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Can Horror Movies Go Too Far?

A friend of mine once explained that she didn’t watch horror movies because the daily news was already horrific enough for her. While I obviously don’t agree with that sentiment, her opinion is entirely valid, and there’s no reason to disrespect those who don’t share in our gruesome tastes. That being said, her statement can be regarded as a symptom of a long-standing issue in the world of blood, gore, and frights.

After all, in a society as frustratingly violent as our own, it’s only natural that some would question the need for disturbing imagery in media. Popular culture has seeped into nearly every aspect of modern life, so you can’t blame people for feeling a little apprehensive about the possible side-effects of this weird relationship. With these social anxieties in mind, we horror fans are faced with an exceedingly pertinent question regarding our beloved genre: Can Horror Movies Go Too Far?

People have been arguing over the limits of violence in media since media was barely old enough to shave, and these arguments will likely continue into the distant future. One recurring thread in this everlasting debate is the unjustified depiction of horror films, books, games and other media as scapegoats for seemingly inexplicable acts of real-world violence. For some people, it seems that the genre has already crossed the line.

This rather unfair treatment of scary movies and the like isn’t anything new, with even the incredibly popular Universal Monster movies facing heavy censorship back in the day, but the discussion resurges seasonally like an undead slasher villain, usually in light of recent tragedies. Admittedly, this problem has become less prevalent with the rise of the internet, but it hasn’t exactly disappeared, and nearly every big horror filmmaker has had to deal with these issues at some point in their lives.

Movies don’t always have to be a pleasant experience…

The late Wes Craven was unfortunate enough to be in the spotlight of such controversy more than once in his legendary career, facing heavy criticism for pushing the limits of horror with his work. An early example of this is his terrifying 1972 thriller, The Last House on the Left. Many accused Craven of glorifying the incredibly realistic violent acts depicted in the picture, deeming it particularly offensive towards women. This led to the film, which was ironically well-received by most critics, being banned/censored in several countries.

The Scream movies, which aren’t even that explicit when compared to most other slasher films, were also targeted due to a series of alleged copy-cat murders inspired by the Ghostface killer. While the public eye will always desperately try to find an easy-to-digest motive behind these unfortunate incidents, it’s quite obvious that the Scream franchise’s involvement in these crimes was tangential at best (which is also what the legal system declared nearly every time horror movies have been blamed for real-world crime).

Of course, the horror genre is far from the only form of media affected by these controversies, and several other big-name directors have also dealt with their own fair share of criticism. Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite examples, as it’s always amusing to watch him passionately defend his use of violence when faced with some of the most annoying critics that the industry has to offer. In his case, however, the exaggerated use of blood and guts has since been accepted as its own style of neo-grindhouse filmmaking. When it comes to public perception of the genre as a whole, horror is still somewhat marginalized, despite countless examples of mainstream financial success.

This contradictory relationship with the genre is even stranger when you consider that, during most of their history, scary movies have actually been reinforcing traditional societal values. Hell, even the most disturbing haunted house movies still make a point of honoring family and religious tradition. I’m not even going to begin to dissect the not-so-subtle puritanical subtext of most classic slasher films.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been any particularly subversive horror flicks in the past, as many filmmakers have attempted to question what is and isn’t acceptable on the big screen. Movies like the August Underground trilogy routinely challenge our perception of brutality in fiction, sometimes feeling more akin to a snuff film than a traditional horror movie. The artistic merit of some of these more extreme productions may be questionable at times, but they certainly have a right to exist. This is especially true when these cinematic limits are pushed in order to make a point.

Should some movie tickets double as coupons for therapy?

One of the best examples of this would be Srđan Spasojević’s A Serbian Film, which uses its brutality as a storytelling device, provided you can make it to the bitter end. Personally, I think the film is masterfully directed, with several layers of well-crafted metaphors and social commentary, but I can’t honestly say that I enjoyed watching it. Nevertheless, in cases like this, maybe that’s the point, and I don’t have to necessarily like the movie in order to appreciate it.

Not every film needs to please mainstream audiences, and absolutely no one is forced to like these movies. At the end of the day, horror is just one genre within several art forms, and artists should be free to explore even the darkest aspects of human experience. Social responsibility shouldn’t really be on a filmmaker’s mind when trying to craft an enjoyable/meaningful story, as that doesn’t factor in on whether or not a movie is actually good.

