Torture Porn. Count Me Out.

A friend of mine used the phrase Torture Porn to refer to a Funny Games ad a couple of weeks ago. I thought it so appropriate that I wrote the phrase down specifically to use in a blog entry on the subject of these types of films.

Recently I picked up a copy of Esquire and read the following piece:

Funny Games – The Most Brutal Film Ever Made. Made Again.

At regular intervals, the killers turn to the camera and address the audience, asking us who we’re rooting for and whether we want them to stop. Funny Games is a masterful torture-porn film that implicitly castigates the viewer for sitting through it. Its true and lasting violence is inflicted not upon its characters but upon us.

esquire

Great minds, I guess.

I understood the fact that the violence was inflicted upon the audience long before the latest round of slasher films became so focused on the suffering of the victims, rather than the mystique of the unstoppable force. I have turned several films into comedies over the years, gasping at the pain the on-screen characters must be feeling when impaled, dismembered, etc, graphically on screen.

For awhile several of my tech school friends found it quite amusing to drag me over to their apartments and turn on films like Friday the 13th. “Hey, watch Anthony dance in place.” Yes, I’m quite proud of my inability to watch pain inflicted on others, even imaginary pain.

I wrote this review of Halloween on Flixster awhile back:

Spanning the entire length of the slasher genre (it is mercifully dead now, IMHO) John Carpenter initiated us into this new type of horror with the oft imitated, never duplicated Halloween. And as far as I’m concerned there are only three other films worth watching in the entire field. Those would be Halloween II and H20, which ends the series with nice finality. Now if the slasher would only stay dead…

Halloween remains the one film worth watching in the entire genre; and it, strictly speaking, isn’t torture porn.

The depths that these latest films descend to, reveling in the pain and suffering of the on-screen victim, makes me question what types of people can actually sit through a film so completely devoid of anything truly meaningful.

If you are into torture porn, then I highly recommend you see Funny Games. While the victims suffer mercilessly in front of your eyes, ask yourself “do I want this to stop?” if your answer is no, I suggest you find a shrink as soon as you exit the theater.


Editor’s note, 2019. I wasted so much time inputting data on Flixster’s website, hours spent rating and reviewing movies and playing silly games, believing that that data would be available to me later when I wanted it. Nearly all of it is gone now. The reviews are inaccessible as far as I can determine. The personal pages were sporadically archived in the Wayback Machine, but those just provide glimpses into the massive numbers of individuals who contributed to the site before the drive to capitalize on web traffic pushed sites like Flixster to alter their approach. They don’t even have personalized accounts anymore. Does anyone blame me for hording all my writing here now? I know who’s responsible for retaining this archive and making it available in the future.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

One thought on “Torture Porn. Count Me Out.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *