Motion Picture Industry: Torture Porn Essay

2041 words - 8 pages

Since the beginning of the motion picture in the early 20th century, horror movies have been recognized as a genre of movie for those who seek a good source of thrill and nail-biting entertainment. From the time when horror movies had begun as new and upcoming source of entertainment to the current day, many subcategories of these horror flicks have diverged. Some examples of those subcategories are supernatural, horror-comedies, psychological, suspense, and monsters (Vantrepotte). One of the more prominent types of horror films could be illustrated as a sadistic tortuous blood and gore fest, otherwise known as “torture porn.” The producers and directors in the cinematic world argue that these films have no affect on its viewers and that the torture porn development into Hollywood is simply another way to produce money. For example Eli Roth, the director of the movie Hostel, argues this. Soon after the February 2006 release date, the movie produced roughly $47 million in the box office in the United States alone (Hostel 2006). Though Roth made heaping amounts of money for this film his argument becomes invalid when disputing the resulting psychological effects of its viewers. Groups of people, such as concerned parents, would argue that torture porn is a negative subgenre of the horror category. It can be considered negative due to its psychologically damaging affects on those parent’s children. Although “torture porn” can be viewed as a way to produce more money and as a source of entertainment, it is not a positive development into the cinematic world because of its damaging psychological affects, such as desensitization and violent influence, on its viewers--especially children.
The subcategory of torture porn originated as an offspring of the famous late 1900s horror movie genre that was known as “Slasher films.” Some of these Slasher films include movies such as Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and the Halloween series. From those movies the new category of torture porn was born in the early 2000s. The characteristics of this new category include the usage of blood, guts, massive amounts of gore and, most importantly, torture. Surprisingly enough, this category was not a crafty invention made by Hollywood in order to draw scary movie fanatics in. Instead the first movie that was considered torture porn was filmed and directed by two unknown Australian aspiring cinema major graduates. Leigh Whannell and James Wan directed and created Saw in 2003. This movie was so successful that it eventually became a seven movie series. Although Saw was argued to be the first movie made in this category, it was not until the movie Hostel, made in 2006, when the actual term “torture porn” was introduced as a legitimate term (Edelstein). From then on many Hollywood and small-name directors have been trying to jump on the bandwagon of producing torture porn. Recently there have been many remakes of the Slasher films from the later 20th century such...

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