Naturally, the horror genre would certainly benefit from more nuanced and purposeful depictions of violence and depravity, but it doesn’t really owe us anything. Not only that, but audiences aren’t wrong for enjoying some of the more savage examples of filmmaking. People have been entertained by the macabre and grotesque since the age of the first fairy tales, and there’s no real reason to stop now. Any horror fanatic can vouch for the genre’s positive impact on their life, so maybe it’s time to accept that great things can come from dreadful places.

In the end, I don’t think it’s possible for horror movies to go too far. The horror genre as a whole is defined by its willingness to break boundaries and go where other genres won’t, so why limit that progress? While there truly is no accounting for taste, and there’s no guarantee that extremely sadistic films will actually be good, I feel that humanity is better off having the option to watch some amazingly trashy works of art every once in a while.



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COMMENTS

124 Comments
  • Michael Hill

    Can they go too far? No. Can they be pointless with no entertainment merit at all? Yes.

  • llcc1103

    They can absolutely go too far. When they do, they fail miserably because chances are, the film relied on shock value rather than substance.

  • WALKTER

    It’s all very subjective, what I find disgusting or disturbing may not be the same as what anyone else finds disturbing or disgusting. What is too far? If a horror movie that aims to shock me, shocks me, hasn’t it gone just as far as it intended? They’re only movies after all.

  • LYNSEY

    this is an interesting article and an interesting discussion. I have challenged others with my point of view that you cant blame media for what happens in the real world. Its an easy get out to say that ‘childs play’ for example was to blame for the Jamie Bulger killing in the 90’s. Easier than looking at why do so many watch these films yet a handful go out and act upon it? I always say we need to consider awful crimes were committed before media for example the Jack the Ripper killings. When you read the autopsy reports what he did to these women makes for difficult reading. Answering the question of the article can horror movies go to far? I dunno. As a horror fan of many years i will always say to each their own, what one finds scary isnt what someone else does. I personally prefer story over gore and films like Clive Barkers Dread will disturb me more than a load of gore for gores sake. A Serbian Film i have never seen and never plan to, why? because i truly cant imagine i would watch it and take anything from it other than disgust. I wouldnt judge others who have chosen to watch it but i do think maybe the boundary has been pushed with that…

    • Ocelot006 .

      Why can’t you enjoy multiple things? Why can’t you like a movie that is pure gore and nonsense and then also enjoy something more story driven equally? It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

      • WALKTER

        Personal preference.

      • LYNSEY

        I’m not suggesting you can’t I’m talking about my own personal preference.

        Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

        ——– Original message ——–

  • Ocelot006 .

    The article really just needed to say ‘No. Duh.’

  • Vincent Kane

    To me the only time art can go too far is if it breaks the law. If not then what does it matter? Are there things that I believe that shouldn’t be filmed? Yes but just my personal opinion and my opinion is different from the next person.

    Most people with this argument are trying to tell others how to live. What they should watch or shouldn’t watch, what’s good taste and not good taste etc. That’s not for anyone to force on another.

    I say if you’re not breaking laws then go for it. Doesn’t mean I have to watch or like it.

    • Saturn

      When does “art” break the law though?
      There are those who say that Friday The 13th does, as it depicts people being murdered, which is of course illegal (Murder is a crime! Unless it was done by a policeman, or aristocrat).

      Would the victims of Pamela Voorhees know their rights?

      • Vincent Kane

        Well those people are idiots.

        I’m simply referring to actual laws in the actual world. If some was truly being murdered, tortured, rape, abused etc. That’s too far and there is no artistic reason for it to happen.

      • Ocelot006 .

        Depicting fake murder is not a crime. No can say they believe something breaks the law. It either does or does not. Who is saying this about Friday The 13th?

  • Rohan

    I think there’s a difference between a horror film and a torture porn film. Horror movies are usually scary, maybe a little over the top, but have just plain, fun intentions. You have fun watching a horror film. Torture porn is purely for shock value, and offer no fun whatsoever to a normal person. If you are into that, fine, but I’m not.

