Violence in fictional movies and TV series

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What do you think of graphic violence and gore in modern movies and TV series?

More gore
I'm pretty happy with the current level
Would personally prefer less
Would personally prefer almost none
No votes
This poll is violent
No votes
Total votes: 8

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Violence in fictional movies and TV series

Post by Utisz » Sun Jun 05, 2022 7:38 am

There's a poll y'all can answer.

I'm getting increasingly tired of the increasing realism of violence in fictional movies and TV. I've always been turned off by it, even as a kid. I remember one of my friends and my brother playing a video game called "Phantasmagoria" when I was maybe 10, and I just left the room.

I think violence and gore have a place, and it is important, within reason, to not shy away from it nor sanitise it when it relates to real-life situations. I think that sensitive use of awful images is justified to show what is happening in the world (for example, to sway public opinion).

But I think somehow the appetite for explicit portrayals of violence, torture, etc., in fiction is strange. And the fact that it is becoming more and more mainstream I think is difficult to interpret. It might speak to a growing desensitisation to such stimuli, like people are increasingly exposed to violent images. What was shocking in the 70's no longer has the same impact, and the escalation continues.

The problem for me is when I see violence, gore, torture, and such, there are different ways I can process that. In a purely fictional setting, if there is very explicit gore, I cannot really process this happening to a person or character, especially if they suffer (rather than just die), I will almost always resort to telling myself that these are just special effects and it's not really happening, which just removes the immersion. I mean, isn't the other option just to take it at face value, and watch someone being tortured for entertainment?

If the setting is based on a real-world story, I guess it can be justified to show the horrors of what really happened.

I don't know. I just don't want to be subjected to violent images on a whim, and in my opinion, there's something gratuitous about how graphic violence is being increasingly used in movies and TV.


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Re: Violence in fictional movies and TV series

Post by Ferrus » Sun Jun 05, 2022 12:00 pm

Is any of it actually 'realistic' though? It seems more a fantasy of violence than an actual representation thereof - as watching any unedited video of the situation in Ukraine would quickly reveal.
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Re: Violence in fictional movies and TV series

Post by Senseye » Mon Jun 06, 2022 6:29 am

I'm OK with it.

I think the human brain is very good at separating fantasy from reality. I think some studies have been done about this relating to video game violence. Also I think the "uncanny valley" is another reflection of it (i.e. people start getting really creeped out if something their brain tells them is a fake human starts to blur to close to realism).

As such, the over the top gore in many excessively violent movies/tv shows doesn't bother me. My brain knows it's not real even if the special effects look realistic. Compare and contrast to, say, seeing a sports player snap his ankle or arm and it's just dangling there. That creeps me right out even though it is not particularly bloody or anything.

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Re: Violence in fictional movies and TV series

Post by MoneyJungle » Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:01 am

Heads blowing up a way I would perceive as realistic don’t really bug me but I don’t really have a stomach for sadism.

I’d be happy to never see viscera again in a movie.

Seeing guys in old westerns get shot and grab their bloodless torso as they keel over and instantly die takes me out of the narrative.

I don’t find Tarantino-style slapstick gore funny.

Well-choreographed and filmed fight scenes can redeem even the stupidest premises.

When the Avengers beat up armies of faceless henchmanbots I feel nothing.

A piece of violence I thought was really great that I saw the other day was in The King when Hal and Hotspur had single combat in full armor.

I have consumed a lot of violence in media and have yet to perpetrate it in a anything besides an inanimate object as an adult. I can’t imagine I’m any more desensitized to violence than people who regularly witness or participate in the genuine article, which is humanity’s baseline.

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Re: Violence in fictional movies and TV series

Post by starjots » Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:44 am

Less violence please.

As an example, I ranted about my reaction to the squid game on another thread, or at least muttered to myself for a few days. As soon as they started shooting people in the head in lovingly detail from all possible camera angles, I said 'fuck this shit.' Whatever deep message was supposed to be in that series was lost to me because I figured that, deep down, the director (or writer) was a sadist. I don't give a shit what sadists think about anything.

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Re: Violence in fictional movies and TV series

Post by puerile_polyp » Sat Jun 11, 2022 8:29 pm

These days it's very easy to find real gore and violence if you're into that, and I think maybe audiences are becoming desensitized as a result. I've always been way too curious for my own good and I think lots of people are like me and have seen really fucked up and traumatizing real shit on the internet. Even just seeing two people get in a real fight used to be a big deal, now I can watch videos of that all night if I want. Real people seriously injuring one another and it might as well be for my entertainment. Or I can watch ISIS or cartel videos. Or real war footage of people being shot and blown the fuck up. I also think that people who aren't actively seeking this out might not realize how much more of it they

So I guess, idk. Fictional violence probably has a higher bar to clear today, especially if it's trying to shock people.

Personally, I have less of a stomach for it than I used to. I actually had to stop watching a movie recently. It's about a doctor who kidnaps women and then keeps them captive and harvests meat from their bodies to sell to perverts. It's my fear of doctors and especially surgery, but also the montage of him processing a leg into cuts for packages, it was all pretty disgusting and I got too nauseated.

Come to think of it, I didn't make it all the way through Son of Saul either, which is about a sonderkommando. In the holocaust, they were the death camp prisoners chosen to work in processing the people being gassed - guiding them into the showers, processing their belongings and then the bodies in the crematoria. That was pretty intense.

But nothing fictional is as horrifying as the real videos I've seen of people being tortured and dismembered. Seeing some of that feels like it left a mark.

BUT, the violent media that I think might be the most harmful is the adult "action" violence. When you become numb to watching people beat on the bad guys, as long as you don't have to see the realistic details, it becomes a habit to accept violence as normal and sane. I think that contributes a lot to the average person watching their government kill people on the news and trying to justify it, because as long as they can feel like a good guy did it to a bad guy, and they don't have to get too close of a look at the carnage, they can feel okay about it. Violence should not be considered normal and sane.

As mostly average western people we are mostly shielded from real violence. For most of us, witnessing a violent crime or a dead body is a rare occasion. So the bulk of our experience of it comes from media depictions, so we're easily heavily influenced by that. Consuming a lot of violent content may not make you any more likely to do any violence yourself, but that doesn't mean it doesn't shape your perception about when and how violence can be appropriate.

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