The Joy in Fear

(Or why I don’t like gore/violent exploitation films)

Last weekend, my housemates decided that we should watch a “horror” movie to test out my brother-in-law’s new home-theater system. And since we share a pretty nice TV in the living room, I thought, sure why not, horror is always good.

It turns out they wanted to watch the rape/revenge exploitation film I Spit On Your Grave (the 2010 remake). At that point, I lost interest.

Basically it’s about this girl who gets gang-raped, and she kills her violators.

It was full of this thing

I have nothing against shock/exploitation movies. It’s a totally separate sub-genre that has it’s own audience. I admire some techniques used in making these films, and the way they  make scenes very visual that you can feel the pain. But that’s it, it’s all about pain.

It’s all about how pain is portrayed and how the audience feels about the pain being administered to the victim and then their reaction should it happen to them. Technically, you know how it’s going to end and you know what will happen, you’re just waiting for the shock value. I think that’s pretty cheap.

I believe true horror movies are the ones that instil a great feeling of fear. Fear of the unknown and of things we cannot understand. Being afraid to look at the screen for knowing what you will find once the main character walks around the corner. And once you feast upon that thing that brings terror, you try to understand what it was that brought you that heavy feeling of helplessness and desperation. And then you feel the joy when you find out that it was not an axe bathed in blood, or a dismembered johnson.

I’m going to go and watch the original The Thing again.

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One thought on “The Joy in Fear

  1. John Amor February 7, 2012 / 9:32 pm

    I completely agree. True horror is not the portrayal of pain but the fear of the promise of pain/suffering/dread. Showing is cheap.

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