    • The Fucked Up

      When there is absolutely no story to be found, no character arc, no symbolism, message, and no catharsis, then, to me, you’ve entered torture porn realm. Serbian Film is not in that category. It’s a visceral hammer-strike to the nuts, but torture porn? No.
      Does it go too far? No. (unless it ends up being shown during a childrens matinee by mistake instead of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs) Is it for everyone? Hell no!
      Centipede 2? Big fat yup. Shock for shock value alone. But did it go too far? Nope. No one got hurt, no laws were broken (except those of good movie making)

      • Rohan

        What is the story and it’s symbolism? Also what are the over the top parts of it?

        • fannypack aficionado

          The director claims it’s a political allegory, symbolizing the “political rape” of the Serbian population.

          I personally don’t see any parts of the film as over-the-top for a mature, consenting audience.

          • Joe Brick (TGOL)

            In total agreement.

        • Joe Brick (TGOL)

          Reading through all the whining I would have to agree with Fannypack it’s only a movie, besides in every horror movie the slaughter of innocents is usually 99% the killer(s) getting his or their rocks off wether it involves rape/torture or not.
          “I watched the whole movie till the end and now I’m a snap angry fucker who can’t get that image out of my head” what monkeys you all are.

    • Ocelot006 .

      The old ‘if you like what I don’t then you’re not normal and I am’. Okee dokee.

      • Rohan

        It’s not very normal to like watching people be tortured is it?

        • Ocelot006 .

          I don’t think it’s abnormal to enjoy watching actors be pretend tortured with latex and corn syrup.

          • Rohan

            It’s fairly abnormal to enjoy watching it, another abnormal thing is to not get into the movie enough to look at it as real. That’s probably worse than watching torture porn, lol.

          • Ocelot006 .

            But how is it abnormal to enjoy it when it would appear a great number of people enjoy fantasy torture and fantasy violence in general?

          • Rohan

            What kind of sick fuck enjoys fantasy torture? What, are you some kind of bdsm freak? Is pinhead your idol?

          • Ocelot006 .

            Everyone that ever watched 24 enjoyed fantasy torture. And that amazing scene in Casino Royale which is probably the greatest torture scene ever. And everyone that ever saw Saw 1-7. And uh well I think you get the point Mr. Epitome Of Normal.

          • Rohan

            I don’t think people ‘enjoyed’ those scenes, they were probably repulsed by them and saw them as a little sick. You do have me on saw though. How that became a huge franchise is beyond me.

          • Ocelot006 .

            Isn’t that entirely why people go to see horror films? To enjoy seeing repulsive and disturbing things? To enjoy fear? You gonna call someone a sicko for enjoying the rush of a rollercoaster?

          • Rohan

            They see horror movies to be scared, to see the supernatural, to see the struggle between light and dark. The rush is the fight between normal and paranormal, to see the normal, Everyman and woman go up against insurmountable odds and come out on top. They come to see Tommy Jarvis wrap a chain around Jason and narrowly escape, they come to see Ash Williams ride a shopping cart while shooting at a deadite, they come to see Nancy take the power away from Freddy and have him dissapear (sort of). People come to see the normal people win against the almost invincible power of evil, well, at least that’s what most people like. Some people enjoy watching people get murdered, and tortured, like yourself. You root for the evil, which is strange, but I guess that’s just how some people are.

          • Ocelot006 .

            I don’t know if you go to the movies a lot but most of these horror movies today don’t end with the hero winning yet people still love to keep on going.

          • Rohan

            That’s why I hate modern horror movies. I’ve voiced my complaints about modern horror movies many times on these forums. The best modern horror films, and the most well reviewed ones, are the ones that end with the good guys winning. The Conjuring, whatever the other one with Patrick Wilson is, The Purge, all pretty decent horror films with good endings. The shit ones are the ones like Paranormal Activity. They always end with “Boo, you’re dead” and it’s dissapointing.

          • Ocelot006 .

            I’m not gonna lie, I do enjoy those rare modern horror films with the heroic endings.

            But I’m just saying it’s a bit of nonsense to call someone not normal for enjoy well….what is the modern ‘normal’ horror film.

