and torture in my everyday life.”

    Right, right. I didn’t mean that horror movies are a desireable alternate reality for everyone, just some. Mainly that movies can be a desireable escape, along with music, books, theatre, etc.

    Just wanted to clear that up because I think I may have been misunderstood. I’ll check out that link you provided. Thanks for the response.

    -B