Stephen King talks Torture Porn
Stephen King has been addressing the whole negative labelling of films as "torture porn", a practice I despise, and although he doesn't have anything earth shattering he does say some remarkably level headed things.
"I go to see the films because I like them, I like to be scared anyway...the thing is, "Hostel 2" is actually a better picture in every way. It's very clever and Eli Roth is a tremendous talent, and has a tremendous eye as a director. The material makes a lot of people uneasy, it makes me uneasy...
...I understand "torture porn." It's a good phrase. But I would argue with you, there's a fine line there, its redeeming social merit but its more than that, it's an artistic thing too. There's something going on in "Hostel 2" that isn't torture porn, there's really something going on there that's interesting on an artistic basis. Sure it makes you uncomfortable, but good art should make you uncomfortable."
Now that's pretty damned sensible if you ask me, much more sensible and level headed than the people crying "torture porn" is evil, stop it now, we're all going to die. Come on and pull yourselves together. I hope to hell that these same people are out there shouting about injustice, global warming, holding people without trial for long periods of time, falsified elections, genocide...oh wait a minute, they aren't. They're more interested in complaining that a film or a videogame are going to cause us all to be killers.
I hate the words "torture porn". I love horror movies. I think Hostel is a superb film and I totally agree with King, there's so much more in it than just torturing people, and in fact there's not loads of that.
Interestingly, over in the LA Times article, Stephen King also says something very interesting about The Shining. Now I didn't know this, but it seems King isn't exactly happy with that film:
"I don't like movies that are cold. I don't like movies that approach it like an exercise. A movie, for instance, where say Jack Nicholson and his wife are trapped in a hotel and you don't feel any love between them, you don't feel any caring, it just becomes sort of an exercise. And that bothers me."
I thought that was a great film, but I see his point. Interesting then that there's so much character build up in Hostel.
Where do you lie with all this "torture porn" debate? Is it just another bunch of media people trying to scaremonger people and generalise and label films? Or is there some real merit to the discussion?