          • Rohan

            Well, most modern horror films don’t have people being tortured. Name one modern, successful, widely appreciated horror film that has torture in it. (Not Saw, though the first saw is ok)

          • Ocelot006 .

            Well yeah now they’re all stupid fucking ghost shit. The torture scene is out but it had it’s time. But really explain what is wrong with enjoying torture porn films?

          • Rohan

            Because they are sick. All they show, is people being tortured. Is it just me, Or is watching people be tortured a little sick?

          • Ocelot006 .

            How is it anymore ‘sick’ than watching people be pretend murdered? Again please elaborate on why they are ‘sick’? They’re movies. Movies. Movies.

          • fannypack aficionado

            I simply had to stop beating my head against the wall with this guy. i asked the same question, but apparently any death that isn’t instant is torture porn to him. Dude has no grasp that some people only watch this stuff for the amazing practical effects. I don’t watch August Underground cause I’m fascinated with making a dude cut his own dick off with scissors, but I do watch it to sit in amazement at the effects.

            Simply put, some people understand make believe is just make believe. If he can’t, then I agree he shouldn’t watch extreme horror. Sounds like it affects him too much.

    • fannypack aficionado

      It’s pretty narrow-minded to basically say “if you aren’t into what I’m into, you aren’t normal.”

      • Rohan

        I’m assuming normal people don’t like watching people be tortured.

        • fannypack aficionado

          No offense, but I assume normal people understand a movie is just a movie, and no one is really being tortured.

          • Rohan

            Fake or not, you’re watching someone be tortured.

          • fannypack aficionado

            Sounds like you’re better off sticking to vanilla Hollywood horror. And food for thought…. 99% of horror movies you watch at least one person be murdered. See the difference? Me neither.
            Have a good one.

          • Rohan

            Murder and torture are two very different things. It’s one thing to see someone stabbed in the throat then immediately die, it’s another to watch someone be beaten, then skinned alive. I’m sure you know what movie I’m talking about, a so called “movie with a message”.

          • fannypack aficionado

            By those standards, Texas Chainsaw becomes a torture film once he hangs the girl on a hook. I can’t imagine anyone else on this feed would argue its validity as a horror film vs. torture porn.

            I’m almost tempted to ask you to explain how torture is worse than murder (again…. both fake) but it’s very clear this discourse will go nowhere, so please don’t bother. I will continue LOVING art such as A Serbian FIlm, August Underground, Guinea Pig, etc., and you continue watching what you like to watch.

            And I will do so continuing to be a normal person.

          • Rohan

            I don’t really like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s a little too revolting to me, especially the remake. Continue to watch what you want, because you obviously don’t understand the difference between murder and torture in a horror movie. Murder is quick, torture is not. That’s the difference. I’ve explained it in earlier posts but you just aren’t reading it I guess. A majority of people don’t like torture porn, me included, and that’s just how it is.

          • Ocelot006 .

            No, that’s not how it works. If it’s fake, you’re not watching someone be tortured.

          • Rohan

            Oh, sorry, you are watching someone being ‘pretend’ tortured.

    • Valak

      To quote Morticia Addams: “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”

      • Rohan

        ….. okay?

  • The Fucked Up

    The moment you stop exploring and expanding your limits, you stop growing as a human being. Even when a movie pushes you too far and you have to look away or walk out, at least you know where you stand, and no one was actually hurt in the process. Tolerance for fuckedupness is as personal as it gets.

  • Coty Reynolds

    Unless you’re venturing into actual snuff film territory, then I would say no. I found A Serbian Film to be highly entertaining, others as they’ve said wouldn’t even venture to watch it. I know this article is about more than just that film, but it seems to be a classic example. What was disturbing or “too far” even a few years ago may seem tame in comparison now. It’s all about perspective.

    • WALKTER

      If a film is labeled as snuff, then it isn’t a movie anymore. It’s contraband and a crime, nothing more. That’s obviously too far, but it isn’t any kind of genre film at that point.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    No, if it is serving the story and not just for shock value

  • TheSlitheryDee

    The only movie I’ve seen that went too far was A Serbian Film. I’ll stand by that statement any damn day.

    • Ocelot006 .

      Stand by it and elaborate on why it went too far for you.

