Popular horror films’ violent messages captivate viewers


“Friday the 13th” villain Jason Voorhees wears a mask.

Thrills and chills are fun. Horror movies bring viewers into a frightful world they can exit at any point, but still get a good scare. However, violent horror films are not okay. Many recent horror films such as “Human Centipede,” “Teeth” and “Saw” take twisted to a new level, bringing violent perversion to life. Violent horror films are popular, but this popularity is unsettling.

“Consistent exposure to violence in films would bring out in people a greater support of violent solutions to social problems,” said James B. Weaver III from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State, and Dolf Zillmann of the University of Alabama in a study they conducted.

Take for example the “Saw” franchise which features “games” in which the participants are often brutally maimed and killed. It includes scenes of people chopping off their own limbs in a competition.

To a regular audience member, this is grotesque and wrong. However, after watching a movie like this over and over, it becomes almost normal. It is still wrong, but it is not as shocking.

Although these situations are not real, technological effects are getting even scarier and more realistic; there is something wrong with a society that contributes around $55 million to a movie like Saw.

As human beings, a level of respect needs to be paid to death. Violent death need to be discussed in terms of how wrong it is and how impossibly grotesque it is to portray and release such images on a large scale.

What violent horror movies do is plant a seed of possibility. In unstable or young minds, this could be taken too seriously.

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found that children who watched horror films or violent media were more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors and experience anxiety and sleep disorders.

What makes the simulation of death trendy to watch?

The purpose of horror films is to entertain and thrill people. However, the idea of murder and torture as the means to accomplish this is very wrong. This belittles the worth of human life and warps perceptions of what is tolerable.

The thrill and adrenaline rush created from horror films creates a positive association to these violent incidences.

Horror films are not created equally, but carnal and raw violence in these films could make way for a perceived normalcy in these behaviors.