View Full Version : Violence in movies

05-31-2008, 02:07 PM
Tonight some friends and I watched 30 Days of Night.
For those who don't know, this is a vampire movie about vampires attacking Barrow, Alaska. These vamps aren't the sexy, clean urban pop culture vamps, either. We dubbed them "rat-zompires" because we all thought they looked ratty and they attack by tearing their victims open like zombies. Anyway, VERY violent, gory movie.
Josh observed that both of us Americans are fairly well desensitized to movie violence. Neither of us so much as flinched as heads were being chopped off, necks were ripped open, blood spewed all over. We had lots of fun teasing one of the other guys (an Australian), who was rather squeamish about the blood.
At the end of the movie, though, there is a part where one of the characters gives himself an shot. Both Josh and I ducked and shut our eyes rather than watch the needle.
Just thought it was interesting that we had no problem watching the brutality and gore, but the first glimpse of a syringe and we both had to look away.

05-31-2008, 02:18 PM
I agree mostly about being desensitized but there are still things in some movies that can turn my stomach... I think it all depends on the context. For instance, we saw The Ruins and it almost literally made me lose my lunch, but we also saw Doomsday and I thought it was the most fun at the movies I'd had in months. They were both bloody, gory and disgusting, but I had very different reactions to both of them. The only other movie besides The Ruins that's had that effect on me was Sin City, which I spent most of the movie looking away and telling hubby "Tell me when this part's over!"

05-31-2008, 09:32 PM
Lol, my friends and I went to see No Country for Old Men, and the one part that grossed out my one friend and I the most was when one of the characters was basically doing home surgery on himself. Never mind the scenes of countless people being killed.

And then there are my parents who can't stand any blood. My dad's especially squeamish. Even in MASH (which he loves) he looks away at some of the bloodier surgery scenes.

But even I draw the line at movies like Saw and Hostel, where it's all about trying to gross out people. No thanks.

05-31-2008, 10:33 PM
Not sure if I could handle the real gory movies out there right now as I have not seen one in way too long (kids and a hubby who does not like them!) but I think I would rather watch them then watch the evening news that shows the video recorded from a cell phone of a bunch of girls beating the crap out of a girl. I just don't get that, to me that more desensitizing to the adults and kids who are watching the evening news. At least with movies, unless it was based on real events, you know that this is not real, not so with the evening news.

06-01-2008, 03:26 AM
Isn't it funny how desensatized we are to violence but goddess forbid we see a penis in a film!!!!!:teehee:

06-01-2008, 04:01 AM
Yeah - we all discussed the difference between purely movie violence, in which you know it isn't real, and the things that you can relate too. You know how it feels to have a needle poked into you, or slice your skin, or even how it feels to fall and break a bone. And then there's the real violence, the kind that you see in the news, that makes you sick because its unimaginably horrible for hopefully most of us, yet you know its happening to someone.
I also won't watch Saw and Hostel, to me they just go over the top with distasteful movie violence.
ETA: that's a good point, too, feministmama. Also consider the difference between how female nudity and male nudity are portrayed and interpretted in movies.

06-02-2008, 01:54 PM
Isn't it funny how desensatized we are to violence but goddess forbid we see a penis in a film!!!!!:teehee:

Or a breastfeeding mom at the mall!

I grew up on horror and action films thanks to my dad. I'm totally desensitized, but I don't think it's affected me in any real way. Real violence still turns my stomach. I can watch movies about terrorists blowing people up all day, but when it happens in real life it's scarring. Same for any other type of violence. I think for most people, separating real life and fiction is not as difficult as anti-TV people would have us believe. I think it depends on personality a lot too. I'm not a very sensitive person, but my sister is. I could watch any scary movie in the world, yet my sister caught a glimpse of Poltergeist when she was young and it scared her to death.