      • TheSlitheryDee

        Subject matter was just upsetting and un-enjoyable. I’ve gone through list after list of “disturbing movies” but this movie showed me things I didn’t want to see. I know how that sounds but the reason it got to me was that there way no pay-off. No reason to ever watch the movie again. The shock value did its trick and I feel that a second viewing is just voluntarily watching some dude (if I recall correctly) forcing himself on a child. I won’t spoil the details for anyone reading who hasn’t seen it. The end just made me angry. I have no desire to go through that emotion twice without being able to do anything about it. I’ve seen a lot of shit go down and read horrid things as well but scenes like that don’t need to be easily accessible (if you ask me).

        • Ocelot006 .

          What disturbs me with your ‘scenes like that don’t need to be easily accessible'(even if it does end with your ‘If you ask me’) is that it sounds like if you were in a position of power you would be for censorship.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            Easily accessible and censorship are two different things. Cigarettes and alcohol should not be easily accessible. (Example)

          • Ocelot006 .

            Well A Serbian Film is not sold in Wal-Mart and Target so I don’t exactly know what more you are asking for here. Yeah you need ID already to buy R-rated and above movies. What do you mean by not easily accessible in this case? It’s already not easily accessible.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            Most young people aren’t exactly buying movies these days. With the amount this movie gets mentioned I wouldn’t be surprised if some kids have seen it. Not that I’m for censorship but I’ll never understand anyone wanting to watch this movie more than once. It just isn’t fun. It isn’t scary. It isn’t funny. It isn’t particularily clever. I just don’t get it. Don’ think anyone could ever make me see the opposite side of that.

          • Ocelot006 .

            So then again what are you asking for here when it comes to your ‘not easily accessible’? You said it should be easily accessible so you must have some idea of what you believe not being easily accessible is.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            Got me thinking and I can honestly say it shouldn’t be accessible. If you ask me, any movie depicting the scenes shown should be banned. Watching a young boy be raped fairly graphically isn’t art to me. My opinion is that movies like this don’t need to exist. I find it odd that anyone could find pleasure in viewing it. If you’re one of those people, can you at least tell me what you enjoyed about the film? So that I may possibly have the slightest bit of understanding as to why any person would give it multiple viewings?

          • Ocelot006 .

            So then you are for censorship. Got it. Now fuck off to the land of lollipops and gumdrops. You may find a pink unicorn to take you to the sugar free soft drink stand.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            Guess I hurt your feelings because I’ll never accept you. So sad. So sad. Sorry I don’t think it’s cool to watch kids get buttfucked.

          • Ocelot006 .

            Woah woah bud. Saying ‘cool to watch kids get buttfucked’ may offend someone. Might wanna censor yourself. You wouldn’t want to offend someone the way ‘A Serbian Film’ offended you, right?

          • TheSlitheryDee

            You’re too stupid to bother with. Graphic depiction vs print or even implication in art forms, I see no real issue there. Making something for entertainment that realistically and graphically depicts half of what’s in that shitty movie? You still can’t even answer my one question. Adios dickhead.

          • Ocelot006 .

            I’m too stupid yet you’re the narcissistic prick going ‘something offended me! Therefore no one should be allowed to view it if they choose!’

            Do you have a problem with Schindler’s List for realistically and disturbingly depicting the murder of Jews during the Holocaust too?

          • TheRealBadHatHarry

            Dudes a troll, fuck him.

          • Joe Brick (TGOL)

            You get to decide who’s the troll here, what an unintelligent individual you most certainly are.
            Why even bother breathing, I know airs free but you’re wasting precious resources and before you fuck that guy make sure you use protection. roflmao

          • TheRealBadHatHarry

            It’s nice they’re letting the mentally ill learn to use computers, but time to slowly step away from the keyboard, lil Joey. Time for applesauce and nap time.

          • thegreatiandi

            Bro….I gotta give it to you…You kept going, and going man lol. You are 100% correct with everything you said through this entire thread. That film was like a ” are you a FUCKING MANIAC ” test. The troll just wants to ” devil’s advocate ” you to death… Leave him to his devices.

          • Joe Brick (TGOL)

            Still waiting for the sequel, hopefully they up the anti just for me 🙂

          • Creepshow

            C’mon now. Don’t put words in his mouth.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            I didn’t mean censorship but then he got me thinking, yeah. I’d vote for this to be banned.

          • Creepshow

            I’m glad that I’m not your defense attorney. Halfway through the trial you’d be like “You know what? I thought about it, and yeah…I killed him.” lol

          • TheSlitheryDee

            I wouldn’t be arguing in court… But sometimes when you think about something for a bit you come to a realization. Mine was that A Serbian Film doesn’t need to exist. It serves no purpose and you’d have to be pretty messed up to admit it gives you pleasure. Even the douchebag that was trolling couldn’t admit what they liked about it when I asked. Are you a fan? I’m legitimately curious as to why someone would watch more than once.

          • Creepshow

            I only saw bits and pieces. It was nothing that I seeked out. It sounded like shock for shocks sake. I’m kinda past that phase in my life. I think it was around the time of Human Centipede, where I got past my shock/shit movie phase.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            I watched it all. Human Centipede was a Disney cartoon in comparison. I’ve watched every fucked up movie I could find. They usually end up cheesy and laughable no matter the reputation. Serbian Film surpasses its rep. The only movie I’ve ever seen that I warn even the curious to stay away from. I’m like that old crazy fucker in the F13 movies. “You’re doomed! You’re all doomed!”

          • Joe Brick (TGOL)

            Nice to see you’ve adjusted from the shocked phase and nothing can basically frighten you now. Rofl

          • Ocelot006 .

            Well it would appear I was not putting words into his mouth.

          • Creepshow

            No, apparently you didn’t. In this case, you just said them before he did.

        • Blood Boil

          So violently killing, eating, and/or sacrificing babies in horror movies is morally acceptable but fucking them is not…

          • TheSlitheryDee

            I said a graphic depiction… Which a graphic depiction of any of those things isn’t really cool to see. Still, your question/point is a lil fucked up altogether.

          • Blood Boil

            What is fucked up, is that in your eyes,the depiction of infanticide or infant rape, graphic of non-graphic, even when implied or shown, is still not the same. Whether it’s happening on or off screen, you as the audience member are still willingly baring witness to it. It is kind of like people who say “I know it’s wrong to eat meat but I do it anyways” even though they know they are aware of the sadistic and cruel process that takes place behind the scenes, they are still complacent in it’s existence.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            What? How is that the same thing? That’s ridiculous. How is it fucked that I’m against the graphic exposure to such bullshit and I’m fucked. Yet nobody has given me one damn reason they themselves enjoy multiple viewings of this crap. Yeah, I must be screwed up…

          • Blood Boil

            Because if it is a part of the plot, it is going to happen on or off screen; if you are still going to watch and support horror, gratuitous or implied scares and/or gore are staples of the horror genre; why this is a surprise for you is odd. I thought this movie sucked and I have zero urge to watch it again. However I am all for graphic violence and I hope that there is a resurgence of it instead of all the milquetoast sleepers that keep getting fed to us.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            Whoa there. Who said anything about eliminating graphic violence? I was verbally beating down folks the other day for saying they’re Horror fans but playing as Jason in the F13 is “wrong.” I said depicting graphic sexual violence against children and infants is wrong. Nothing you can cook up is gonna make me think twice about that. If you really have seen A Serbian Film, then you know what kind of examples I mean. Don’t put words in my mouth. I love Horror and I love gore. That doesn’t mean I’m all for depicting men raping babies or children graphically on film. Yeah, this shit happens in real life and is written about in books but it’s not visualized. The events that took place in A Serbian Film are not part of the plot (maybe just the ending) and there is no payoff storywise even in the particular twist ending.

          • Blood Boil

            If I’ve “really seen” A Serbian Film? What loser would make up seeing a movie? I did see it and I thought it was a bunch of “shocking” scenarios the directors and writers cooked up and loosely strung them together with a uninteresting plot under the guise of a political metaphor…Again, so graphic gore, and violence against adults is morally acceptable than on children or infants? I don’t understand the concept that graphically murdering an adult on screen is more justifiable than a child or infant.

          • TheSlitheryDee

            I didn’t call you a liar but yeah, people often lie about moronic things. To answer your question, it is most certainly more acceptable. I’m at a loss that you’re even questioning it but hey, that’s you I guess.

  • Harley Mitchel Dirk

    The only time a film can go too far is if actual abuse is taking place. Otherwise it’s fine for a film to make any attempt to assault the senses. Even if I personally won’t always enjoy them.

  • Justin Anthony

    Wolf Creek , Hostel, I Saw the Devil, Lost, Last House/ Spit on Grave, Death Sentence and movies like that are entertaining, but shit like Sodom and Serbian film aren’t enjoyable to suffer through whatsoever to me. But that’s just my opinion, not a fan of torture porn.

  • Colin Perkins

    Going to far in my book would be using real dead bodies without the families consent and killing animals.

  • Creepshow

    According to my neighbors and the local police department, I stepped over the line filming myself last summer, while running up and down my street…naked. Live and learn I suppose.

    • Fred Hopkins

      No, but they do recognize pedophiles.

      • Creepshow

        This is good Fred, you are finally coming outta your shell. Now we’re learning why trash bags cover your windows. We are here for you pal.

        • Fred Hopkins

          Not even close. They are tinted. Keeps it a tad cooler in the summer and a little darker when it’s time to sleep but the sun is still out.

  • DBZEROGRAVITY

    For me A Serbian Film definitely stepped over the line a few times. I have no interest in ever watching it again. I can’t really think of another movie right now that I would say the same about. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder. I personally think the suicide scene in 13 Reasons Why was worse than most of A Serbian Film’s violence, but I had no problem with it because it had purpose. Cutting the head off some chick you are screwing and raping a newborn (or your own child)… no purpose, just fucking sick…

    • The Fucked Up

      The entire movie (according to the makers) was a metaphore for how citizens of Serbia were treated by their government and armed forces during the worst years of the war.
      Reading up on that stuff, I can’t think of a more appropriate level of sickness.

      • World Eater

        That is fucking stupid. If you need a primer on what the film is supposed to “mean”, it’s a piece of shit. That’s so fucking meta, post-modern bullshit I threw up in my mouth reading this. The 21st century is fucking dead inside.

  • fannypack aficionado

    Q: Can Horror Movies Go Too Far?
    A: No.

  • the usual suspect

    The only movie I thought crossed the line was Cannibal Holocaust with the killing of the animals. I was in shock when I saw it, the first and only time and still can’t get those images out of my head to this day.

    • jackstark211

      I agree.

    • The Fucked Up

      Yep, had it been practical FX then kudos for the makers, but resorting to actually killing animals for entertainment? Fuck that shit :/
      To this day part of me refuses to believe the stories that it was real (no FX)

      • the usual suspect

        When I first watch I had no idea about the animals getting killed and I so disgusted by it that I have never wanted to watch again. I can’t believe the director thought it was a good idea and decided to put that in his film, not once but multiple times.

  • disqus_uPh3WDxbQy

    No horror movie offends me but raping a fetus (A Serbian Film) is downright stupid. It’s unnecessary, classless and is a devoid display of any talent.

  • Blade4693

    I agree I don’t think they can go too far. Now if we are talking about harming/killing real life animals for the sake of a movie shot (Cannibal Holocaust) then yeah, that is too far imo.

  • Buddy Repperton

    Horror movie law – It’s okay to kill a person in a horror movie but killing a dog or a cat is really not cool. It took alot to give Carpenter a pass for The Thing. But we are getting to the point where seeing people being torn to pieces and tortured is okay but there was talk of banning the 80’s classic Sixteen Candles because Samantha called Farmer Ted a fag and Long Duck Dong was offensive to asians. That is the danger of PC, it’s like a fire that can quickly burn out of control of those who lit it.

  • Blood Boil

    Maybe the baby liked it?

  • redeyedjedi410

    A Serbian Film is the only film I couldn’t finish because it was too fucking much.

    • thegreatiandi

      That wasn’t anything more than a sick piece of shit….Stuff like that shouldn’t be considered horror. I think it shouldn’t exist.

      • redeyedjedi410

        I think it was sick as well. Like really sick smh I don’t get how people could ever enjoy such shit. It literally made me sick to my stomach. I love horror but that was not it.

  • fools2234

    I love horror movies, but that Green Inferno film was disgusting. Call me a pu$$& but I couldn’t even finish watching it. Gross, torture porn shi+.

  • horrormaker

    When you look at this article and thread, the idea is human vs human. There are no talking about vampires, undead, werewolves, hauntings, or just plain monsters. So, (to me) the question is, ‘Can Human vs Human films go to far?’ Answer: YES. Films are designed to entertain us, but when the viewer becomes disturbed, the movie no longer becomes enjoyable. I dislike movies that involve a female getting raped or tortured: Woman, Girl Next Door, I Spit on Your Grave, Last House on the Left. I don’t mind the idea, but to sit and watch it happen is too much.

    • dsxy

      Simple, don’t watch them.

  • Blood Boil

    As long as no people or animals get hurt, go to fucking town. I can’t believe the clutch the pearls, Christian mom reactions in this horror forum. Horror is meant to scare and repulse. Looks like these movies are doing their jobs.

    • Muscle Struts

      Sadly, it’s not so much Christian moms any more. But it’s pointless what side it comes from. Pearl-clutching pharisees have always existed so long as there’s been art, and they’ll always want something they don’t even partake in to change to suit their tastes.

      Can something be tasteless? Yes, but it has as much of a right to exist as something that is thought-provoking (not that the two can be mutually exclusive) because if we deny the right of one thing to exist, who is to say we can stop another piece from existing because it upsets someone else. I guess what I mean to say is, before someone should scream for censorship, they should ask themselves “Do I want someone I dislike to be able to use this tool against what I like”

    • pecunia strigis

      Why don’t you address the Muslim or Jewish moms? That’s not as easy, is it? Gotta go after the low hanging fruit to virtue signal, don’t you?

  • Satanzilla

    There was this horror movie once on the number 4 train and it wanted to go to Fulton but it ended up at Borough Hall. I felt bad for the horror movie.

  • Nah man.

  • Carl Chrystan

    Until there’s final, comprehensive, irrefutable evidence that violence in the media in general links to violence in real life, f**k it, keep making these kind of films! And people whining about it would be better suited using their energies on finding a solution to remove violence in real life. I can sit and watch eleven-minute fictional rape scenes in tunnels, or simulated baby sodomy, or well produced depictions of girls getting skinned alive, or superbly directed scenes of amateur caesarian sections, or artsy shots of female genitalia being cut off, but I will not sit through news reports showing Syrian kids suffering after bombing raids or telling of how families have been ripped apart through the actions of a suicide bomber in my home town. Priorities, man!

  • pecunia strigis

    Your friend sounds like a soft leftist millennial.

  • Aaron Johnson

    Horror is meant to make you uncomfortable, to take you on a thrill ride, to entertain you and to make you feel alive. Everyone has their limits, though. Everyone has that one movie that made them question why they watch this stuff. For me, it was “8 mm”. I plan to revisit it at some distant point to see if I still feel that way. That one was just too much for me. But that means that it did its job.

  • Ricki

    WOW this Serbian movie has caused some discussion, some saying its an assault on their liberty to watch what they like. But child pornography is illegal whether its real or make believe. Now for my humble opinion – its low budget rubbish with or without the baby scene. Those who argue to watch this material really should question themselves and not others.

  • David.

    The only thing that I think goes too far is when animals are killed or tortured, otherwise it’s all acting. I don’t enjoy some of it mind, August Underground for example made me feel physically sick and Serbian Film I didn’t enjoy at all. Neither went too far though.

  • caity

    Am I the only one who thinks this is a bullshit ego trip? What did you even say here? You baited me into this article with a picture from A Serbian Film and an interesting question, but in the end I am left with nothing. All you did was talk about what you think? Why even bring up A Serbian Film in this fluff piece? Like good job, you’re showing people that you have seen a hardcore movie, bravo. You brought up a generic point that tons of people who don’t like horror movies say, and then never touched more on it. You regurgitated things that everyone in defense of horror says, trying to be this knight in shining armor with these amazing thoughts. The timing is out of the blue. A Serbian Film is old news that, unless your are my mother, you know about it. What relevance to the now does this attempt at “social commentary” even have? Seriously, what was this article for? I want my time back.

    ps, I literally made an account just so I could comment on this bologna.

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